The theft of U.S. proprietary information or technology by foreign companies has been a long-standing problem. With the end of the Cold War, however, foreign governments have intensified efforts to steal U.S. proprietary or other information to advance their countries' economic position. Economic espionage is an important problem that the U.S. criminal justice and intelligence agencies have yet to adequately address.
A thorough review is needed of which agencies should be involved in this issue and what their responsibilities should be. No decision should be made without the benefit of a full public debate. Most of the discussions now taking place are behind closed doors within the intelligence community. In the final analysis, Congress may need to pass legislation protecting American industry from economic espionage.