Friday, 7 August 2015
The threat of state-sponsored industrial espionage
By Massimo Pallegrino / Blogger Ref http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Transfinancial_Economics
Beijing denies it. Moscow refuses to comment. But,
according to Robert Bryant, former US national counterintelligence
executive, the governments of both
countries are behind efforts to clandestinely acquire
industrial secrets, particularly in the realm of cyberspace.
In Europe this warning gained little traction.
Few governments have complained publicly about
such theft. Many businesses preferred to downplay
the problem for fear of retaliation. However, this problem
can no longer be ignored, and institutions across
Europe have finally woken up to the implications of
industrial espionage for their national security.
The General Intelligence and Security Service of the
Netherlands (AIVD), for example, publicly acknowledged
in its 2013 annual report that industrial espionage
is a major threat to the economy and that
protecting intellectual property and trade secrets is a
matter of national security. While traditional national
security intelligence gathering was focused on hard
security matters, over the past 20 years national and
economic security have become indivisible.
Motives and players
Though industrial espionage is as old as industry itself,
it has evolved in recent years. First, it has morphed
from a small to a larger-scale business. The plethora
of information moving over IT networks, the ease of
access to cyberspace, and the difficulties in attributing
malicious attacks have all contributed to this shift.
The second major change is the growing involvement
of state actors in targeting non-military technology.
Against this new background, Russia and especially
China are using industrial espionage to tip the competitive
balance in their favour.
There are significant advantages to stealing innovations
rather than developing them. Not only can stolen
classified material contribute to the development
of military and dual-use capabilities, but the money
saved can also be reallocated to socio-economic
Motives for state involvement in industrial espionage
vary from one country to another. In China, intellectual
property rights (IPRs) are not as fiercely defended as
elsewhere. Moreover, both the government and businesses
often stand to benefit from such actions given
that there is very little distinction (if any) between the
private and the public sectors. And although China is
gradually shifting from being an ‘innovation follower’
to an ‘innovation leader’, the slowdown in economic
growth is making this process more difficult to fund.
Consequently, the clandestine acquisition of necessary
technology is all the more tempting. This threat is
particularly acute for European companies delivering
high-tech goods, which often resort to offshore production
and transfer part of their scientific know-how
to Chinese partners.
Russian intelligence agencies are in this ‘business’,
too. They operate under a public federal law ‘to promote
the country’s economic development.....
The rest of the article comes from a pdf. Click link http://www.iss.europa.eu/uploads/media/Alert_26_Industrial_espionage.pdf
European Union Institute Security Studies June 2015 1
© EU Institute for Security Studies, 2015. | QN-AL-15-026-2A-N | ISBN 978-92-9198-321-6 | ISSN 2315-1129 | DOI 10.2815/184955
European Union Institute for Security Studies June 2015 1