Targeting U.S. Technologies
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Targeting U.S. Technologies:
A Trend Analysis of Reporting from Defense Industry

As noted in the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive’s “Annual Report to Congress on Foreign Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage,” the threat to the United States from foreign economic intelligence collection and industrial espionage has continued unabated and foreign entities continue to try to illegally acquire U.S. technology, trade secrets, and proprietary information.

The mission of the Defense Security Service (DSS) is to support national security and the warfighter, secure the nation’s technological base, and oversee the protection of both U.S. and foreign classified information in the hands of industry. This report is based on information obtained from DSS outreach and partnerships with stakeholders and customers, and includes the agency’s analysis of suspicious contact reports received from cleared industry.

Without a strong partnership with cleared industry to identify and report these attempted collection efforts, this report would not be possible. Nor would it be possible for our partners in law enforcement (the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, and others) to carry out their responsibilities to neutralize and counter the efforts of illicit actors.

As outlined in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, cleared contractor employees inform DSS of suspicious contacts and potential collection attempts. DSS evaluates these reports and refers significant matters to the larger law enforcement communities. It is imperative that our partnership with industry continues to result in timely reporting of improper foreign collection attempts. It is only by working together that we can ensure the continued technological advantage this country has benefited from over the past decades.

Each report the agency receives makes a difference. In fiscal year 2009 (FY09), industry reporting enabled federal investigative or intelligence agencies to initiate close to 50 cases. DSS categorizes these cases of a known or suspected collector attempting to acquire cleared industry information or technology as unlawful penetrations of the cleared industrial base. The overarching goal of the DSS Counterintelligence Directorate is to identify, and ultimately stop, unlawful penetrators. Thanks to reports received from industry in FY09, the country’s technological edge was better safeguarded and our national interests were more protected.

The information in this publication will assist you in understanding the nature of the threats that this country faces and will help you to identify and recognize the techniques foreign collectors employ in their efforts to improperly acquire U.S. technologies.

Your success impacts not only our national security, but the future and security of your companies as well. Your continued vigilance constitutes the first line of defense against those who would do us harm. Do not allow your guard to drop!

Barry E. Sterling

Acting Director
Defense Security Service

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