d nations and businesses vulnerable as information can be stolen from electronic storage media and transmitted in seconds without even physically removing the data.
The paper attempts to examine and understand the challenge of espionage to industries and businesses in America. However, in doing so, it shall also look at the historical development of espionage and examines how the advances in technology in the recent years have facilitated the act of espionage, and also the measures that may prove useful in controlling industrial espionage. As a prelude to the research, it may be worthwhile to understand how industrial espionage is defined, its nature and implications.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation defines industrial espionage as “an individual or private business entity sponsorship or coordination of intelligence activity conducted for the purpose of enhancing their advantage in the marketplace.” [Cited Boni and Kovacich, 2000; p. 48] While the definition may imply industrial espionage to be more or less the same as business or competitive intelligence, John F Quinn explains the essential difference between the two – while business intelligence is generally under private sponsorship using an “open” methodology, espionage may be either government or privately sponsored and clandestine. [Cited Boni and Kovacich, 2000; p. 47]
In the highly competitive and globalized business environment, proprietary intellectual property and economic information is considered the most valuable commodity by all nations, particularly the advanced ones. Businesses and/or governments involve in espionage activities for the purpose of unlawfully or clandestinely obtaining sensitive financial, trade or economic policy information, proprietary/sensitive economic information; or critical technologies including but not limited to data, plans, tools, mechanisms, compounds, designs, formulae, processes, procedures, programs, codes or commercial strategies, whether tangible or