Use of Spies
The business world is very competitive, we can see the corporations fighting each other trying to get the consumers interest, to obtain their attention and loyalty, get the upper hand in the “combat”, with everything they can, technology, prices, marketing, experience work force, and of course knowledge. Knowledge of the market is basic in the world of business, in fact knowledge is basic in life generally speaking, and there are many ways to obtain this knowledge, we can consider knowledge as three kinds:
* White: is the most basic and easy to get, we can find it on books, Internet, etc.
* Grey: this one is a bit more complex to get, because it requires more involvement and research to obtain it, like surveys, polling reports, financial reports, or direct interview with the carriers of the information we need. and
* Black; this information is the most difficult to get, it can go from specific details about a company, to the acquisition of classified information of the company (manufacture, recipes, etc.)
When we talk about espionage, we relate it with James Bond, or with war. And on the last we can say that it was originated during times of conflict to get the upper hand in the combat field, avoid the lost of warriors, as described by Sun-Tzu, the “foreknowledge” of the enemy situation will not come in a celestial way, this information must be obtain from people who is involved with the enemy, and from the necessity of obtaining this knowledge that spies exist, also on the book describe the variety of spies, depending on the necessities of the Commander.
Nowadays in more peaceful times, we can find still espionage going on, and we can find the creation of the term “competitive intelligence”, and is closely related with industrial espionage, this activity consist in obtaining the information needed trough legal methods, even though some of the technics are not well received by the law enforcers and the industry, usually these persons ear drops in private conversation or seduce and persuade the people into talking to them and release the information they need, without breaking the law basically, some people will consider these tactics morally wrong and totally despicable, is a method commonly used.
And of course that we can find in this line of work illegal tactics used to obtain the black knowledge needed to foreknown the next movement of the competitors, and is the used of espionage tactics, bribery, black mailing, or even technological surveillance, all of this tactics being totally illegal.
In recent years, economic espionage has taken on an expanded definition. For example sabotage a corporation may be considered industrial espionage; in this sense, the term takes on the wider connotations. That espionage and sabotage (corporate or otherwise) have become more clearly associated with each other. The US Government currently has a polygraph examination entitled the "Test of Espionage and Sabotage" (TES).
Technology has been one of the wonders in our time facilitating our life, but it has been also a tool used for a not very honest activities.
Computers, for example, have become key in exercising industrial espionage due to the enormous amount of information they contain and the ease in copying and transmitting it. Information has been commonly stolen by being copied from unattended computers in offices, those gaining unsupervised access doing so through subsidiary jobs, such as cleaners or repairmen. Laptops are, a prime target, with personnel traveling abroad on business are warned not to leave them for long periods of time. Spies have been known to find many ways of convince these individuals to focus in other things apart from their possessions, only temporarily, letting others to access and steal the precious information. A 'bag-op' refers to the use of hotel staff to access data, through laptops, in hotel rooms. Information may be stolen in transit, in taxis, at airport…