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Theft Of Trade Secrets

The Silicon War Triology

The Fog of War

"War is the domain of uncertainty. Three-fourths of the things upon which action in war is based are more or less hidden in a mist of uncertainty. A keen and penetrating intelligence is necessary to ascertain the truth and most people don't have it."

- Carl von Clausewitz, On War





It was still dark on this Wednesday morning school day when Dianne Gopal heard the front doorbell ring. She had been awake for over a half hour fixing her two boys breakfast before school. As always, the neighbor hood kids had come over for a free breakfast before they walked to school with her boys.

She was now on a self imposed, ridged schedule ever since her husband started the heavy traveling. She justified this by getting up at 5:30 am, exercising, and then fixing breakfast for the kids as being the perfect mom. At least she could be a good mom. However, everyone also knew she was no longer sleeping. Her marriage was in trouble and her husband was always gone -- only, five days at home in the last two months.

This morning was no different as she got her two boys dressed for school. The youngest, Mathew 6, as always wanted cereal but the oldest, Andrew 9, was attempting to fry an egg to help his mom out. Then the doorbell rang the second time and then came the knock, no-the pound on the door.

As she yelled out "Just a minute, just a minute" she walked into the entryway, grabbing the jackets for her boys to wear. She was only in her bathrobe when the heavy knock on the front door came again. As Dianne opened the front door...

"Police! Open up! We have a warrant..." and in pushed seven police officers their guns drawn.

Dianne screamed "Don't hurt my boys!" But it was too late; they were already being physically picked up and rushed out to the waiting Police cars where they were locked in the back seat of separate cars, each screaming in sheer terror.

Then five more police cars quickly rolled up with flashing light as more officers got out to cordon off the area and help search the house. Of course, this brought out the neighbors. Then came the TV crew that went live three minutes after the first knock on the door. It seemed that they had been waiting around the block for the action to start. Then came more press.

In between the shock and tears, Dianne asked the head officer "What's wrong? What's going on"?

"Your husband has been arrested as a spy, so make it easy on us," he yelled in her face "Where does he keep the secrets"!

No, this was not the Russian Militsiya or East Germany's Volkspolizei. This was the Santa Clara Police Department in Santa Clara, California, USA -- the heart of Silicon Valley.

Santa Clara Police reports time stamped this true event on Wednesday, September 27, 1978, 6:57 am. And this was the start of a very bad day for me.




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