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Theft and Diversion of US High Technology

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 26 Issue: 7 Dated: (July 1982) Pages: 25-28,31-32
Date Published
6 pages
The large-scale Soviet theft of U.S. high technology using an elaborate espionage system has seriously undermined the U.S. defense effort, and new steps to counter this threat are required.
Federal officials estimate that smuggled U.S. technology amounts to $1.5 billion annually, and the threat continues to grow as a network of spies, front men, corporate fronts, professional thieves, and Soviet sympathizers continue to steal the U.S. industrial base. The Soviet theft and diversion of U.S. high technology is conducted through two of their intelligence services: the KGB (State Security Committee) and the GRU (Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Soviet General Staff). Much of the problem stems from (1) piecemeal embargoes and porous controls, (2) lenient sentences for those convicted of high-technology smuggling, (3) the use of few resources to address the problem against the Soviet use of unlimited resources and sophisticated techniques, (4) lack of cooperation between private security and law enforcement, and (5) the absence of tough legislation to address the problem. Preventive efforts should include stricter controls on the export of military technology to the Soviets and communist bloc countries, increased security for research in both public and private sectors, more severe sentences for those convicted of theft of industrial secrets, amendment of the Freedom of Information Act to preclude Soviet agents from having access to confidential data private companies file with Federal agencies, and greater restriction on Soviet staffs in this country.