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Knowledge Economy

Are Chinese counterfeiters hacking the computers of European designers in search of the next "it" bag?

The most recent edition of Gnosis, a publication of the Italian intelligence agency SISDe, warns that the "yellow peril" is spreading via the internet -- and that industrial espionage is one of its dangers.  The article quotes Roberto Preatoni, the founder of an international computer security company, as saying, "At one time the Chinese came to the West to take pictures of the windows of shoe stores or fashion boutiques in order to copy the products.  Today, instead, they steal designs directly from the manufacturers' servers and are thus in a position to introduce a counterfeit product into the marketplace even before the original has been commercialized."   

According to the Washington Times, a spokesperson at the Chinese embassy in Washington, DC, dismissed the report. 

Then again, perhaps a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.