Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Counterintel Plan: Protect 'Trade Secrets', Stop 'Leaks'

Noah Shachtman writes on Danger Room:

The Bush Administration has released its "National Counterintelligence Strategy."[.pdf] And there are a number of surprises in the spook-fighting game plan -- surprises, at least to me.

First off, the document has a big-time emphasis on "protect[ing] U.S. economic advantage, trade secrets and know how." There are "state-sponsored and free-lance hackers" out there, the document warns, ready "to steal our nation’s intellectual property or manipulate information to cause financial or logistical chaos... [C]ounterintelligence has an important role to play in understanding who is planning and carrying out those attacks or preparing the ability to do so in order to parry them, and in some cases, to turn them to our advantage."

Now, if I remember my 90's correctly, it was just this sort of focus on economic espionage that made Clinton-critics on the left and the right howl. Even Wired News got its digs in.

Since then, of course, there have been countless stories of Chinese agents making off with secrets from American defense contractors. Which may be why the Counterintelligence Strategy expands its focus "beyond traditional targets in the Intelligence Community and other US national security structures."

More here.


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