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Research in Focus

Project on Economic and Industrial Espionage:

The threats of economic as well as industrial espionage and the resulting material and immaterial damages are given increasing notice by politics and economy alike. Still, up-to-date research is lacking on an inter­national as well as national basis. For expanding knowledge in this field, the Institute’s Department of Criminology currently conducts a project on Economic and Industrial Espionage in Germany and Europe (WiSKoS). Recognizing the project’s subject and relevance the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, under its funding program Research for Civil Security, provides funds amount­ing to approx. half a million Euro. The Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, the Federal Criminal Police Office, the State Criminal Police Office of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the Saxon Police College complement the research association.

The module-based project focuses on the legal and statistical comparison of the current threat level of victimization for European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Another exploratory focus are the particular protective needs of scientific organizations.

The methodically and thematically multifaceted inquiry aims at sensitizing SMEs and scientific organizations regarding espionage in all its facets. Another focus is placed on the analysis and optimi­za­tion of the cooperative structures amongst victimized companies or organizations on the one hand and the competent authorities on the other.

The results of each of the three project phases (country screening, multi-level evaluation and an extended survey of unreported crime) will be published as separate monographies. The ultimate goal of WiSKoS is to create three manuals focusing on the particular needs of the stakeholders (authorities, scientific organizations and SMEs) with a focus on possibilities of cooperation and prevention.

The project has already resulted in several publications and presentations, e.g.:

  • Carl, S. (2017): An unacknowledged crisis – economic and industrial espionage in Europe, in: Spinellis et al. (eds.): Europe in Crisis: crime, criminal justice and the way forward, p. 755-761.
  • Kilchling, M. & Carl, S. (2016): Wirtschaftsspionage und Konkur­renz­ausspähung in Deutschland und Europa (WiSKoS), in: P. Zoche, S. Kaufmann & H. Arnold (Hrsg.): Grenzenlose Sicherheit? Gesellschaftliche Dimensionen der Sicherheitsforschung, S. 183-196.

Furthermore, the research results of the project’s first module will soon be published:

  • Carl, S. & Kilchling, M. (eds. 2016): Economic and Industrial Espionage in Germany and Europe, Vol. 1 Field Description.
  • Carl, S., Kilchling, M., Knickmeier, S. & Wallwaey, E. (2016): Wirtschaftsspionage und Konkurrenzausspähung in Deutschland und Europa, Forschung aktuell.

Latest Publication

Access to Tele­com­mu­ni­ca­tion Data in Crim­i­nal Jus­tice

A Compar­a­tive Analysis of European Legal Orders

Ulrich Sieber / Nicolas von zur Mühlen (eds.)

771 pages; Berlin, 2016.

Access to telecommunication data is an essential and powerful inves­ti­ga­tive tool in criminal justice. At the same time, the inter­cep­tion of such data can seriously affect individual privacy. This is true not only with respect to content data but with respect to traffic data as well. The legal instruments and provisions that allow the gathering of these data are primarily the traditional rules on the inter­cep­tion of tele­com­munica­tion based on the cooperation duties of tele­com­munica­tion providers. In addition, access to tele­com­munica­tion data can also be granted by rules on remote forensic software, by search and seizure of – tempo­rar­ily or permanently – stored data, and (esp. in cases of traffic and subscriber data) by pro­duc­tion orders de­mand­ing the delivery of stored data.
The rules governing these inter­cep­tion techniques vary consider­a­bly among the national legal orders. These differences are not only most interesting from the per­spec­tive of fundamental re­search in the area of com­par­a­tive criminal law but also for practical reasons, such as identifying best practices and evaluating the scope of international cooperation.
This publication provides a com­par­a­tive analysis dealing with the commonalities and differences of these rules on inter­cep­tion and other means of access to tele­com­munica­tion data. It also includes country reports on the following European legal orders on which this comparison is based: Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

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  • Last update: 11 May 2017
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