Whitehouse bill aims to curb bogus military gear

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has introduced legislation hiking penalties to those who sell counterfeit gear and electronics to the military.

A recent study by the Government Accountability Office finds counterfeit aircraft and computer parts are seeping their way into the military supply chain. Whitehouse said incidents of counterfeit computer chips tripled between 2005 and 2008.

The problem isn't just limited to military technology, said Whitehouse. "When you have equipment sold to the military as Kevlar, for instance, that turns out not to be Kevlar, when it comes time for it to stop a bullet and it doesn't, even once is not acceptable," said Whitehouse.

A Commerce Department study blames the growing problem on a lack of accountability in the maze of contractors and subcontractors.

Whitehouse is proposing to increase penalties for those caught selling counterfeit supplies to the military.

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