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May 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

FBI Ad Campaign Seeks Public Support Against Economic Espionage

Billboard from new awareness Campaign FBI photo

Shoshanna Utchenik

A new FBI PR campaign seems to emphasize that spies in the modern age ain’t your Coldwar Commie.

The campaign includes billboards in major cities like the one pictured here, asking the public to be vigilant against spies who may be insiders, like the two Dupont employees charged this year for divulging trade secrets to China. China wanted the recipe for Dupont’s TiO2 white pigment for coloring paint, plastic and paper.

FBI Director Mueller just made a pitch to congress to renew FISA which allows the agency to conduct electronic surveillance on foreigners without a warrant, and CNET reports that the FBI is pushing for legislation to force social networks like Facebook and Twitter, email providers and peer-to-peer networks to become “wiretap friendly”.

Now the FBI is asking the public to pitch in. Perhaps you might spend your lunch break surveilling your cubicle mate for shenanigans.

The FBI’s press release for the new campaign offers warning signs to look for in your shifty coworkers.*

  • They work odd hours without authorization.
  • Without need or authorization, they take proprietary or other information home in hard copy form and/or on thumb drives, computer disks, or e-mail.
  • They unnecessarily copy material, especially if it’s proprietary or classified.
  • They disregard company policies about installing personal software or hardware, accessing restricted websites, conducting unauthorized searches, or downloading confidential material.
  • They take short trips to foreign countries for unexplained reasons.
  • They engage in suspicious personal contacts with competitors, business partners, or other unauthorized individuals.
  • They buy things they can’t afford.
  • They are overwhelmed by life crises or career disappointments.
  • They are concerned about being investigated, leaving traps to detect searches of their home or office or looking for listening devices or cameras.

If you suspect someone in your office may be committing economic espionage, report it to your corporate security officer and to your local FBI office, or submit a tip here.

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