Intelligence: We Will Not Burn You


December31, 2008: Every cloud has a silver lining, and spies are finding the current world-wide economic recession an opportunity to obtain corporate secrets and technology from the many employees who are losing their jobs. A recent survey of British IT (Information Technology, namely computers) workers found that 60 percent would take company secrets with them if they got fired. This despite the fact that doing so is illegal, and many such information thieves get caught when they try to sell their stolen secrets. That's because most companies will not buy the stuff, but will help the police nail the seller. This bit of corporate altruism is based on the fact that all these companies know they are vulnerable to such theft, and are breaking the law if they buy such pilfered goodies. Better to close ranks and help the police catch and prosecute the thieves.

Intelligence agencies, however, are not so encumbered. Chinese and Russian spies are out looking for recently fired IT workers, or anyone else with access to useful information, that are willing to supplement their unemployment benefits by trading company secrets for cash. Counter-intelligence operatives are also out there, trying to detect these transactions, and arrange for some well-publicized prosecutions. This is believed to discourage selling corporate goodies to anyone, especially foreign spies.

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