image Getting Information

Getting Information Out
Of Honest People Like Me


Methods of Operation

Topics in this module discuss methods that foreign intelligence services, foreign corporations and other intelligence collectors use to obtain protected information of both a military and civilian nature.

Some of these methods are entirely legal. We don't distinguish between legal and illegal methods, because the same foreign intelligence services, corporations and other intelligence collectors frequently employ both legal and illegal methods in a coordinated effort. Both types of methods can have the same damaging result -- loss of a technological edge in either military weapons or the global marketplace.

Moreover, the distinction between legal and illegal is itself sometimes questionable. For example, there is no law against stealing discarded documents from your organization's dumpster or from a trash container outside your home. Until 1996, the United States did not even have a law against industrial espionage.

Discussion in this module covers only part of the picture. Recruitment of spies and technical operations are covered in How Do I Know When I'm Being Targeted and Assessed? and Vulnerability to Technical Operations. Special vulnerabilities while traveling abroad are discussed in Risks During Foreign Travel.

Hotline Numbers lists the phone lines that many organizations have set up for convenient reporting of information on known or suspected foreign intelligence activity.


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