Friday, November 22, 2013

REPORT: Corporate Espionage Against Nonprofit Organizations

How common is corporate espionage against nonprofits?
Most of the cases of corporate espionage we know about in recent years have been uncovered by accident. There has been no comprehensive, systematic effort by federal or state government to determine how much corporate espionage is actually occurring, and what tactics are being used. It is likely that corporate espionage against nonprofits occurs much more often than is known. 

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Who actually conducts the espionage?
When a nonprofit campaign is so successful that it may impair a company’s profits or reputation, companies may employ their own in house espionage capabilities, or they may retain the services of an intermediary with experience in espionage...

The intermediary may hire a private investigations firm that either has multiple espionage capacities or that specializes in the particular kind of intelligence needed – such as human intelligence and the infiltration of nonprofits, or electronic or physical surveillance. These private investigations firms may subcontract out espionage to experienced operatives, which gives corporations access to specialized talent while further increasing the level of plausible deny-ability...

Corporations may also hire the services of experienced nonprofit infiltrators who may pose as volunteers, to scout out workplaces and to steal documents left unattended or unguarded. Corporate spies may also plant bugs to obtain and transmit verbal communication. Both offices and homes may be targeted for the gathering of physical intelligence. (more)

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