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. You may request that your identity be protected.
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
- 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.
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
- Individual has been offered financial
assistance for self or family, or an opportunity to earn money with little
work, by any foreign national.
- 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
- Asking others to obtain or facilitate
access to classified or unclassified but protected information to which
one does not have authorized access.
- Obtaining or attempting to obtain a
witness signature on a classified document destruction record when the
witness did not observe the destruction.
- 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 individualís job or
- 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 reason.
- Bringing cameras or recording devices,
without approval, into areas storing classified or other protected
- Downloading classified material to an
Potential Indicators of
- Removing classified or other sensitive
materials from the office without authorization.
- 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 oneís apparent
interests and financial means.
- Excessive and/or unexplained use of
e-mail or fax.
- 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
individualís passport to countries where entries would normally be
- 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
Potential Indicators of
- 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 individualís 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 office.
- 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.