Reporting Foreign
Intelligence Activity

You are required to report the following to your security or counterintelligence office:

  • Any effort by any individual, regardless of nationality, to obtain illegal or unauthorized access to classified information or to compromise you or any other cleared employee.  In addition, all contacts by you or any other cleared employee with known or suspected intelligence officers from any country, or any contact which suggests that you or any other employee may be the target of the intelligence service of another country or other clandestine group shall be reported.1
  • Any other known, suspected, attempted, or planned activity that threatens U.S. national security. This includes unauthorized release of or access to any classified or otherwise sensitive information, intrusion into an automated information system containing classified or otherwise sensitive information, or information relating to terrorism, sabotage, subversion, or illegal diversion of U.S. technology to a foreign country.
  • Knowledge of any activity by a foreign country or organization that suggests that country or organization may have unauthorized knowledge of U.S. national security information, processes or capabilities. This is called reporting "anomalies" and is explained further in Reporting "Anomalies."

Many people who have not been trained in how intelligence services operate do not recognize when they are being targeted and assessed. Many trusting individuals do not recognize that a seemingly innocent request for unclassified information is a common first step in assessment and development of a potential source. All individuals with frequent foreign contacts should read How Do I Know When I'm Being Targeted and Assessed?

If you become aware of any intelligence or terrorist activity against the United States, you should not conduct your own investigation, should not put yourself in any dangerous situation, and should not tell family or friends of the incident. Rather, you should as soon as possible write down as many details as you can remember and then report it to your security office, the FBI, or by calling any one of the various Hotline Numbers established for this purpose.

If you are the target of the activity, you should not divulge any information and should not take or sign anything. You should listen carefully, be observant, and remember as many details as possible. Keep all options open by neither agreeing nor refusing to cooperate. Remain calm, be noncommittal, ask for time, and report immediately to your security office.

Your responsibility to report potentially significant security information concerning a co-worker or other person with access to classified information is covered in Reporting Improper, Unreliable or Suspicious Behavior

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.

If you ever discover what you believe to be a listening device, it is important that you say or do nothing that would tip off those who planted the device to the fact that you have discovered it.  React in the following manner:

  • Do not say anything to indicate what you have found or what you suspect the device to be.
  • End your conversation as naturally as possible and leave the area.
  • Report promptly to your security officer without mentioning your suspicions to anyone else.

1. National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual, paragraph 1-302.  Presidential Decision Directive NSC-12, Security Awareness and Reporting of Foreign Contacts, August 5, 1993.




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