Protecting trade secrets has always been a chore, but in today’s digital economy you can just ratchet up the intensity a few notches.

That is why there is now an action plan coming out of the White House that focuses on coordinating and improving the government’s efforts to protect trade secrets against foreign competitors.

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The White House document, called Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets, follows numerous incidents in which China ended up accused of attempting to breach government and private organizations in an attempt to steal classified information.

First reported in ISSSource Wednesday, this report details cases where individuals attempted to sell trade secrets and military technical data to China. The 141-page report contains incidents involving companies such as Valspar, Ford Motor Company, Motorola, DuPont, Dow, and GM.

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Here is one example of economic espionage named in the strategy:
“On Feb. 11, 2010 former Rockwell and Boeing engineer Dongfan “Greg” Chung was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment and three years supervised release after his July 16, 2009 conviction in the Central District of California.
“Chung was convicted of charges of economic espionage and acting as an illegal agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), for whom he stole restricted technology and Boeing trade secrets, including information related to the Space Shuttle program and the Delta IV rocket.”

While the report said China is the “the world’s most active and persistent perpetrator of economic espionage,” it is not alone.

The report said Russia’s intelligence services are also trying to collect economic information and technology from U.S. targets. The same is true about South Korea.

The U.S.’s allies and partners are also a threat. That’s because they use their broad access to U.S. institutions to acquire classified information, mainly through human intelligence tactics.

Click here to download the report.

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