BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The FBI calls it “economic espionage” and Wednesday evening, it is actively reaching out to Maryland businesses to stop the theft of valuable trade secrets.
Alex DeMetrick reports the FBI is going a little Hollywood to do it.
The FBI’s Baltimore office doesn’t open up to the media very often—and it may be the first time to watch a movie, a Bureau production about stealing business trade secrets.
“What has been forecast for 2015 is a $400 billion loss to corporate entities out there through the theft of trade secrets,” said Charlie McGonigal, FBI Counterintelligence.
And Maryland is a target-rich state when it comes to biomedical research, aero-space and defense contractors. Trade secrets keep those businesses moving and thieves busy.
“Primarily the People’s Republic of China and Russia,” McGonigal said.
Last year, the FBI released wanted posters of Chinese soldiers it said stole secrets from US nuclear and solar technology companies.
“We must say enough is enough,” said Eric Holder.
And now the Bureau is releasing its movie to businesses. Based on real incidents, it’s a soft sell for what is a hard problem for many companies.
And reluctance to bring in the FBI is more than just part of a movie plot.
“It is very realistic. The trade secret becomes their core business. If that’s at risk, a public disclosure could challenge the overall solvency of the corporate entity,” McGonigal said.
The happiest ending would be keeping secrets from being stolen. The movie is the FBI’s pitch to help make that happen.
Besides conducting investigations, the FBI’s Baltimore office has assembled a team of agents to advise businesses on how to protect their trade secrets.