Spies might seem like a throwback to earlier days of world wars and cold wars, but they are more common than ever—and they are targeting our nation’s most valuable secrets.
The FBI’s Counterintelligence Program
The FBI is the lead agency for exposing, preventing, and investigating intelligence activities in the U.S. Because much of today’s spying is accomplished by data theft from computer networks, espionage is quickly becoming cyber-based.
The goals of the FBI’s counterintelligence work are to:
- Protect the secrets of the U.S. Intelligence Community
- Protect the nation’s critical assets, like our advanced technologies and sensitive information in the defense, intelligence, economic, financial, public health, and science and technology sectors
- Counter the activities of foreign spies
- Keep weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands
Economic espionage costs the American economy hundreds of billions of dollars per year and puts our national security at risk. These foreign competitors deliberately target economic intelligence in advanced technologies and successful U.S. industries.
Historically, economic espionage has targeted defense-related and high-tech industries. But recent FBI cases have shown that no industry, large or small, is immune to the threat. Any company with a proprietary product, process, or idea can be a target. Any unprotected trade secret can be illegally stolen.
In addition to its investigative work, the FBI works to raise public awareness and inform industry of the threats they face, through outreach activities.
In collaboration with the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the FBI released a short film to educate anyone with a trade secret about how they can protect it. Based on an actual case, The Company Man: Protecting America’s Secrets illustrates how one U.S. company was targeted by foreign spies and how that company worked with the FBI to bring the perpetrators to justice.
- Economic Espionage: Protecting America's Trade Secrets
- Elicitation Techniques
- The Insider Threat: An Introduction to Detecting and Deterring and Insider Spy
- Intellectual Property Protection: Safeguard Your Company's Trade Secrets, Proprietary Information, and Research
- Safety and Security for the Business Professional Traveling Abroad
- Visitors: Risks and Mitigations
- Internet Social Networking Risks
- The Key to U.S. Student Safety Overseas
- Safety and Security for U.S. Students Traveling Abroad
- Higher Education and National Security: The Targeting of Sensitive, Proprietary, and Classified Information on Campuses of Higher Education
- Best Practices in Supply Chain Risk Management for the U.S. Government
- 06.01.2023 — Former Engineer Sentenced for Possessing Stolen Semiconductor Trade Secret
- 06.01.2023 — Former U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer Sentenced to 36 Months’ Imprisonment for Willfully Retaining Top Secret National Defense Information
- 05.16.2023 — Inland Empire Man Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Sensitive Software From His U.S. Employers to Build a Competing Business in China
- 05.16.2023 — Chinese National Charged for Conspiring to Provide Materials for the Production of Ballistic Missiles to Iran in Violation of U.S. Sanctions
- 05.16.2023 — Founder and President of European Defense Conglomerate Charged with Helping the Russian Military Evade U.S. Sanctions and Export Controls
- 05.15.2023 — Massachusetts Man Indicted for Acting as an Illegal Agent of the People’s Republic of China
- 04.26.2023 — Former Harvard University Professor Sentenced for Lying About His Affiliation with Wuhan University of Technology; China’s Thousand Talents Program; and Filing False Tax Returns
- 04.25.2023 — New York Attorney Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Commit Money Laundering to Promote Sanctions Violations by Associate of Sanctioned Russian Oligarch