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The Economic Impact Of The Commercial Drone Sector

posted on 24 October 2015

by Felix Richter,

Drones are becoming increasingly common in our skies.

It comes as little surprise that commercial UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) are set to contribute billions to the U.S. economy over the next decade or so. By 2025, the direct economic impact of the commercial drone sector will reach $ 5 billion. Read more in Statista’s latest Forbes feature.

This chart shows the direct economic impact from the UAV industry in the United States.

Infographic: The Economic Impact Of The Commercial Drone Sector | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

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* Industrial espionage, economic espionage or corporate espionage is a form of espionage conducted for commercial purposes instead of purely national security. Economic espionage is conducted or orchestrated by governments and is international in scope, while industrial or corporate espionage is more often national and occurs between companies or corporations.

Revelations from the Snowden documents have provided information to the effect that the United States, notably vis-?-vis the NSA, has been conducting aggressive economic espionage against Brazil.[55] Canadian intelligence has apparently supported U.S. economic espionage efforts.[56]

According to Edward Snowden, The National Security Agency spies on foreign companies.[57] A recent report to the US government, by aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman, describes Chinese economic espionage as comprising ‘the single greatest threat to U.S. technology’.[22] Joe Stewart, of SecureWorks, blogging on the 2009 cyber attack on Google, referred to a ‘persistent campaign of “espionage-by-malware” emanating from the People’s Republic of China (PRC)’ with both corporate and state secrets being ‘Shanghaied’ over the past 5 or 6 years.[58] The Northrop Grumann report states that the collection of US defense engineering data through cyberattack is regarded as having ‘saved the recipient of the information years of R&D and significant amounts of funding’.[22] Concerns about the extent of cyberattacks on the US emanating from China has led to the situation being described as the dawn of a ‘new cold cyberwar’.[59]

In December 2007, it was revealed that Jonathan Evans, head of the United Kingdom’s MI5, had sent out confidential letters to 300 chief executives and security chiefs at the country’s banks, accountants and legal firms warning of attacks from Chinese ‘state organisations’.[60] A summary was also posted on the secure website of the Centre for the Protection of the National Infrastructure, accessed by some of the nation’s ‘critical infrastructure’ companies, including ‘telecoms firms, banks and water and electricity companies’.[61] One security expert warned about the use of ‘custom trojans,’ software specifically designed to hack into a particular firm and feed back data.[61] Whilst China was identified as the country most active in the use of internet spying, up to 120 other countries were said to be using similar techniques.[61] The Chinese government responded to UK accusations of economic espionage by saying that the report of such activities was ‘slanderous’ and that the government opposed hacking which is prohibited by law.[62]

German counter-intelligence experts have maintained the German economy is losing around EUR53 billion or the equivalent of 30,000 jobs to economic espionage yearly.


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