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Former Cisco Engineer Charged With Stealing

November 23, 2000|Bloomberg News

A software engineer formerly employed by Cisco Systems Inc. was arrested and charged with stealing confidential material on a yet-to-be released software product, designed to act as a human interface for hardware systems, U.S. authorities said. Peter Morch of San Francisco, who allegedly took the material to his new employer, Calix Networks, based in Petaluma, Calif., was suspended after his arrest Tuesday, Calix spokesman Rick Johnston said. Morch allegedly burned descriptions of Cisco's product and other documents onto compact discs before leaving Cisco's Petaluma office in October. "We don't know what information Peter had, but we are cooperating with Cisco and the FBI," Johnston said. "We are not using anything from Cisco." Cisco, the biggest maker of equipment for data networks, is in the process of developing a version of software that involves voice-overs and optical networking, according to the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco. The software, known generically as elemental management system software, is intended to improve the functionality of hardware. Neither San Jose-based Cisco nor Morch could immediately be reached for comment. Morch, a citizen of Canada and Denmark, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the U.S. attorney's office said.

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