espionageĕs´pēənäzh˝ [key], the act of obtaining information clandestinely. The term applies particularly to the act of collecting military, industrial, and political data about one nation for the benefit of another. Industrial espionage—the theft of patents and processes from business firms—is not properly espionage at all.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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