The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) refers to intellectual property crimes as a “growing threat.” They note that they devote a lot of resources to stopping it, but it’s something that is happening more often and impacting more people. Why does the FBI look at it this way?
The main reason they give is file sharing on the internet, which makes it easier than ever to exchange information. Moving physical files and information is much harder than digital files. Those digital files are convenient for a lot of businesses, but they also mean that data can get stolen and transmitted across the world in mere seconds.
Another part of the problem is that the FBI can’t always get to those who are perpetuating the problem, as it may originate overseas. The internet connects the world like never before. However, that also means that someone in a country with lax IP laws may find it easier to steal or sell important information. The laws in the US can be strict, but the information does not stay in the US, so those laws can only do so much.
As always, perception plays a role, as well. Many people who would never commit other types of theft — like robbing a bank or stealing a car — just do not think of IP theft as the same thing. They don’t consider it as serious, and therefore, they may be much faster to break the law on a whim.
Have you had important information or trade secrets stolen? It is a growing problem and a complex one. You need to know what options you have.