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To spy or not to spy.

So American businesses are being spied on. Now what? An appropriate relationship between the U.S. government and private business must be defined, say private industry and government experts who spoke at the International Security Systems Symposium and Exhibits in Washington, D.C.

U.S. intelligence agencies should not be spying on competitive foreign companies. That was the concensus among opening-day speakers. The discussion focused on a national intelligence policy, how far intelligence agencies should go to help business, and how much responsibility businesses should take to enhance their own security.

Representatives from the congressional intelligence committees agree on the need for policy on this issue. "Our committee believes that increased involvement can only be justified in response to clear government policy," says Michael W. Sheehy, chief counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. L. Britt Snyder, general counsel for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, makes the same plea for policy, adding, "It could be done without raising security concerns and without playing favorites, particularly if we approach it in a defensive manner."

Speakers from law enforcement, who must tackle the problem with the available tools, called for a collective effort. Wayne Gilbert, assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, says the problem requires a counterintelligence, intelligence, and law enforcement response. He points out the difference between economic espionage, which is government sponsored, and industrial espionage, which is nongovernment sponsored espionage for use by a private agency. Because there is no federal statute against industrial espionage, he says, the FBI cannot investigate it.

In light of the lack of protection against industrial espionage and because the government has not determined its role, businesses must look our for themselves, says William E. Colby, former director of the CIA. According to Colby, businesses already have a lot of the information they need about their competitors, they simply need a central place to send it for analysis. "We, in this country, have developed a new concept of intelligence.... We developed a central intelligence agency" for analysis of many kinds of information formerly at dispersed locations.

Colby says this idea was born after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The government decided it should have anticipated the attack. It had all of the information, but it was scattered throughout the Air Force, Navy, and State Department. Businesses should apply the lessons of central intelligence. The marketing department, suppliers, research and development, and other company departments have information about competitors. "Now bring it together for the CEO," says Colby, "so he can answer the policy questions."

Speaking from a business perspective, Robert J. Polutchko, senior vice president of technical operations for Martin Marietta in Bethesda, Maryland, agrees that business should take responsibility for its own security. However, ensuring fair competition is the government's responsibility. "What business wants is not an intelligence advance, but a level playing field," he stresses. To achieve this fairness, Polutchko says that government should enforce laws already on the books.

Polutchko also notes that business strongly supports the liberalization of international trade, but the country should never lower its standards. For example, there are standards to be met to achieve Most Favored Nation status. They are in place as a result of and to maintain ethics in the market-place, and they should not be compromised.

Polutchko urges business to get involved with the prosecution of those who breach security. Too many businesses, he says, will not even admit to an intrusion. It is a company's duty to see that criminals are caught and punished.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:need for national intelligence policy
Author:Arbetter, Lisa
Publication:Security Management
Date:Jan 1, 1993
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