Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America

Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America

Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America

Spooked: Espionage in Corporate America

Synopsis

Imagine your main business competitor building a satellite-equipped "war room" to secretly monitor your new ventures. Imagine your classified product prototype mysteriously landing on the market under the brand name belonging to your archrival. Impossible? This isn't a story line from the latest spy thriller, it's modern-day corporate America. Spooked thrusts readers into a clandestine world -- where business means war and information is worth stealing.

Through narrative accounts of corporate spies within companies such as IBM, Microsoft, and Motorola, Spooked dramatically brings to life one of America's fastest-growing industries: Corporate Intelligence. In this page-burning expose, Adam Penenberg and Marc Barry uncover and describe in thrilling detail the alarming regularity of espionage in industry. They offer an unsettling portrait of America's publicly traded companies, and unravel the truth and hypocrisy behind the multi-billion dollar corporate intelligence industry.

Excerpt

Pin Yen (P. Y.) Yang, a seventy-two-year-old Taiwanese businessman and founder of Four Pillars Enterprises, leafed through papers marked "CONFIDENTIAL" and "Property of Avery Dennison" and pried out the staples. It was a hot, suffocating day in early September 1997, and Yang, his daughter Sally (a researcher at Four Pillars), and Avery Dennison scientist Ten Hong (Victor) Lee were in the Westlake Holiday Inn in Cleveland, Ohio. There they sipped Dr. Pepper and munched on blueberry bagels (for Yang an exotic food), discussed obstacles in producing pressure-sensitive adhesives, peppering their four-hour conversation with words like "tackifier," "viscosity," and "high-speed release"--and engaged in what the government would later call economic espionage.

Each time Yang came across the confidential warnings stamped on a patent application for a new Avery technology--an environmentally friendly adhesives process that was also cost-efficient--and on a secret plan outlining expansion into Asia, he folded over the pages, made a crease, then slit it with a pocket knife. Yang was particularly disturbed by the patent application, which covered the rights to an all-purpose, or universal, "acrylic emulsion adhesive." It looked similar to a technology his company had developed. Yang had been involved in some contentious battles over patents in the past and he figured this might presage the latest chapter. Since no . . .

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