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The number of U.S. agents involved in clandestine activities is classified, so there's no published information on incidents of espionage by CIA, NSA, or other agencies.
Since the creation of the CIA in 1947, that organization has grown from 10,000 to about 200,000
There's no doubt the worldwide intelligence community and its level of international activity has grown. In World War II, O.S.S. had about 16,000 agents. Since the creation of the CIA in 1947, that organization has grown from 10,000 (1953) to about 200,000. Presumably, the number involved in covert operations has also grown. Face it, the world is ass deep in spies. It's estimated that 10,000 KGB personnel used to be engaged in clandestine operations against foreign countries every year. The KGB, after the 1991 coup and the fall of the USSR, was succeeded by the Federal Counterintelligence Service (FSK) of Russia, which was succeeded by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB).
The rise of the internet and computer networks has expanded the range and detail of information available and the ease of access for the purpose of industrial espionage. Worldwide, around 50,000 companies a day (in 2010) are thought to come under cyberattack with the rate estimated as doubling each year.
“One of the means of perpetrators conducting industrial espionage is by exploiting vulnerabilities in computer software. Malware and spyware as ‘a tool for industrial espionage’, in ‘transmitting digital copies of trade secrets, customer plans, future plans and contacts’. Newer forms of malware include devices which surreptitiously switch on mobile phones camera and recording devices. In attempts to tackle such attacks on their intellectual property, companies are increasingly keeping important information off network. . . . The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack uses compromised computer systems to orchestrate a flood of requests on the target system, causing it to shut down and deny service to other users. It could potentially be used for economic or industrial espionage with the purpose of sabotage. . . . Chinese economic espionage as comprising 'the single greatest threat to U.S. technology'. Concerns about the extent of cyberattacks on the US emanating from China has led to the situation being described as the dawn of a 'new cold cyberwar'." (Source: Industrial espionage).
The world is ass deep in spies
As bigger companies get more sophisticated at security measures, smaller companies, their websites and their intellectual property are increasingly being targeted by cyberattacks, according to Symantec.
Because it will cause clients to be nervous and hesitant about working with companies, no company is willing to admit that it was a victim of business espionage. Hacking into a company's computer system may be the most modern way to steal trade secrets, but experts say most thefts still occur the old fashioned way, by sneaking into a company's offices and making off with classified information. Experts agree that the best defense against corporate theft is to thoroughly vet employees who have access to sensitive information. Then make sure that that information is secure.
Most espionage thefts involve sneaking into a company's offices and making off with classified information
Nearly every country has very strict laws concerning espionage, and the penalty for being caught is often severe. However, the benefits that can be gained through espionage are generally great enough that most governments and many large corporations make use of it to varying degrees, but China is the biggest offender. Unlike other forms of intelligence collection disciplines, espionage usually involves accessing the place where the desired information is stored, or accessing the people who know the information and will divulge it through some kind of subterfuge.
Our government watches your every move
Once they create the technology, can the thought police be far behind NSA's outrage of spying on us decent citizens?
The U.S. no longer needs to whip people off to Guantánamo Bay to subject them to waterboarding to get them to tell us what they are up to. Good old Obama, who came into office on a platform of transparency, with the help of the NSA, is spying on everything and everyone so they already KNOW what everyone is up to. Big Brother Obama IS watching you! Never doubt it again. Edward Snowden's allegations are confirmed: the NSA now admits access to content of phone calls, emails, texts, and IMs without warrants. Interestingly enough, Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize: NSA Whistleblower Gets Nod From Norwegian Politicians. The title speaks for itself.
Heroic NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has demonstrated the type of courage and wisdom we all need to aspire to