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SCMT538 - Industrial Espionage

Course Details

Course Code: SCMT538 Course ID: 2596 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course provides a framework for understanding and protecting against industrial espionage. It reviews the history of industrial espionage, current methods of information elicitation, and explores counterespionage options to defend organizations. Students will also learn how companies place their proprietary and protected information at risk as well as how to prevent unwanted information disclosure. Topics such as the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 and operational counterintelligence are covered. The purpose of the course is to teach how to recognize and neutralize serious threats to both business and government entities.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 8 Week session
09/30/19 - 02/28/20 03/02/20 - 04/26/20 Winter 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

CO-1: Describe the beginnings of industrial espionage; discuss the dimensions of economic espionage and the criminalization of trade secret theft; and relate the public’s transition to an information society.

CO-2: Explain the international dimensions of business and commerce; and distinguish between competitiveness and legal collection vs. espionage and economic crime.

CO-3: Recognize and express the dilemma of security vs. openness; and evaluate and analyze the Economic Espionage Act.

CO-4: Appraise and evaluate actions to differentiate between espionage and competitiveness in the global marketplace.

CO-5: Describe the paradoxes of security as they relate to industrial espionage; and discuss the importance of observation skills and abilities; and recall the significance of knowledge and technical intelligence.

CO-6: Explain and detail technological observation techniques; and identify and analyze multi-line techniques.

CO-7: Recognize the importance of power and politics; and define and provide examples of internal intelligence.

CO-8: Define and provide examples of external intelligence; and discuss the importance of properly and professionally investigating cases of industrial espionage.

Grading will be based on eight forum assignments; 16 classmate forum responses; current literature review; open book midterm, final examination, research project and class participation.

Forum Assignments (100 points each)

Forum assignments are designed to promote interactivity among all students and enhance the on-line learning experience. Based on various items provided in each Forum these discussions provide maximum flexibility for asynchronous exchanges between faculty and students pertaining to a variety of current issues. These Forum postings count for 40% of your final course grade. There are seven forum assignments during the course. Forums 1-7 are worth a total of 100 points each, or 5% of the final grade. Forum 8 – Current Espionage Literature Review, is worth also worth 100 points, or 5% of final grade. Students must post a response to the weekly forum question AND respond to at least two other student’s original postings. Responses must be a minimum of 750 words (original posting) and cited appropriately in APA style. Replies to other students carry a 250 word count recommendation and should refute, support, or supplement a fellow student’s response using the terms, concepts, and theories from the required reading and/or other outside sources. These responses must also cite appropriately when ever used. Responses must be substantive; replies such as “great posting,” “I agree with you,” etc., are considered shallow and offer little to the group learning process. These types of replies will merit zero (0) points.

Note 1: General rules for all Forums. You will post “one assignment” and a “minimum of two substantive responses” to your classmates each forum week. Always “first repeat the question(s) prior to answering.” Also, do “not” post multi-part assignments in pieces – post assignments in their entirety (all parts in one assignment post). Furthermore, do “not” attempt to submit/upload via Assignments. Importantly, to keep everyone on the same sheet of music, “post only during the current course week” (do “not” post in advance).

Note 2: Forum's are due on Friday each week and must be submitted inside the Forum function. DO NOT SUBMIT inside the Assignments tab.

Note 3: Replies are due by Sunday of the same week. Example: If the original response was due Friday in week 6, the replies to a fellow student must be submitted NLT Sunday end of week 6.

How to complete Forum postings: When completing Forum postings, you must click into the Forum link on the left side of the screen. From there you will see the list of Forums available. Click on the title of the one that you wish to work on and read my opening statement and questions (you will have to click on the “read full description” link to see entire Forum). Once you can view the entire Forum, click on the “Post New Thread” button at the top left of the gray box area. This will open the dialogue box for you to type or insert your response. Ensure you maintain correct naming conventions by using titles associated with each Forum #. For example, Forum 1 should be titled Forum #1 when responding. When you are ready to submit your response, scroll down to the bottom of page and click on "post message."

How Forums are assessed (Rubric):

Synthesis of concepts & response to fellow student (70 pts): The response refers to course resources and shows a clear understanding of main ideas and concepts. There are no irrelevant comments and the information is on point. Ideas are clearly and properly organized. The other learner’s ideas, questions, concerns were addressed. The response referenced reading or lecture materials when needed. The response addressed the learner’s feelings if needed. There were no irrelevant or off-point comments. The posting reflects a clear understanding of the other learner’s ideas. The response provides personal examples that tie in with the course material being discussed. Reflection is evident and clearly ties in with the material presented. Insight was provided to some concept.

The response made proper reference to the course text or to other materials that were referenced or referred to in the discussion. Opinions were also included and were valid. The writing is grammatically correct, clear and concise. The response is well formulated and easy to read and understand. Correct terminology was used when needed.

Response to other student’s postings (20 pts): The responses made proper reference to the course text or to other materials that were referenced. The response clearly refutes, supports, or supplements a fellow student’s response using the terms, concepts, and theories from the required reading and/or other outside sources. These responses must also cite appropriately when ever used.

Response was submitted on-time (10 pts): Response and replies to other students were submitted IAW the weekly assignment schedule.

Forum 8 – Current Literature Review:

The current espionage literature review is worth 100 pts, or 5% of final course grade. Through our personal reading we often come across something that really hits home or is worth passing on to colleagues. In order to complete the current literature review, follow these three steps:

1. Select one of these sources you have read (resources outside of the current course textbooks. Search the web, peer reviewed journals, magazines, newspapers, etc., for literature that directly pertains to espionage or security).

