Friday, June 02, 2006, 6/02/2006 07:44:00 AM

Economic Espionage -- A Neverending Problem

From San Vaknin writing in Global Politician, a lengthy and comprehensive discussion of economic espionage that deals with both particular cases and broader concepts. He quotes figures from the American Society for Industrial Security, albeit somewhat old figures, estimating the damage caused by economic or commercial espionage to American industry of around $63 billion over a three-year period in the nineties. That number has not likely gone down.

Vaknin's conclusion:

"As foreign corporate ownership becomes widespread, as multinationals expand, as nation-states dissolve into regions and coalesce into supranational states - the classic, exclusionary, and dichotomous view of the world ("we" versus "they") will fade. But the notion of 'proprietary information' is here to stay. And theft will never cease as long as there is profit to be had."

Meanwhile, if you had any doubts at all, check out this sobering piece from a Heritage Foundation fellow on townhall.com concerning economic espionage, originally published in the New York Post. The conclusion: American high-tech industries are key targets and 140 (or 191) nations have spies in the U.S.

The biggest threat according to the author? China.

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