Understanding industrial espionage for greater technological and economic security
Date of Issue2012
School of Computer Engineering
Large and highly successful companies all over the world have to deal with the problem of industrial espionage at one time or another. Encyclopedia Britannica defines Industrial Espionage as “acquisition of trade secrets from business competitors” and goes on to state that “... industrial espionage is a reaction to the efforts of many business to keep secret their designs, formulas, manufacturing processes, research and future plans in order to protect or expand their shares of the market.” Thus we can say that companies spy on other companies to obtain information related to trade secrets and intellectual property that can bring financial payoffs, market leadership, economic growth and, in some cases, political clout to the spying companies. It should be well understood that spying is an illegal and covert activity in almost every country in the world, where laws to deal with it have been enacted. Thus, industrial espionage qualifies as an illegal activity by virtue of its nature itself. Nevertheless, organizations and governments still engage in it because of the benefits it can bring and the fact that legal proceedings are extremely complicated and time consuming. Where specific laws do not exist, legal proceedings can still be initiated by framing charges of theft and unauthorized access. The United States enacted the Industrial Espionage Act of 1996, also called the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996 to deal with such espionage.
DRNTU::Engineering::Computer science and engineering
© 2012 IEEE