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  • Interesting article on corp espionage

    and influx of CIA agents into corporate investigations depts...

    http://www.portfolio.com/news-market...Corporate-Work

  • #2
    Bloody Interesting - knew about the Walmart Incident and law suit for wrongful dismissal and everything else possible.

    Big employers are looking at going beyond the realms of employee dishonesty, business abuse, fraud and internal politics and with more and more power given to the employers through the signing of employment contracts through the waiving of many rights of an employee, suddenly the employee comes under more scrutiny and this includes what an employee does outside of worktime if there is a distinct co-relation to the employer / employee relationship (just impressed myself then !!).

    So for the need to have these tools, experience, knowledge and power, the average ex law enforcement officer, turned civilian security / risk / LP / safety expert will not have the ability to conduct such investigations or put together such extensive operations into the protection of an employer's foundations and future corporate governance. For example, we can look for a mechanic for our Fords and be happy with the service. Ask them to work on your Hummer (I can wish) and they may struggle but come up with the right solution. Take your BMW to the same person and this is beyond their true expertise and taking your new Mercedes to the same person is going to create problems as this would be outside their personal scope.

    We all have limitations in our abilities and this goes for those who believe their own ego's go beyond their own skills, however if a company is searching for options such as, a one-stop-shop, or risk management through the overview of watching what the competitors are doing whilst protecting their own castles, then these former government specialists are up for hire. I know of several former corruption investigators who moved from a crappy $80k US job with 92 hour weeks to go into contract work, earn more $$$ and work about 50 hours to baby sit an internal audit team.

    What would you choose to do ? Would you not consider the better option where you can use your skills, experience and knowledge to enjoy a slower pace but still continue within the same industry ?

    If their is a demand I am sure there is going to be a supply somewhere down the line for a service or product and whether those demands extend to legal or otherwise services, again there is going to be a demand to supply such services if the price is right.
    "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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    • #3
      This type of situation is an obvious natural progression on people leaving the government spy agencies, for the corporate world.

      George Orwell's book, "1984," likely might be based more on the private sector going wild, than our government, with the private sector using washed up agents, or agents that could not work under the regulations of the government.

      It is only a hope that these guys would not sell out our government, or private secrets, to foreign governments hostile to ours.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by bpdblue View Post
        It is only a hope that these guys would not sell out our government, or private secrets, to foreign governments hostile to ours.
        Don't bother hoping. They sell out to the American press, who are perfectly willing to publish any secret for the world to read at 35 cents a pop. It is now common spy tradecraft to start off any US project by sourcing the American press. Experts estimate that from 80 to 90% of what foreign entities want to know can be found in "open sources". England has the same problem with their press.

        What puzzles me about all of this trade in government secrets is this: Why do I not hear the distant crackle of firing squads, dispatching these traitors?
        Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-20-2008, 09:14 AM.
        "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

        "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

        "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

        "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

        Comment


        • #5
          Despite my observation above about insiders selling out to the press, which is a different matter raised by a previous poster, I feel obliged to comment, having some knowledge of this specific subject, that the article noted at the top of this thread is nothing more than a sensational puff piece - and it was not even done very well for that superficial purpose. I'm not sure it would even qualify as yellow journalism - surely there is some standard of sorts even among the cackleberries?

          There are many facets to this topic about which Mr. Frantz is either completely ignorant, or more likely chose to ignore because they did not suit his agenda. Other "facts" are expressed in such a way that they deliberately encourage the reader to form mistaken impressions - for instance, the salary figures.

          That the article is written by Mr. Frantz, a long-time denizon of the NY Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, etc. or that it comes from a Conde Nast publication is of no surprise. In any case, it isn't worth the time it takes to become misinformed by reading it.
          Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-20-2008, 09:23 AM.
          "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

          "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

          "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

          "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

          Comment


          • #6
            Whilst the article was far from being Purlitzer worthy, I would like to toss into the ring the size of the article and most likely editorial restrictions. Usually these articles are part of a package of sensationalism and wetting the appetite of the reader for them to search for further information but this is no big secret in the published world.

