Since the end of the Cold War, Washington has been abuzz with talk about using the CIA for economic espionage. Stripped of euphemism, economic espionage simply means that American spies would target foreign companies, such as Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, and then covertly pass stolen trade secrets and technology to U.S. corporate executives.
R. James Woolsey, President Clinton's CIA director, has said repeatedly that the CIA will not engage in corporate spy work. Targeting foreign companies and giving that information to American companies is "fraught with legal and foreign policy difficulties," Woolsey says. But there is not the slightest hesitation among other top CIA officials that such information, when obtained, ought to be shared with American automakers.
Given the plethora of examples demonstrating the complete disregard for the law (US Constitutional, international, privacy, and otherwise) on the part of the NSA, it would be naive to believe that cavalier attitude stopped at the boardroom doors.
Techdirt has not posted any stories submitted by Hporter.