by John J. Fialka ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 1, 1997
An investigative reporter's cautionary overview of a persistent problem for American industry: the theft of its vital technology by friend and foe alike. Drawing on a wealth of sources, Wall Street Journal correspondent Fialka offers a coherent (if anecdotal) briefing on the economic-espionage campaigns that have been waged against the US down through the years, as well as a broad assessment of their impact on commerce and national security. While the erstwhile Soviet Union was the first to make an organized effort to obtain classified information from America's defense contractors, it was not the last. Such putative allies as France, Israel, and Japan routinely gather intelligence on Uncle Sam's mercantile secrets, as do mainland China and a host of lesser Asian lights. Although the stakes are no longer mortal (as during the Cold War), the author points out that the costs in terms of lost jobs and sales are considerable--and mounting. Employing case studies from the files of federal prosecutors, he illustrates the ways in which foreign nations exploit the bedrock institutions of an open society (e.g., by infiltrating student spies into US universities and their affiliated research laboratories) to keep themselves abreast of advances in the biosciences, solid-state electronics, space-age weaponry, and other fast-growth fields. Covered as well are: the vulnerability of America's telephone system along with other computer-based communications links; the refusal of business and government to acknowledge that US resources (and riches) are being siphoned off by enterprising thieves from abroad; and the ominous privatization of well-trained KGB operatives in a Russia which still finds it more convenient to steal than to develop state-of-the-art technology. A timely, tough-minded, and persuasively documented reminder that some of the Global Village's states do not play as fair as others.
Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1997
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1996
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