2. Post a one-page review (750 words minimum) (copy & paste inside the forum box) indicating the title, where it was located, the proper citation, and abstract of how it applies to this particular course and the theories we have explored.
3. Respond to at least two fellow student's reviews.

Assignment/Classmate Response General Information and Scoring Details: Essentially, the excellence of your effort will be considered when grading your assignments and responses to classmates. It is critical that you ensure your assignment and responses to classmates are on time and comprehensive – detailed/substantive, to avoid a loss of points. Your grade will be predicated on the quality of your thinking and writing - “not” the length of your writing. Too many words are usually a sign of poor editing (usually not an issue), and too few words are a sign of poor analysis (a more common issue). Still, I expect “much” more in your assignments than your classmate responses. Assignments must reflect some new or original information – do not just regurgitate data or opinion posted by previous classmates.

In most instances, a paragraph or two will “not” fully answer an assignment question/part. Your assignment, notwithstanding how simple the question(s) may have been composed – whether by the author of the text or me, must reflect your college level comprehension, analysis, discussion, application (where appropriate), and learning. To reflect this, thoroughly discuss and relate your answers/responses in both text and student (paraphrase, provide examples, differences/similarities, analogies, etc.) language. This is the forum to reflect your “critical thinking” skills (critical, analytical, evaluative, etc) – not your ability to simply transfer verbatim text content to the discussion platform. In essence, you need to develop, discuss, describe, illustrate, analyze, etc, your answers. Demonstrate your understanding and knowledge in a “comprehensive and cogent manner.” This includes thoroughly explaining your positions/answers. Not comprehensively “developing and supporting” assignment questions/parts will cause point deductions from your assignment scores. For information, most assignments that receive full credit will be answered with multiple and extensive paragraphs (depending on the assignment, 1000 words is within the normal range) and include APA in-text citations and references (text and/or outside sources).

Outside (non-textbook) Sources are strongly recommended for quality, learning, and “scoring” purposes. Specifically, supplement/enhance your assignment content (which is generally drawn from the course text(s) or directed sources) with outside and appropriate references (journals, trade publications, government reports, legitimate/credible websites, etc.) to enhance your knowledge base. Use of the AMU Online Library is highly encouraged.

Citation and Reference Style: Assignments must follow APA guidelines. This course requires students to use the citation and reference style established by the American Psychological Association (APA), in which case students should follow the guidelines set forth in Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). (2009). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. Additional assistance is available at

Important APA/Plagiarism Notes: If you use textbook or outside information in your assignments or classmate responses, ensure you include APA "in-text citations (‘within the body” of your answers) and referencing (at the “end of your assignment”). Remember, if you use a reference, you "must" use an in-text citation and vice versa.

In-text citations and proper formatting of references are not that difficult. For those that need assistance, please use the APA Manual (listed as an optional course text) or see the link to the APA or the AMU online library. A very helpful site is:

FEMA - Protecting Critical Infrastructure against Insider Threats

Scope of Assignment

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public. All are offered free-of-charge. Grading for these courses is Pass/Fail. The course is worth 10% of your final course grade. Upon successful completion a link to access your certificate will be sent to the email address you registered with. In order to receive credit for the course, you must upload a copy of the FEMA certificate of completion to the appropriate Assignment tab.

Course Overview

This course provides guidance to critical infrastructure employees and service providers on how to identify and take action against insider threats to critical infrastructure.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course, the participants will be able to:

  • Describe the threat that malicious insiders pose to critical infrastructure.
  • Identify common characteristics and indicators associated with malicious insiders.
  • Identify actions that can be taken against insider threats.

Primary Audience

This course is designed for all personnel and service providers who are associated with critical infrastructure.

Course Length:

1 hour

Access interactive course at the following URL:

Research Paper (100 points/30% of final course grade)

This assignment requires students to think critically, appraise and investigate an issue related to espionage, and present an informed and well-researched paper. Students must select a topic that applies in general terms and principle to the stated course objectives. This paper counts for 30% of your final course grade. Students must post (NLT week 8) the completed research paper to the ASSIGNMENT section saved as a Microsoft WORD document and labeled: Research(last name).doc. Note 1: Papers must conform to the writing standards located in the Policies section below. Note 2: Papers must be a minimum of 13 pages in length, single-sided, double-spaced, with cover page, Abstract page, body of the paper, and References page(s). The 13 page minimum is a total page count including all items. Review and follow the example paper format posted inside RESOURCES TAB/STUDENT RESOURCE FOLDER. Do not deviate from this format. Note 3: Wikipedia is NOT to be used as a resource. Note 4: Topics do not need to be cleared by the professor. Any topic that relates in some fashion to espionage is acceptable.

Midterm Assignment and Final Assignment

See the assignments tab for details.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Week 1 Forum 2.50 %
Week 2 Forum 2.50 %
Week 3 Forum 2.50 %
Week 4 Forum 2.50 %
Week 5 Forum 2.50 %
Week 6 Forum 2.50 %
Week 7 Forum 2.50 %
Week 8 Forum 2.50 %
FEMA Critical Infrastructure Course 10.00 %
FEMA - Protecting Critical Infrastructure Against Insider Threats: Due End of Week 7 10.00 %
Research Project (Paper) 30.00 %
Research Project (Paper) 30.00 %
Midterm Assignment 20.00 %
Midterm Assignment 20.00 %
Final Assignment 20.00 %
Final Assignment 20.00 %

This text available on-line at:

Book Title:Economic Espionage and Industrial Spying
Author:Nasheri, Hedieh
Unit Cost:$42.39
Book Title:The Quiet Threat - 2nd ed.
Publication Info:Charles C Thomas Pub Ltd
Author:Ronald Mendell
Unit Cost:$45.35

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.