Spies for sport

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Spies for sport 

NFL security confiscated a video camera and its tape from a New England Patriots employee on the team’s sideline during a game against the Jets in a suspected spying incident (videotaping of an opponent’s offensive or defensive signals on the sidelines is prohibited, though observing them and writing them down seems to be ok). There were also issues about whether radio transmissions had been captured.

We find it interesting that while corporations don’t have much interest in actively protecting intellectual property and critical information (even though it makes up 70 percent of their value), sports teams do. We suspect that this is because there are fewer layers to obfuscate cause and effect. A bad decision or lack of care with IPCI can lead to lost points and lost games very quickly and directly.

This is quite different from a corporation. If a corporation suffers a loss it is less obvious. Sure, they may lose $50 or $100 million in an incident, but if they are not small enough to be put out of business it goes virtually unnoticed. Sure, they may have to fire 1,000 people or close a division, but in a large corporation that will still have no adverse affect on the remuneration of senior managers, and will largely go unnoticed.

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