What is “espionage”?Espionage (/ɛs.pi.ə.nɑ:ʒ/) or spying involves agovernment or individual obtaininginformation that is considered secret orconfidential without the permission of theholder of the information. Espionage isinherently secret, so that the legitimate holderof the information doesn’t change plans ortake other countermeasures once it is knownthat the information is in unauthorized hands
SpiesBasically, anyone who works in the world ofespionage could be called a spy. Many of theworld’s spies work for government intelligenceagencies such as the American CIA, the BritishMI-6, and the former Soviet KGB.A spy’s primary job is to collect valuableinformation for their agency. To do this, anideal spy doesn’t stand out in the crowd. Infact most real spies at first may seem to bevery boring people that you would never wantto talk to. Real spies do not dress in expensiveclothes, carry guns in their pockets, or driveexpensive cars.
Handler A handler or case officer is an intelligence officer who is a trained specialist in the management of agents and agent networks. Case officers manage human agents, and human intelligence networks. Case officers spot potential agents, recruit prospective agents, and train agents in tradecraft. Case officers emphasize those elements of tradecraft which enable the agent to acquire needed information, as well as to enable the case officer to communicate with and supervise the agent. Most of all, case officers train agents in methods of avoiding detection by host nation counter- intelligence organizations.
Secret Agents By definition, an "agent" acts on behalf of another, whether another individual, an organization, or a foreign government. Agents can be considered either witting or unwitting, and in some cases, willing or unwilling. Agents typically work under the direction of a principal agent or a case officer. When agents work alone, and are not members of an agent network, they are termed "singletons". In intelligence circles, agents are often known as assets.
Mole A mole or double-agent is a spy who works for an enemy nation, but whose loyalty appears to be to his own nations government. In some usage, a mole differs from a defector in that a mole is a spy before gaining access to classified information, while a defector becomes a spy only after gaining access. However, others use the term mole to describe any agent of a foreign power within a government organization.The term "mole" is also commonly used to describe anyone working in oneorganization, seeking access to confidential information that they will pass to theorganization for whom they really work. For example, a news reporter seekinginformation on a certain company may take a job with the company to observe thepractices first-hand.
Spy RingA group of spies working together inthe field to accomplish a mission areoften known as a spy ring. Many spyrings a cell system where none of themembers of the cell know all of theother members of their same cell. Inthis way, if one spy is captured, theycan not put all of the other members ofthe operation in danger because theycan not tell secrets if they do not knowthem. A cell of agents living in a foreign country that is not currently active is known as a sleeper cell. A sleeper cell may remain inactive for a long period of time, until the time for their mission arrives.
What do you think?• Do you think it would be interesting to be a spy?• What kind of spy work do you think you would be best suited for: a handler, an agent, or a mole?• Have you ever met someone who you thought could be a spy?
Dead dropA dead drop or dead letter box is a method of espionage tradecraft usedto pass items between two individuals by using a secret location and thusdoes not require them to meet directly. Using a dead drop permits a CaseOfficer and his Agent to exchange objects and information whilemaintaining operational security. The method stands in contrast to the livedrop, so called because two persons meet to exchange items orinformation.
Concealment deviceConcealment devices or diversion safes are usedto hide things for the purpose of secrecy orsecurity. They are made from an ordinaryhousehold object such as a book, a soda can, acandle, a can, or something as small as a coin. Theidea is that such an inconspicuous object wouldnot be expected to contain anything of worth.Examples in espionage include dead drop spikes fortransferring items to other people, and hollowed-out coins or teeth for concealing suicide pills.Examples in smuggling include suitcases with falsebottoms for hiding contraband.
False Flag Operation False flag (aka Black Flag) operations are covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other parties. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than ones own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and can be used in peace-time.
Honeypots In the world of espionage, the term “honeypot” refers to the use of sexual seduction to recruit agents, or perhaps trap an enemy agent. For example, a scientist living in London, Mordechai Vanunu, who had disclosed Israeli nuclear secrets, began an affair with a Mossad (the Israeli intelligence service) agent, Cheryl Bentov, operating under the name "Cindy" and masquerading as an American tourist, on September 30, 1986. She persuaded him to fly to Rome, Italy, with her on a holiday. Once in Rome, other Mossad agents drugged him and smuggled him to Israel on a cargo ship.
SurveillanceSpys often employ survaillancetechniques to gather information.Surveillance is basically the monitoring ofthe behavior, activities, or other changinginformation, usually of people for thepurpose of influencing, managing,directing, or protecting.Another method used by spies iseavesdropping. Eavesdropping is the actof secretly listening to the privateconversation of others without theirconsent. For example it is common forspies to tap into the phone system tolisten in on the calls of the people theyare watching.
Bugs and Wiretaps A covert listening device, more commonly known as a bug or a wire, is usually a combination of a miniature radio transmitter with a microphone. The use of bugs, called bugging, is a common technique in surveillance, espionage and in police investigations. It is often necessary for an agent to sneak into a private area to plant a bug, so that they can then listen to the conversations in that room.A bug does not have to be a device specifically designed for the purpose ofeavesdropping. For instance, with the right equipment, it is possible to remotelyactivate the microphone of mobile phones, even when a call is not being made,to listen to conversations close to the phone.
CryptographyCryptography (from Greek κρυπτός,"secret"; and γράφειν, "writing“) is thepractice and study of techniques forsecure communication in the presence ofthird parties (called adversaries). Themethod most often used to ensuresecure communication is through the useof secret codes. While secret codes havebeen used for thousands of years, inmodern times computers and high-levelmath are often used to create secretcodes.
Substitution CypherThe pigpen cipher is a geometric simplesubstitution cipher which exchanges lettersfor symbols which are fragments of a grid. Theexample key shows one way the letters can beassigned to the grid.The use of symbols is no impediment tocryptanalysis, and this system is identical tothat of other simple substitution schemes.Due to the simplicity of the cipher, it is oftenincluded in childrens books on ciphers andsecret writing.
One-time padIn cryptography, the one-time pad is a type of encryption which has beenproven to be impossible to crack if used correctly. Each bit or character from theplaintext is with a character from a secret random key (or pad) of the samelength as the plaintext, resulting in a coded message. If the key is truly random,as large as or greater than the plaintext, never reused in whole or part, and keptsecret, the coded message will be impossible to decrypt or break withoutknowing the key.
What do you think?• Did you ever use secret codes when you were in school to keep secrets from your teachers?• Are you worried about people listening in on your phone conversations?• Do you think a honeypot could convince you to do something you think is wrong? What if it is only a small thing?