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It sounds like a scare from 1970s Cold War propaganda or a subplot from the popular TV series The Americans, but the FBI says the threat is real: Russian investment firms may be looking to steal high tech intelligence from Boston-area companies to give to their country’s military.
The FBI singled out a Russian group, the Skolkovo Foundation, founded by the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, that in 2011 enlisted MIT to start an elite technical college in Russia.
“The Foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application,” Lucia Ziobro, assistant special agent at the FBI’s Boston’s office, wrote in an op-ed piece.