It has just now come to light that Lieutenant Commander Edward C. Lin of the US Navy has been charged with espionage, purportedly to assist the Chinese government.

A Taiwanese native and naturalized US citizen, Lin now faces an investigation from both the FBI and the NCIS.

His charges include undisclosed foreign travel, hiring a prostitute, and sharing sensitive information with reason to believe it would benefit a foreign nation.

Details about what specific information may have been compromised are not yet available, but Lin’s background in maritime surveillance and signals intelligence provide a clue.

He worked with some of the Navy’s most sensitive material regarding the collection of signals intelligence, so the implications could be big.

From the United States Naval Institute:

The specifics of how the U.S. gathers signals from potential adversaries are among the military’s most closely guarded secrets. Knowing the methodology for how the U.S. gathers signals intelligence – information that Lin would likely have with his Aries II experience – could allow adversaries to devise ways to counter U.S. monitoring.

Lin was arrested last summer and is being held at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake, Virginia.