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Economic Espionage Act of 1996

The Economic Espionage Act (EEA) is a very powerful law that helps with the enforcement of properly handling information. This is the first federal law that defines and severely punishes misappropriation and theft of trade secrets.

However, according to this act, the government will protect only companies that take "reasonable measures" to safeguard their information.

EEA Violations


A defendant convicted for theft of trade secrets under Section 1832 (which makes the commercial theft of trade secrets a criminal act regardless of who benefits) can be imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined $500,000.

Corporations and other establishments can be fined up to $5 million.