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Economic Espionage

Economic espionage has been a part of your life for a long time.

Do you remember your very first experience with it?

• Perhaps it was The Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ U.S.A.” sounding suspiciously like Chuck Berry’s “Sweet Little Sixteen.”

• For the more P.D.Q. Bach-ish of you, it might have been your uncanny ability to karaoke your way through Bach’s “Minuet in G” using the lyrics from The Toy’s “A Lover’s Concerto.”

• For the rocket scientists in the crowd, your epiphany may have come when you first saw photos of the U.S. space shuttle and the U.S.S.R. space shuttle side-by-side.

Back then you were powerless. Today, keeping economic espionage from happening is part of your job.

Regular eavesdropping detection inspections are your most cost-effective tool for preventing economic espionage disasters. Here’s the surprising reason why…

Myth: Eavesdropping and information theft is your enemy’s goal.

Reality: Eavesdropping and information theft is simply the means to an end: money, power, ideology, or the ultimate capitalist offense… killing the competition. A spy is an assassin. Economic espionage is the weapon.

Your spy may be anyone — competitors, employees, terrorists, jealous colleagues, activists, journalists, unfriendly governments, etc. They may want what you have, or detest who you are.

Spies need information to achieve their economic espionage goals.

  • How do they get it? Espionage tactics; like eavesdropping.
  • How to frustrate their hostile actions? Look for the tell-tale signs of eavesdropping and electronic surveillance.

Before your information is used against you, there is a relatively long and leisurely period when your enemies quietly collect intelligence. They size you up. Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of an economic espionage attack. And then… they steal information to fuel the attack.

Electronic eavesdropping is a key component of this economic espionage intelligence collection process. It is also the easiest of spy methods to detect. All you have to do is look for it. In today’s corporate environment, not having a regular inspection program in place is simply negligence… or suicide.

“The information you give your enemy is the dagger you die by.”

Nothing bad is happening to you and your business while the eavesdropping and spying are taking place. The attack occurs after all the information has been gathered and they begin using the collected information against you. At that point, it is too late to defend yourself. Your secrets, strategies, embarrassing conversation are in the wild. Gone.

You can preemptively strike first. Look for the eavesdropping. Infostarve the enemy.

The 9-11 Analogy…

To prevent a disaster, you have to look for evidence of trouble brewing – like noticing people who want commercial flight training …without the landing instructions. Notice this type of evidence, and you still have time to thwart your economic espionage disaster – at low loss and low cost. Ignore the evidence, or overlook it entirely, and you have a very expensive clean-up project in the offing.

Terrorism and espionage share three common traits:

  1. Loading the gun… A protracted period of planning and intelligence collection.
  2. Pulling the trigger… The instant when the collected information is used to the detriment of the target.
  3. Reaction… Assuming survival, the wounded target’s reflex reaction is usually to play patch-up, catch-up. Watching the wounded scramble futility can be heart-wrenching.

Most economic espionage losses, like terrorism losses, can never be recouped. The instinctive responses: on-guard and stand-at-attention, are expensive, nerve-racking, demoralizing, ultimately desensitizing and doomed to fail. Waiting for the next attack, even with eyes wide open, still doesn’t prevent the next economic espionage attack.

The adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is more relevant today than ever before. In counterespionage, the “ounce of prevention” is the Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM) inspection.

Eavesdropping detection inspections are your canary in the corporate mine shaft. Inspections sniff out trouble. They sound the alarm. They allow you to defend yourself inexpensively and with the best chance for success. A pro-active inspection program is an Economic Espionage Early Warning System.

The Value of Periodic Economic Espionage Eavesdropping Detection Inspections

Every business and government organization has their own reasons for privacy; usually multiple reasons. For some, it is a defense against…

  • Competitive Intelligence
  • Economic Espionage
  • Malignant Activism
  • Extortionography – Illegal eavesdropping and video voyeurism being legally used to crowbar an agenda.
  • Internal Intrigue
  • Strategy Spying
  • Terrorism
  • Media Snooping
  • Mysterious Leaks
  • Personal Privacy Concerns

TSCM inspections are essential for protecting…

  • Sensitive Communications
  • Boardroom Discussions
  • Vulnerable Off-site Meetings
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Delicate Negotiations
  • Lawsuit Strategies
  • Employee Safety
  • Trade Secrets
  • Personal Privacy
  • Executive Residences & Home Offices

Eavesdropping detection inspections are key bricks in your security wall. As part of an established and on-going element in your overall security program, a regular inspection program helps to satisfy…

Who can you blame if the opposition stabs you with the pointed business secrets you let them take? Who do you think your boss will blame?

Regular TSCM inspections are cheap and effective insurance against economic espionage disasters… not to mention smart job insurance. Without it, your overall security looks like a smiling face, missing a tooth.

You may also want to know…
How to develop a corporate counterespionage strategy.
What happens during a TSCM inspection.
More about our services.


Murray Associates is an independent security consulting firm, providing eavesdropping detection and counterespionage services to business, government and at-risk individuals.

Headquartered in the New York metropolitan area, a Murray Associates team can assist you quickly, anywhere in the United States, and internationally.

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