Below are just a few of the corporations present in the NAF. Unless otherwise stated, each corporation is a member of the NAF zaibatsu.
Daniel Setzka started HyperNet Multimedia fifty years ago. He was a young entrepreneur then, now his patience and diligent work ethic has paid off. He has become one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of multimedia equipment, such as optical storage devices, DVDs, and CDs, in the North American Federation. He has made business ventures into manufacturing microprocessors and other computer components, but has always been unsuccessful and pushed out of the market by larger corporations specializing in these components.
Most of HyperNet's contracts are with computer retail stores and small, privately owned business throughout the United States. This has not stopped his growth in the least, however. His branch offices all show profits between 250,000 and 500,000 dollars, depending on their location to population centers.
HyperNet Multimedia has been increasing its profit margins in the last two years for the manufacturing of the first, stable, 800+ terrabyte optical drive, as well as breakthroughs in CD-R and CD-RW technology resulting in a greater storage capacity on these types of media..
Due to these new breakthroughs, HyperNet Multimedia has increased security at its warehouses and company offices to protect these secrets. Industrial espionage has become an ever-increasing problem for this company due to its new publicity. Warehouses typically have five to twenty security guards, as well as silent alarms and theft deterrent devices. Office buildings holding schematics and formulas for their new optical devices and CDs will typically have a team of three to ten Security Specialists (all expert hackers), as well as varying levels of ICPs and the occasional multiple ICP barriers.
Daniel Setzka has since retired and turned the company over to his son, Nathan. Nathan changed company ethics to near paranoia in the five years since he took over the corporation. He is convinced that someone is attempting to steal his company's hard earned secrets and continues to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to security specialists charged with keeping his information away from prying eyes. He continues to maintain high product standards, but he has become extremely ambitious. He has also begun sending espionage agents to other corporations in hopes of gaining trade secrets from them to enhance his position in the technology marketplace. Above anything else, Setzka still wishes to find a stable position manufacturing and selling microprocessors and other computer components. Setzka is worth a meager (at least when compared with other corporations) $400 billion.
International Secure Shipping (ISS)
International Secure Shipping is one of the largest transportation and shipping companies in the NAF. When International Secure Shipping was first founded forty years ago and for the year following it's founding, the company changed CEOs several times. The company was finally stabilized and expanded by Michelle Taylor, the present CEO. The primary reason for the constant changes was that no one was able to find a secure method to ship anything over long distances without it being completely free of interception. Michelle Taylor changed this with.
Taylor began placing electronic locks on the doors of the shipping vehicle or container. This lock was first activated by a locking card, resembling a debit card, with a locking code entered. This code was different each time the card was used to activate a lock and could only be used to lock the cargo crate or cargo area of the vehicle. A second card that is used expressly for unlocking the cargo containers is given to the client (each one can only be used once). Only those with both the card and the code had access to the product. This process has since been patented by ISS.
Each company that uses ISS as a shipping medium receives one unlocking card, given directly to the person who directly supervises all shipping, whether it is the CEO or the loading dock supervisor. Unless the card is returned, a new one will never be issued to replace a missing or stolen card. In addition to the electronic lock (which could be defeated by a strategically placed explosive device), each shipping vehicle carries a small squad (4-8) of armed guards, provided by the client company. Each guard is armed with a pistol firing Teflon (armor-piercing) rounds as well as a radio in the case of a security breach.
Most ISS contracts are with commercial organizations, though there is the occasional government contract shipping classified material or objects. Their service, as secure as it is, does still have the occasional problems. Over the last 4 years that this security device has been employed, only two shipping items have been stolen, both were commercial products. This has caused a high demand for ISS to transport new products across country and overseas, resulting in a tremendous increase in price (up from $250 to $1000 per 50 miles shipped over the last two and a half years).
ISS stores lock codes and client information on their computer systems. In the last year, Taylor has paid a significant amount of money to consultants and programmers to make this database available over the Internet to employees. This has resulted in heightened security, with a team of 10 security specialists working out of the corporate office in Chicago as well as pairs of security specialists at each branch office in New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Portland, St. Louis, Miami, Paris, and Taipei. Numerous ICPs protect the computer systems and major network nodes are secured with only the highest-level ICPs.
Michelle Taylor has just started to increase her presence overseas by establishing a major shipping station and corporate branch in Taipei and Paris (all shipping instructions are conducted in person and only with proper identification). She is an expert businesswoman and prefers only to protect her investment. Though she was offered a position in the NAF when it first formed, she declined. Taylor's company is currently worth $250 billion.
Based in Toronto, Canada, Case Technology is one of the top ten companies in the communications industry, specializing in secure communications, such as satellite phones and scramblers, and network security. Case is the biggest competitor ANS has (see Advanced Network Systems in the upcoming Neo-Japan material for more info). In addition to secure communications, Case is also a manufacturer of high-end cordless phones (all with features to reduce risk of eavesdropping). Case Technology started just a few years ago and has succeeded in leaps and bounds to its current position. Shelley Vaughn started Case and is very satisfied with its success. She is content to develop technology on her own without the use of spies and industrial espionage. Unfortunately, none of her competitors share that attitude and she must continually keep an eye open for informants, feeding false information to those she uncovers.
Case Technology manufactures and sells secure transmission satellite phones (STSPs) to the government for use in its FSA intelligence-gathering operations overseas where encryption is key. They also manufacture cellular phones and cordless home phones with built in security features to reduce the risk of electronic eavesdropping. Part of the communications industry are computer networks. She provides hardware and software as well as custom programming for use in building and maintaining an internal network accessible through the Internet or phone connection to anyone willing to meet the fees. Since introducing INetwork version 2.3, sales have soared and continue to grow and corporations flock to the company to enlist assistance in building their internal network. The government frequently brings in Case Technology to consult on network security.
Last year, Vaughn unveiled the newest division of Case Technology as a programming headquarters for ICPs. This has increased Case Technology's position in the network security market and caused another influx of corporate customers looking to increase their networks security.
Due to the nature of their business, Case Technology has a security level rivaling that of any government. A large team (20-25) of security specialists can be found at each Case Technology office building. Warehouses typically have a state-of-the-art security system, a round-the-clock team of elite security guards (ex-SWAT/military members), and surveillance equipment. Internal networks have only the best ICP protection on all computers, all of which are custom programmed by Case programmers. All network nodes have an array of ICP protection (usually 6-20).
Case Technology has manufacturing plants in Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, and Alberta, as well as major branch offices in Sydney, Washington D.C., London, and Berlin. Smaller offices of 10-12 employees can be found in most medium to large cities.
Shelley Vaughn is your basic businesswoman. She is ultimately in it for the money, though to maintain her good image, she does make donations to charity and other good causes. She is currently worth $575 billion.