Espionage or spying involves a government or individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, as it is taken for granted that it is unwelcome and, in many cases illegal and punishable by law. It is a subset of intelligence gathering—which otherwise may be conducted from public sources and using perfectly legal and ethical means. It is crucial to distinguish espionage from intelligence gathering, as the latter does not necessarily involve espionage, but often collates open-source information. When successful, however espionage always produces intelligence.
Espionage is often part of an institutional effort by a government or commercial concern, however the term is generally associated with state spying on potential or actual enemies primarily for military purposes. Spying involving corporations is known as industrial espionage.
One of the most effective ways to gather data and information about an enemy (or potential enemy) is by infiltrating the enemy's ranks. This is the job of the spy (espionage agent). Spies can bring back all sorts of information concerning the size and strength of an enemy army. They can also find dissidents within the enemy's forces and influence them to defect. In times of crisis, spies can also be used to steal technology and to sabotage the enemy in various ways. Counterintelligence operatives can feed false information to enemy spies, protecting important domestic secrets and preventing attempts at subversion. Nearly every country has very strict laws concerning espionage, and the penalty for being caught is often severe. However, the benefits that can be gained through espionage are generally great enough that most governments and many large corporations make use of it to varying degrees.
Further information on clandestine HUMINT (human intelligence) information collection techniques is available, including discussions of operational techniques, asset recruiting and the tradecraft used to collect this information.
Other articles related to "espionage":
... Sunde, leading to his arrest five years later on suspicion of espionage ... In 1954 Sunde was convicted for treason and espionage for the Soviet Union, and sentenced to 8 years imprisonment ...
... Cold War Espionage and Spying - 2001- essays Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin The World Was Going Our Way The KGB and the Battle for the Third World - - - Christopher ... Canada 1994 - Haynes, John Earl, and Harvey Klehr Venona Decoding Soviet Espionage in America - 1999 - Helms, Richard A Look over My Shoulder A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency - 2003 ... The CIA's Secret Operations Espionage, Counterespionage, and Covert Action - 1988 - Srodes, James Allen Dulles Master of Spies Regnery 2000 CIA head to 1961 Sontag Sherry, and Christopher Drew Blind Man's Bluff The ...
... Farish is referenced in the following Venona project decryption 1397 KGB New York to Moscow, 4 October 1944. ...
... Throughout the Cold War, acts of espionage, or spying, became prevalent as tension between the United States and Soviet Union increased ... The KGB, Soviet military group, made use of espionage primarily at the American Embassy in the Soviet Union ... Punishments for espionage in the United States were harsh and involved a quickly issued death penalty, especially the cases that involved betraying one’s own country ...
Famous quotes containing the word espionage:
“He hadnt known me fifteen minutes, and yet he was ... ready to talk ... I was still to learn that Munshin, like many people from the capital, could talk openly about his personal life while remaining a dream of espionage in his business operations.”
—Norman Mailer (b. 1923)
“I cannot think that espionage can be recommended as a technique for building an impressive civilisation. Its a louts game.”
—Rebecca West (18921983)