inside the man

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Alleged corporate espionage in Canada

Calgary based WestJet Airlines is now the target of two lawsuits alleging corporate espionage. One lawsuit filed last month by Jetsgo for CAD$50 million alleged that senior WestJet executives stole private data in order to gain a competitive advantage. Now a CAD$220 million lawsuit has been filed by Air Canada claiming that WestJet accessed an Air Canada employee web site nearly a quarter million times to gain operating data.

A Canadian Press story has WestJet CEO Clive Beddoe all but admitting guilt with respect to Air Canada's claims, referencing the resignation of WestJet VP Mark Hill in July over this matter. Beddoe's defense seems to be limited to the fact that the information that WestJet received from the Air Canada web site was widely available from other sources.

I find this news personally validating as I have been told time and time again by IT managers in my neck of the woods that espionage is not a valid risk in Canada. Time to revisit the risk analysis, my friends!

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Returned to working as a Management Consultant, specializing in risk, security, and regulatory compliance, with Fujitsu Canada after running the IT shop in the largest library in the South Pacific.

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