            Whilst the article was a mere snippet of the world of behind the scene agendas in the corporate world, like any industry there are myths, legends and folklore of people whom through their own devices neither condoned or condemned the birth of such hear-say, however it is through these tales surrounding a person or an event that bigger legends are built.

            Like a talented writer such as Steven King or Alfred Hitchcock, they never showed their cards at once, and in the case of Alfred Hitchcock, he never showed his cards at all, bluffing his readers and viewers into creating their own versions of events and believing what was never there. This article was a combination of those writers where we perceive this secret world of ex spies, spooks and sentries to be for hire to the right person but in reality, we have a supply and demand issue where people are willing to pay anything to obtain the information or services they require. This is a mere porthole into an ever changing corporate world and whilst interesting, is a mere spec of dust to reality. An interesting read no doubt and something the governments of the world need to be aware of as more and more people join the civilian world armed with too much knowledge.
            "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

            Comment


            • #7
              I think the article was of sufficient length to allow the author to present a more balanced discussion, or else he should not have addressed the topic at all.

              _______________________________________

              We face an enormous problem with industrial espionage in this country, about which the public has very little awareness. Many of our industries and other private institutions such as "think tanks" are targeted particularly aggressively by foreign governments like China and Russia, and by their surrogates (the "companies" that they set up to "do business" or "joint projects" with US companies in order to gain access to our industrial secrets, the "graduate students" that they send over to infiltrate our university research departments, etc.). Some of the more sophisticated identity theft rings and other computer hacks are also sponsored by foreign governments.

              Most of the intelligence professionals going over to the "private side" are actually engaged in counterintelligence to protect our nation's private intellectual property, to say nothing of the defense secrets that can be accessed by infiltrating private businesses who do business with the government. It is pretty hard to make the case that we should NOT be using the skills these people possess in this very specialized type of security. We have a huge investment in their training and capabilities...it would hardly make sense for them to be flipping hamburgers or selling used cars after they leave government service, now would it? I'd rather have them running black bag operations against our own targets to identify their weaknesses - which is often what they're paid to do - than serving up Whoppers "your way".

              _______________________________________

              There - now how much space did THAT take to say? Instead, the author presents the false picture of an army of former CIA and FBI agents engaged in spying on employees and competitors, pulling a few stories out of his hat and making it sound like they are typical.

              Bad journalism is bad journalism, whether it's done in five words or 500 words. Mr. Frantz could have squeezed in the couple of paragraphs it would have taken as above to present the real story. This is not Mr. Frantz' style, though.

              If you have audio on your computer, listen to this speech by a real NSA intelligence analyst who has moved to the private side. His name is Ira Winkler, and his books Corporate Intelligence and Spies Among Us will open your eyes to what Mr. Frantz conveniently forgot to mention.
              Last edited by SecTrainer; 01-21-2008, 04:14 AM.
              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

              "I can't predict the future, but I know that it'll be very weird." - Anonymous

              "There is nothing new under the sun." - Ecclesiastes 1:9

              "History, with all its volumes vast, hath but one page." - Lord Byron

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SecTrainer View Post

                If you have audio on your computer, listen to this speech by a real NSA intelligence analyst who has moved to the private side. His name is Ira Winkler, and his books Corporate Intelligence and Spies Among Us will open your eyes to what Mr. Frantz conveniently forgot to mention.
                really worth the hour listen.
                Ethical Schizophrenia is the substance of heroes. -Frank Rich

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                • #9
                  Yeah it was as Ira made it into a memorable lecture by poking fun at the assumptions of security even at the government's workplace. Reminds me of the police who had their own firearms stolen whilst they were away from the front desk ......... mind you it was 10 years ago but still a lesson learned.
                  "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Whether or not the article's writer included, or even knew all of the facts he should have, this is still a very scary subject, with possible horrific implications for our country.

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