Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: June 2012

1 - Dimensions of Economic Espionage and the Criminalization of Trade Secret Theft


we live in a world in which the economic health of nations and the competitiveness of businesses are determined largely by the ability to develop, commercialize, and capture the economic benefits from scientific and technological innovations. As the Internet and technological advances continue to reshape the way we do business in government and industry, and as competition and economic pressures create quicker and more efficient ways to do business, the reality of increased economic crimes has a serious impact. The connectivity of the Internet has made the concept of borders and jurisdictions an incredible challenge in combating this problem. Organized groups of criminals can easily commit economic crimes and avoid sanctions across what were once clearly defined jurisdictions, necessitating increased cooperation among the global criminal justice agencies. A greater understanding of how technology, competition, regulation, legislation, and globalization interact is needed to successfully manage the competition between economic progress and criminal opportunity.

The reach of criminal sanctions has expanded in the realm of technology. The revolution in information technologies has changed society fundamentally and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. The development of information technology has given rise to unprecedented economic and social changes, which also have a dark side. The new technologies challenge existing legal concepts. Information and communications flow more easily around the world. Borders are no longer boundaries to this flow. Criminals are increasingly located in places other than where their actions produce their effects.