Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries
In the Feb 11, 2011 edition of the NY Times, there is an article in the politics section (strangely enough) on "Hackers reveal offers to spy on corporate rivals" by E. Lipton and C. Savage. You can read the entire piece here at:
The article is about some unsavory activities, as they often are since they probably draw the reader's attention and sell more papers, but I am unclear why this is viewed to be part of the "competitive intelligence" industry. Here's the part of the article making that connection that I am referring to, most specifically:
Jonathan E. Turner, who runs a Tennessee-based business that gathers intelligence for corporate clients, said that companies nationwide relied on investigators to gather potentially damaging information on possible business partners or rivals. “Information is power,” said Mr. Turner, former chairman of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
He estimated that the “competitive intelligence” industry had 9,700 companies offering these services, with an annual market of more than $2 billion, but said there were limits to what tactics should be used.
Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce distanced themselves on Friday from any effort to embarrass or collect disparaging information about their critics. “We have not engaged in, nor do we have any plans to engage in, the practices discussed in this alleged presentation by HBGary,” said Lawrence DiRita, a Bank of America spokesman.
Do we actually have folks in our CI community out there who have the the goal of your intelligence research for your own company or others as being to “discredit, confuse, shame, combat, infiltrate, fracture” (using words found in one of the solicitation e-mails cited in the article) your rival organizations?
And how many of us wonder why competitive intelligence can't get beyond this reputation???
I can read it two ways, is it the NYT or Mr. Turner’s using “competitive intelligence”? Did Turner use the term in his interview, or is it the Times using the term as a generalization?
Craig, I was just wondering whether an intel agency can use a front company and hire guys like these for ESPIONAGE.
See ESPIONAGE IS SO EASY. Industrial Espionage is easier.
The counter intel sections of governments worldwide will keep a track of all guys who use any word called INTELLIGENCE whether independently or before or after any other word such as competitive or business or corporate or market research or market etc.,
Craig, I think this story will get bigger. Admittedly, it was bozos playing at social engineering and thinking they were smarter than they are. But there's a major law firm involved and Bank of America and Wikileaks and Anonymous. This story is just oozing with lulz. All we need now is a leggy Russian spy.
As always, the CI community may choose to view this is a teaching moment. Or not. I vote we teach.
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!"
Story is building in legal community: http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2011/02/e-mail-hunton-williams-ex...
It's teaching time.