[ISN] Is there a snoop on your site?

From: cult hero (jerichoat_private)
Date: Sat May 08 1999 - 14:10:26 PDT

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    The Web can be many thingsadvertising vehicle, retail outlet, mass medium.
    And this one: a corporate-intelligence tool.
    Is there a snoop on your site? 
    By Adam L. Penenberg 
    When consumers first discerned a difference between a URL and a UFO,
    companies rushed to the World Wide Web to wage a new kind of corporate
    braggadocio. They began offering a digital cache of press releases and
    executive bios, job postings and research papers, price lists and details
    on strategic alliances.
    Information, in short, that a company might think twice about handing over
    to a competitor who simply asks for it. But on the Internet, a snoop
    doesn't have to ask. As ever more data go digital for easy access at
    corporate Web sites and in quasipublic databases, spies are making the
    most of it: competitors, tort lawyers and other scary types.
    Everybody does it. AlliedSignal, BASF, Caterpillar, Deere & Co., General
    Electric, Lockheed Martin, Owens Corning, TRW, Warner-Lambert and Dow
    Chemical have gone so far as to hire a sleuthing firm to sift out the
    digital skinny. "Information is more important than steel," says Jon
    Wikstrom, general manager at MVE Inc., a midsize engineering company that
    used the Web to gauge demand for a new type of insulated pipe it was
    developing and check whether competitors were working on the same thing.
    (It turns out they were.) 
    "We know our competitors check out our Web site because we track their
    domain names," says Michael Renda, a manager of Internet projects at
    AlliedSignal. "And, of course, we do the same to them." (Domain names are
    part of the URL, or uniform resource locator, that is an Internet
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