Competitive Intelligence

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Do competitive intelligence providers come under the government counter intelligence scanner?


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Do competitive intelligence providers come under the government counter intelligence scanner?

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By that you mean corporate CI units, and CI vendors or consultants?  In the U.S., I don’t imagine they do.  U.S. counterintelligence is focused on the activities of foreign intelligence and non-state adversaries. 

In some industries law enforcement and counterintelligence agencies will maintain relationships with corporate security departments and maybe even corporate CI units, but it is a working relationship.

There may be exceptions, say, if a foreign intelligence service is contracting a “competitive intelligence consultant” to acquire trade secrets through subterfuge or espionage; or if there is a company that is a front for a foreign intelligence service.

Put it this way: FBI counterintel does not start out looking at corporate CI units or CI consultants for foreign agents. However, during an existing investigation they might find a foreign agent uses CI for a cover.  I believe one of the Russian spies caught last summer was a member of SCIP.

On a side note... I understand why China and other 'foreign' countries are a concern but I wonder what the ratio is between corporate intelligence done by China on the US, and corporate intelligence done by US companies on each other. I bet the latter is a lot bigger.
For espionage or industrial espionage, enemy / competitor and use competitive intelligence as a front. What better front for espionage and industrial espionage than using a front such as competitive intelligence consultant or journalist or risk management consultant or a management consultant.

This is a very real problem which needs to be addressed.


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