Espionage is the governmental or corporate practice of obtaining secrets (spying) from rivals or enemies for military, political, or economic advantage. A spy is an agent employed to obtain such secrets. Historically the definition was restricted to a state spying on potential or actual enemies, primarily for military purposes, but has extended to spying involving corporations, known specifically as Industrial espionage. Most nations routinely spy on their enemies, and allies, although they generally deny this. Black's Law Dictionary (1990) defines espionage as: "...gathering, transmitting, or losing...[information related to the national defense]." Espionage, by a citizen of the target state, is generally considered to be a form of treason.

The word "espionage" in governmental language has been replaced by the doublespeak "intelligence"; thus intelligence agency for "espionage agency".

The Cold War involved intense espionage activity between the United States of America and its allies and the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China and their allies, particulary related to nuclear weapons secrets.

Recently, espionage agencies have targeted the illegal drug trade and terroristss.

See: Cold War espionage

Table of contents
1 Notable spies or alleged spies
2 Espionage organizations
3 Intelligence disciplines
4 Espionage technology and techniques
5 Counter-espionage technology and techniques
6 Fictional spies
7 External links
8 See also

Notable spies or alleged spies

Espionage organizations

See also Intelligence agencies and Special Operations Executive

Intelligence disciplines

  • SIGINT - Intelleigence gathered by intercepting communications.
  • HUMINT - Intelligence gathered by a person on the ground.
  • ELINT - Intelligence gathered from electronic sensors.
  • OSINT - Intelligence gathered from open sources.

Espionage technology and techniques

Counter-espionage technology and techniques

  • TEMPEST - Protection devices for communication equipment.

Fictional spies

External links

See also

Secret agent, Spy fiction, numbers station, surveillance.