Risky business


The Guardian today reported that Germany has accused China of launching an increasing number of espionage attacks, from phone-tapping to internet-based hacking, to steal their technological secrets.

Industrial espionage is big-business the world over. Apparently, car manufacturing, renewable energies, chemistry, communications and optics are all top priority for these international men (and women) of mystery.

In a recent case, two British men were charged with 12 offences relating to the theft of trade secrets after photographing secret equipment in a Goodyear factory and developing similar equipment for the Chinese market. They face a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison and a fine of $2.75million (£2million).

Despite the high penalties, this type of crime is unlikely to stop when The Journal of Criminal Justice and Security has estimated it to be worth US$100 billion a year – in the US alone. Stealing of top-secret information seems to be a risky, but lucrative, business.

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