Reforms in the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996

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There are two important major reforms that the U.S. established, the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996 and the Theft of Trade Secrets Act of 2012. The U.S. established the EEA of 1996 to protect companies with industrial espionage, theft of trade secrets, fraud, transfer of custody, and penalties on offenses(ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE ACT OF 1996). “The EEA of 1996 is an act that makes theft or misappropriation of trade secrets a federal crime” (LaMance). Activities that are punishable under the EEA of 1996 if the person:
“steals, or without authorization takes, carries away, or by deception obtains a trade secret without authorization copies, downloads, uploads, alters, destroys, transmits, or conveys a trade secret, receives, buys, or possesses a trade secret, knowing that the trade secret has been stolen or obtained wrongfully attempts to do any of the aforementioned activities , attempts to commit economic espionage are punishable under the same penalties. The EEA is particularly severe with people or corporations who steal trade secrets in order to benefit foreign countries or foreign agents” (LaMance). Penalties under the EEA of 1996 if a person is found guilty can be fined up to $500 thousand and serve 10 years in jail. A company can be fined up to five million but if it serves to benefit, a foreign country or a foreign agent fines are up to $10 million and up to 15 years in jail.

In April 2012, the U.S. tried to convict Sergey Aleynikov, a computer programmer at
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