Foreign efforts to obtain U.S. technology in violation of U.S. law are not new, but the cost is rising and is a threat to national security, said C. Frank Figliuzzi, who heads the FBI's counterintelligence division. He said U.S. companies have suffered more than $13bn in losses from economic espionage in the current fiscal year.
"What we're seeing is that foreign nations and their intelligence services are understanding more than ever before that it's cheaper to steal our technology than to use their budget resources in this time of economic crisis to develop it themselves," Figliuzzi told the intelligence subcommittee of the House homeland security committee.
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