Dow Jones Business News -- July 31, 1996

France, Israel, China, Russia, Iran and Cuba Big Industrial Spies - CIA

AP-Dow Jones News Service

WASHINGTON -- The CIA has identified France, Israel, China, Russia, Iran and Cuba as the countries most engaged in illegal industrial espionage in the U.S., a trade newsletter reported Tuesday.

By contrast, the CIA characterizes Japan's collection of openly available information about U.S. companies and their activities as 'mostly legal.'

In a May 10 letter responding to written questions from the Senate Intelligence Committee, the CIA said it could identify only a half dozen foreign 'governments that we believe have extensively engaged in economic espionage as we define it.'

It 'narrowly defined' such espionage as a 'government directed or orchestrated clandestine effort to collect U.S. economic secrets or proprietary information.'

The White House Weekly, a trade publication, said the CIA assessment of industrial espionage activities against U.S. companies was part of a voluminous response to committee questions in February that was released this week as part of a declassified hearing volume.

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