U.S. Auto Industry Threatened by Rising Rate of Industrial Espionage

Industrial espionage in the United States is on the rise in most sectors. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI) opened 1,212 intellectual property rights cases in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011 – an increase of 66 percent compared to 2009.

The automotive industry is no exception: General Motors, Ford and Toyota have been the targets of such actions, with former employees stealing and sharing information with foreign rivals.

Assistant U.S. attorney Cathleen Corken described a case in which a Ford employee stole thousands of secrets in order to secure a job with another company, according to a report from Automotive News.

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