…Is the heading sounding a bit odd to you?
…Are you wondering why suddenly this?
…Are you also a bit confused about what in this God’s earth is “economic” spying? And why is it so important or even relevant?
If the answer to even one of the questions is “Yes”, then you are the right person to read this article.
As always, let’s begin from the beginning…
You all must have been following the news lately, thanks to Covid 19, even the most uninterested people have started following the news.
You must have also noticed a lot of news items on various countries like Germany, Spain, US, India etc. have put various kinds of, for lack of a better word, embargos on allowing Chinese companies to operate / invest in their country “freely” without increasing the “watch” on them.
Countries, like the US, which were traditionally big buyers or who used to source from China have also decided to move their bases away from China to various other countries.
Let’s think, what has prompted them to do that. Here are some reasons:
1. Due to this pandemic, doubt has crept in the mind of Countries that:
a. This virus was lab-created and has been used to bring down the economies of many countries to their knees since that enables China to become the economic superpower that it wants to be.
b. What has angered Governments is that all this has been done at the expense of their countrymen by making them sick, seriously ill and even dead.
c. It has been done by pushing down their industry, making job losses happen and making their people suffer
2. As the leaders of the countries decided to take tough action and to that purpose dug deeper into what is going on in their own country they realised that, where ever possible, China has intruded silently either directly or indirectly in their countries (by investing in their companies, by becoming a part of their supply chains etc.).
3. The most dangerous of these intrusions has been the whole area of Information Technology, Hardware, Software and Mobile Technology.
a. In case of Hardware, Chips, which are at the core of any Hardware, are programmable. One can surreptitiously, put programs in the chip which can steal data from the machine or mobile and then quietly (without the user knowing) can transfer the data/information back to parent companies in China.
b. The other area where a lot of dangerous practices were discovered is this whole are of Apps used in cell phones and laptops etc. They were known to be transferring data back to the huge databases of the companies in China.
c. The third area which has come to the fore is 5 G Technology. While initially, the whole world was excited about this new development but soon people realised that one of the Chinese companies (a leading player) may be using this technology to capture countries complete mobile networks and via that the Financial and Defence Systems also.
d. All the above has set the alarm bells ringing in many countries all over the world.
e. Now, before going forward let me tell why is this capturing of data by a company so dangerous. The reason is that according to the Chinese system, all the data that a company has is accessible to the Chinese Govt. In other words, all of the countries, people data, Govt. data, Financial date and if one is not careful classified defence information is available to the Chinese Govt.
I am sure by now, you would have got the perspective on the topic of my article.
Now, let’s move to the topic…”Economic Spying — Need of the Hour”…
Whenever one thinks of spying (thanks to James Bond movies, Cold War, CIA, Mossad etc.) we think of fast cars, transmitters, bullets, assassinations etc. destroying the enemy resources, installations etc. While the usefulness of that cannot be denied in the low-intensity warfare, however, the time has now come to add one more branch and definition to the business of spying…for simplicities sake, we can call it Economic Spying.
What is Economic Spying?
· Identifying, understanding and destroying the path of Terror Finance. As we all know to carry out a terror attack, one needs Explosives, Men, Equipment etc. what is the common factor to do all the above, Money. Let’s think further, what do you need to run a terror organization like Al Qaida? Again, money. In other words, without money Terror cannot happen. Terror Organizations like any organizations need to raise money, move it to the right place, store it and spend it. They have to do all this without anything coming out in the open. To do all these things they use different methods, sources, tactics etc. It is so complex that it is not easy to make this happen.
· It is said that the third war will not be fought by weapons but by money or in other words, it will be Economic Warfare. What does this mean? Simple, read my preamble again, what China has done is that it has (thru its companies) invested heavily in other countries and thru its technology have dug itself deep inside countries the world over. How does it help China? It has access to data, information, ability to influence Government Policies, and impact the public opinion of the country from INSIDE. When someone attacks a country from OUTSIDE its borders, the whole country rises to the challenge, supports its armed forces, and develops a strong opinion against the aggressor country. But, what happens when a country quietly comes INSIDE the enemy country, starts controlling its resources, starts influencing public opinion using very effective but dumb tools like social media, and impacting its economic assets (if it is still not very clear, think termite, think virus…they eat from inside) then the DANGER is even bigger than straight-on warfare. Using Economic means, one could control the enemy countries economy and then when the right time comes, win the war against the enemy country by pulling the plug on the economy and using the traditional military at the same time. In military language, you could call it, the pincer movement.
While I could go on but, I am sure by now, you would have gotten a sense of what I mean by what I am calling as Economic Spying.
Every country, now, needs to have full-fledged organization (almost as big as CIA, Mossad, RAW etc. of the world) who eat, live Economic Spying.
The job of such organizations should be to chase money, money movement, money utilization, from outside the country, within the country, within organizations and also link them to the actions taken by organizations, directly, indirectly, openly, quietly, decipher patterns and judge the DANGERS and ELIMINATE them as quickly as spying agencies do.
It is now strongly believed that if we really want to end Terrorism, cutting the money source is THE MOST POTENT weapon. Turn the money tap off and the organised terror ends.
Similarly, prevent other countries to get inside your own country via Economic or Technical route for wrong reasons and you have effectively eliminated the risk of losing the third world war…the economic war.
Hence my topic….
Economic Spying — Need of the Hour
As always (and I must thank so many of you who have regularly started supporting my blog), please like, clap, share and comment.
Till next time….stay safe, stay blessed, stay happy and healthy.