Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Biggest Innovation Heist in History? Shanghaied!

Economic and industrial espionage has a long history.  Oddly enough, what is considered one of the earliest cases of industrial espionage was against China. In 1712, a Jesuit priest named Francois Xavier d'Entrecolles infiltrated Chinese manufacturers' system of making porcelain and then revealed it to European manufactures via a detailed letter. You can read all about it here.  Today, the tables are turned against us, and the traitors are our own people with a greed motive.

China is once again showing that the only business innovation they have a core competency is how to be thieves.  The Chinese economic espionage campaign has been in full operation mode  for years and "targets a swath of industries: biotechnology, telecommunications, and nanotechnology, as well as clean energy (Bloomberg).

Northrup Grumman's report to The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission  details the extent of risk the USA currently faces.  "Death By China: Confronting The Dragon" is also a good treatment of the subject. 

So, this raises the issue of innovation.  What opportunities exist to develop counter-measures to the threats we face in a cybernomic war with China? Counter-security, and counter espionage are obviously ongoing.  What we need to develop more is technology security so that when the Chinese try to hack and steal trade secrets, the code or device they are working with erases, releases counter-code, and becomes non-functioning. 

We certainly do not want Iran or China sending more model airplanes to our Presidents mocking our requests to please not steal our innovations. 

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