Strategic Espionage: Common forms of espionage in the modern world

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Intelligence agencies continued to use espionage to collect intelligence on both friends and enemies, but the targets of spies changed from people to information. Programs like the United States' "Echelon" have been used to monitor electronic communications, including mobile and international land-line calls and fax transmissions. The focus of espionage also shifted from governmental and political targets to terrorist organizations and threats. While intelligence agencies are staffed by large numbers of administrators and analysts, the most romanticized member of the intelligence community is the spy.

Employed to obtain secrets, spies often undergo rigorous training, intensive background and character checks, and travel to foreign countries.


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Agents may pose as students, tourists, journalists , or business travelers, or they may attempt to pose as a national and spy on an organization from within known as a "mole". An example of the life of a spy is found in Oleg Kalugin.

Espionage - Wikipedia

During the Cold War , KGB agent Kalugin was sent to the United States as an exchange student, with the goal of making as many friends and contacts as possible. Later, he worked as a journalist, simultaneously collecting information and recruiting Americans to the Soviet cause. According to Kalugin, who later became a major general and chief of foreign counterintelligence, the Soviets were unparalleled in their attempts at subversion. Many spies were responsible for disseminating fake information, forgeries, and rumors, such as the rumor that AIDS was invented by the CIA.

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Little is publicly known about spies; espionage is by nature secret, and much of what the public "knows" about the life of a spy comes from fiction and film. Even seemingly harmless facts about the nature of espionage activity, such as the operating budget of the U. This secrecy is by necessity a major part of a spy's life; they must lie to close friends and family in order to keep their occupation secret.

Those involved in real-life espionage activity have denounced the romanticized version of spying found in film and literature. Markus Wolf, the former head of East Germany's foreign intelligence agency, is quoted as saying that spying "is dirty; people suffer. The risks of espionage activity are often high. Spies caught by foreign governments are often deported or imprisoned.

An agent caught spying on their own country can be imprisoned or even executed for treason.

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While there is a lack of regulation on activity performed outside individual countries' borders information gathered from satellites and in international waters, for example , most countries have anti-espionage legislation designed to protect national security. The Directorate for Defense Protection and Security DPSD is responsible for military counterintelligence operations and political surveillance of the military.

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Department 1 is responsible for operational procurement including counterespionage and foreign intelligence collection. Department 2 is responsible for technical surveillance, and Department 3 assesses information. Department 4 is mainly concerned with administration, human resources, legal issues, and schooling for intelligence agents. Department 5 is in charge of security and defense, and Department 6 is responsible for the technological development and maintenance of scientific and communications systems. Unlike many other countries' intelligence services, the BND is forbidden to participate in sabotage , disinformation campaigns, or attempts to influence politics in other states.

In Israel , the Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks, often abbreviated "Mossad," or "Institute," is responsible for the collection and analysis of information, as well as covert operations.

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Some of Mossad's operations include bringing Jews home from foreign countries, preventing terrorism and weapons development in hostile countries, and developing special diplomatic relations. After the collapse of the Soviet Union , intelligence agencies underwent extensive restructuring.

A postcard with an innocuous message sent to an address in a neutral country to verify the continued security of an undercover operative. An agent of one organization sent to penetrate a specific intelligence agency by gaining employment; a term popularized by John Le Carre.

National Security Agency; branch of the U. Department of Defense responsible for ensuring the security of American communications and for breaking into the communications of other countries; "No Such Agency". British term for the bait money, political asylum, sex, or career opportunity offered to a potential defector. Russian term for the security service officer who accompanies delegations to other countries to prevent anyone from defecting. Strings of random numbers for singular use as a key in enciphering messages; the proper use of a one-time pad renders a message mathematically unbreakable.

Office of Strategic Services; U. Photographic intelligence, usually involving high-altitude reconnaissance using spy satellites or aircraft. Items in a spy's pocket receipts, coins, theater tickets, etc. An operative sent to incite a target group to action for purposes of entrapping or embarrassing them. A medium-sized, long-endurance asset for reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition in moderate risk areas.


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  • To delete specific material or revise a report or other document to prevent the identification of intelligence sources and collection methods. View Larger Image. Ask Seller a Question. Title: Strategic Espionage: Common Forms of Espionage has been evolving and, even though the methods keep improving, it follows specific paradigms.

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    These paradigms describe wider strategies and plans that, while centuries ago where designated to promote wars and eliminate rebellions, in modern times have advanced into more obscure means. While describing a parallel between the most common forms of espionage in modern times, the book intends to show how our world has been moving towards a more complex strategy of warfare with higher purposes as it is the case of religious and spiritual espionage.

    It also promotes a better understanding on how strategy in espionage is related to a net of values that extends its domains in acts unseen for the vast majority of the population. Even though introducing merely basic principles it is described here the most common forms of warfare being applied in modern times. While movies and reporters show us a world representing only the surface of its consequences and not the real sources, these real sources reveal a nature far beyond what our eyes can see.