The Dark Arts

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“Most business schools offer a variety of specialities, from marketing and accounting to corporate finance. But there is a school in Europe with an MBA program in what faculty members call “defence against the dark arts.”

Students are taught everything from the power of influence and lobbying tactics to reputation management and crisis communications. But the focus is on how to produce, protect and gain information, using what Bianchi calls “a mix-up of civilian and military exercises in the field of information and of opposition management.” Every student, he adds, must complete 12 to 18 exercises based on using military tactics to fight “the info war.”

When most people talk about industrial espionage in the West, the finger wagging is typically aimed at China and Russia. In emerging markets, more than a few people insist that Uncle Sam somehow manages aggressively to deploy the CIA to steal trade secrets for select U.S. corporations without raising a legal peep from other American companies. But what those concerned talk about when not tossing accusations at China or the United States is France—an aggressive collector of industrial intelligence since the mid-1700s, when the British naively invited French operatives to inspect their mines, smelters and foundries. The British Board of Longitude even foolishly let French operatives examine John Harrison’s revolutionary marine clocks.”

More: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/51240–spies-like-them

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