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Corporate Espionage

innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/30/2011 3:14:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Wondering about the opinions on this. If a company plants someone in a competitor as a spy to find out strategies and maybe even trade secrets, should the gov't get involved?

In many cases it might be in the best interest of the consumer to have a blind eye to this sort of thing since it's sort of the inverse of collusion.

I know there are laws on the books that handle this sort of thing, and it seems that they are really geared toward foreign nationals taking economic action to benefit their country, but these could be handled in other ways with expanding the standard espionage laws in place.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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8/30/2011 4:56:15 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/30/2011 3:14:50 AM, innomen wrote:
Wondering about the opinions on this. If a company plants someone in a competitor as a spy to find out strategies and maybe even trade secrets, should the gov't get involved?

In many cases it might be in the best interest of the consumer to have a blind eye to this sort of thing since it's sort of the inverse of collusion.

I know there are laws on the books that handle this sort of thing, and it seems that they are really geared toward foreign nationals taking economic action to benefit their country, but these could be handled in other ways with expanding the standard espionage laws in place.

No. I think the corporation is within their rights to do that. But will the spy get paid twice?
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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8/30/2011 10:53:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
In 1993, two friends and I set up a company which operated tours of Europe for clients from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and China.

We quoted for series of tours which would then be over-branded by tour operators in the clients' home countries but we lost out on them all to our biggest rival which was (and still is) Europe's largest inbound tour operator.

So we used our contacts in that company to discover what price they had quoted for these series and discovered in each case it was just lower than ours – in some cases this meant they lost money on the tours.

We wondered how they knew what prices we quoted and we eventually found out that they had been using a third party to pay one of our employees to supply them with this highly confidential information.

It seems to me that their sharp business practices should have come under close scrutiny of the authorities.
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/30/2011 10:56:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Yeah, Company A invests $50 million developing a new technology. Company B pays some goon $10,000 to steal it. Guess how many companies are going to continue to make new developments and how many are going to say "F it, we're just gonna wait until someone else makes then steal it ourselves."
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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8/30/2011 10:58:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/30/2011 10:53:10 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:
In 1993, two friends and I set up a company which operated tours of Europe for clients from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and China.

We quoted for series of tours which would then be over-branded by tour operators in the clients' home countries but we lost out on them all to our biggest rival which was (and still is) Europe's largest inbound tour operator.

So we used our contacts in that company to discover what price they had quoted for these series and discovered in each case it was just lower than ours – in some cases this meant they lost money on the tours.

We wondered how they knew what prices we quoted and we eventually found out that they had been using a third party to pay one of our employees to supply them with this highly confidential information.

It seems to me that their sharp business practices should have come under close scrutiny of the authorities.

What laws did they break? As annoying as this is was it... or should it... be illegal?

The employee that was acting as an informant was possibly in breach of contract, but that is between you and them. The company was just getting information.

Still you have my sympathies!
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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8/30/2011 11:08:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I understand the frustrations, believe me, but is it really anyone's real concern outside of the corporations involved?

Some of this could get into intellectual property rights etc, but still, should i care when IBM is stealing something from Apple? In the long run, it only benefits the consumer.

And yeah, getting two paychecks would be sweet.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/30/2011 11:10:36 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/30/2011 11:08:26 AM, innomen wrote:
I understand the frustrations, believe me, but is it really anyone's real concern outside of the corporations involved?

Yes, companies become discouraged to make anything new. Why should they invest the resources of R&D, when it is just going to get stolen and all the money is lost?


Some of this could get into intellectual property rights etc, but still, should i care when IBM is stealing something from Apple? In the long run, it only benefits the consumer.

And yeah, getting two paychecks would be sweet.

work two jobs, that's how I do it, lol.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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9/2/2011 10:25:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/30/2011 3:14:50 AM, innomen wrote:
Wondering about the opinions on this. If a company plants someone in a competitor as a spy to find out strategies and maybe even trade secrets, should the gov't get involved?:

Only as a mediator in the dispute (courts), for allegedly violating the non-disclosure terms of a contractural agreement.

As to informational and physical security, it is incumbent on the company to find innovative ways to secure their patents and pending patents. The government should only be there as the mediator in the dispute and to provide the avenue for which to either prosecute or acquit.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/2/2011 11:18:24 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/2/2011 10:25:04 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
At 8/30/2011 3:14:50 AM, innomen wrote:
Wondering about the opinions on this. If a company plants someone in a competitor as a spy to find out strategies and maybe even trade secrets, should the gov't get involved?:

Only as a mediator in the dispute (courts), for allegedly violating the non-disclosure terms of a contractural agreement.

As to informational and physical security, it is incumbent on the company to find innovative ways to secure their patents and pending patents. The government should only be there as the mediator in the dispute and to provide the avenue for which to either prosecute or acquit.

Thing is, I'm not sure the government should be making such laws. Since espionage is the inverse of collusion, and collusion is anti free market, wouldn't espionage really be pro free market? I suppose theft is theft, and there are laws on that basis, and intellectual property arguments give me a headache, but still, i don't think it's in the best interest of the free market to have actual 'corporate espionage' laws on the books. Personally, i think it might be kind of cool playing the game.
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,256
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9/2/2011 11:24:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 9/2/2011 11:18:24 AM, innomen wrote:
At 9/2/2011 10:25:04 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
At 8/30/2011 3:14:50 AM, innomen wrote:
Wondering about the opinions on this. If a company plants someone in a competitor as a spy to find out strategies and maybe even trade secrets, should the gov't get involved?:

Only as a mediator in the dispute (courts), for allegedly violating the non-disclosure terms of a contractural agreement.

As to informational and physical security, it is incumbent on the company to find innovative ways to secure their patents and pending patents. The government should only be there as the mediator in the dispute and to provide the avenue for which to either prosecute or acquit.

Thing is, I'm not sure the government should be making such laws. Since espionage is the inverse of collusion, and collusion is anti free market, wouldn't espionage really be pro free market? I suppose theft is theft, and there are laws on that basis, and intellectual property arguments give me a headache, but still, i don't think it's in the best interest of the free market to have actual 'corporate espionage' laws on the books. Personally, i think it might be kind of cool playing the game.

The reality of business is that you either spread the graft, or hope for incredible luck.