The latest intelligence on Al-Qaeda, a high profile Child Protection
report and plans for policing the London 2012 Olympics; three very
different documents with two things in common: firstly, they all
contained highly confidential information and secondly, they were all
left on a train.
Our latest research reveals that two thirds of Europe’s office commuters
have no qualms about peering across to see what the person sitting next
to them is working on; and more than one in ten (14 per cent) has
spotted confidential or highly sensitive information.
Based on the demonstrated persistence of their enemies, I have a lot of respect for what Israeli security achieves.
Back to Verb vs Noun.
His point about baggage claim is interesting. It strikes me that this is the kind of location serious terrorists, that is the ones who worked
in Europe through the last century, might attack: not just dramatic, but shows how ineffectual airport security really is. And what will the TSA do about such an attack? Inconvenience passengers further.
This is better written than most ‘chicken little’ pieces, but please can we have ‘history’ of how most nations, including the USA, have engages in ‘industrial espionage‘.
I recall a presentation by CSIS that was making the point that Canada’s greatest threat on the Industrial Espionage scene was France, and France had been practising Industrial Espionage against the “English Speaking World” for centuries. And he had evidence to back that up from at lest Napoleonic times.
But then don’t forget that the “English Speaking World” stole such secrets from China as “Tea“:
For centuries, the secret of growing tea was one of China’s
most closely-guarded treasures. Along with silk, tea was an
extremely valuable agricultural commodity, prized as a luxury
item across Asia and into Europe.
In the mid-19th century, however, Briton Robert Fortune
dressed as a Chinese man (complete with queue) and set out
to discover the secret of tea-growing. He located the bushes
that produce tea, and stole seedlings that he transported to
British India. China’s tea monopoly was broken.
Fortune’s explorations are detailed in a new book, For All
the Tea in China, by Sarah Rose. She frames this not
simply as a tale of Victorian exploration, but as early
industrial espionage – which, of course, it was.
I’m not saying this justifies anything, any more that the Opium trade or forcing products from the Industrialized West onto Asian markets, also part of or common historic context, justifies any reprisals.
I’m just saying Context is Everything and if you ignore history (especially when dealing with people for whom history is an important context) then you are setting yourself up for a sea of troubles.