Counterintelligence indicators are signs that
an individual may already be involved in espionage or other improper use of classified
information. The record of past espionage cases shows that co-workers and supervisors
often overlooked or failed to report counterintelligence indicators which, had they been
reported, would have permitted earlier detection of the spy.
Some of the following indicators are clear
evidence of improper behavior. Others may well have an innocent explanation but are
sufficiently noteworthy that your security office should be informed. If you become aware
that any of the following indicators apply to one of your co-workers, you are expected to
report this information directly to your security office or a counterintelligence office,
or by calling any one of the Hotline Numbers that
various organizations have set up for this purpose.
The security office will evaluate the
information in the context of all other information known about the individual. Depending
upon the circumstances, action may range from simply making a note in the individual's
security file to conducting a discrete investigation.
If your reporting helps stop a case of
espionage, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $500,000. The reward is authorized by
an amendment to Title 18, U.S.C., Section 3071, which authorizes the Attorney General to
make payment for information on espionage activity in any country which leads to the
arrest and conviction of any person(s):
- For commission of an act of espionage against
the United States.
- For conspiring or attempting to commit an act
of espionage against the United States
- Or which leads to the prevention or
frustration of an act of espionage against the United States.
Indicators of Potential Motivation
- Disgruntlement with one's employer or the U.S.
Government strong enough to make the individual desire revenge.
- Any statement that, considering who made the
statement and under what circumstances, suggests potential conflicting loyalties that may
affect handling of classified or other protected information
- Active attempt to encourage military or
civilian personnel to violate laws, disobey lawful orders or regulations, or disrupt
- Knowing membership in, or attempt to conceal
membership in, any group which: 1) advocates the use of force or violence to cause
political change within the U.S., 2) has been identified as a front group for foreign
interests, or 3) advocates loyalty to a foreign interest.
- Repeated statements or actions indicating an
abnormal fascination with and strong desire to engage in "spy" work. Fantasies
of oneself as a James Bond.
Potential Indicators of Information Collection
- Asking others to obtain or facilitate access
to classified or unclassified but protected information to which one does not have
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain a witness
signature on a classified document destruction record when the witness did not observe the
- Offering extra income from an outside activity
to a person with a sensitive job, in an apparent attempt to entice that person into some
unspecified illegal activity.
- Undue curiosity or requests for information
about matters not within the scope of the individuals job or need-to-know.
- Unauthorized removal or attempts to remove
classified, export-controlled, proprietary or other protected material from the work area.
- Retention of classified, export-controlled,
proprietary, or other sensitive information obtained at a previous employment without the
authorization or the knowledge of that employer.
- Extensive use of copy, facsimile, or computer
equipment to reproduce or transmit classified, sensitive, or proprietary material which
may exceed job requirements.
- Taking classified materials home or on trips,
purportedly for work reasons, without proper authorization.
- Working odd hours when others are not in the
office without a logical reason, or visiting work areas after normal hours for no logical
- Bringing cameras or recording devices, without
approval, into areas storing classified or other protected material.
Potential Indicators of Information Transmittal
- Storing classified material at home or any
other unauthorized place.
- Short trips to foreign countries, or within
the U.S. to cities with foreign diplomatic facilities, for unusual or unexplained reasons,
or that are inconsistent with ones apparent interests and financial means.
- Excessive and/or unexplained use of e-mail or
- Failure to comply with regulations for
reporting foreign contacts or foreign travel. Any attempt to conceal foreign travel or to
conceal close and continuing contact with a foreigner, particularly a foreign official.
- Foreign travel not reflected in the
individuals passport to countries where entries would normally be stamped.
- Maintaining ongoing personal contact, without
prior approval, with diplomatic or other representatives from countries with which one has
ethnic, religious, cultural or other emotional ties or obligations, or with employees of
competing companies in those countries.
Potential Indicators of Illegal Income
- Unexplained affluence, or life-style
inconsistent with known income. Includes sudden purchase of high-value items or unusually
frequent personal travel which appears to be beyond known income. Sudden repayment of
large debts or loans, indicating sudden reversal of financial difficulties.
- Joking or bragging about working for a foreign
intelligence service, or having a mysterious source of income.
Other Potential Indicators
- Behavior indicating concern that one is being
investigated or watched, such as actions to detect physical surveillance, searching for
listening devices or cameras, and leaving "traps" to detect search of the
individuals work area or home.
- Any part-time employment or other outside
activity that may create a conflict of interest with one's obligation to protect
classified or other sensitive information, and that has not been approved by the security
- Attempt to conceal any activity covered by one
of these counterintelligence indicators.
How Spies Are Caught,
Exploring the Mind of the Spy,
Treason 101, Spy Stories.