Many foreign governments, including friendly countries allied with the United States, have large communications intercept programs focused against the United States for collection of competitive economic and industrial intelligence in addition to traditional military and political targets. Their targets include research and development and production technology for new products, marketing plans, customer lists, financial data, and contract negotiations. The foreign governments collecting this information typically pass it to companies in their country to foster national economic development. U.S. intelligence agencies, however, are prohibited by law from sharing acquired foreign economic and industrial information with domestic U.S. companies. This can and often does put American companies at a distinct disadvantage.
Are you or your organization a potential target? If eavesdropping on anything you say or write could increase someone else's wealth, influence, or power, then the answer must be, yes, you are a potential target. Many of the technological advances designed for our convenience can easily be used against you. Mobile telephones, for example, are especially vulnerable, but all forms of communication can be exploited in various ways.
The topic on Standard Telephones discusses the plain old standard phone and the vulnerability of your calls being monitored. It also notes other ways the telephone can be used against you, including some ways you might not be aware of. For example, did you know that your telephone can easily be tweaked to turn it into a microphone for recording conversations in your office or hotel room? Mobile Phones have the same types of vulnerabilities as regular phones, but they are sufficiently different to warrant separate treatment.
The Cordless Phone signal usually extends beyond the walls of one's home or office, so it can sometimes be received by nosy neighbors or by hobbyists driving through the neighborhood with scanners looking for such transmissions. Once such a signal is identified, it can be used by others to make calls that appear on your phone bill. The topic on Voice Mail discusses the risk that your message can be stolen if you fail to use a proper password.
Fax Machines share all the vulnerabilities associated with standard telephones but also run several minor risks uniquely associated with the fax. The Other Common Wireless Devices topic describes the significant risk associated with wireless microphones at conferences or other meetings, and lesser risks associated with home intercom systems and wireless video cameras.