German security group sees rise in industrial, commercial spying

A major German corporate security group has echoed recent warnings by the German government that foreign industrial and commercial espionage in Germany is on the increase. Last week, the general manager of the German Association for Security in Industry and Commerce (ASW), Dr. Berthold Stoppelkamp, told German newspaper Mitteldeutsche Zeitung that the targeting of German research and commercial enterprises by mainly Chinese and Russian agents is so extensive that it usually costs the German economy over €20 billion per year, and it may be costing as high as €50 billion per year since 2007. Dr. Stoppelkamp said that, although these covert activities are government-managed, they aim to assist individual Chinese or Russian firms competing against German companies for international contracts. According to ASW, most of the espionage activities involve “sensitive information […] siphoned from trade shows and business meetings”, or the covert utilization of Chinese and Russian students working in German universities and research firms. However, more orthodox espionage methods, including the careful planting of informants with the aid of fabricated identity records, are also employed, said Stoppelkamp. Stoppelkamp’s comments second similar warnings by Germany’s Ministry of the Interior, which warned in a recent report that “science, engineering, renewable energy, materials research, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing businesses are becoming popular places to imbed foreign spies”.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to German security group sees rise in industrial, commercial spying

  1. AllanGreen says:

    How do we know this isn’t paranoia? Also – doesn’t Russia cooperate with a great deal of German concerns?

    Where do Russian firms compete with German companies? For what contracts?

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