Espionage in Modern Society
Our society has become almost obsessed with passing on information. Even if it is not voluntary, it seems as if there is always somebody spying on another person. Whether it is your neighbour checking their home security system to see who comes to visit you, or the latest car crash being on YouTube hours before it hits the news. In this way it appears as if there is nothing that can be hidden.
Appearances can be deceiving, however, because with all the new technology we are acquiring, and the constant threat of a terrorist attack, countries spying on each other has become more prevalent than ever. Even though espionage is often associated with war, this is not the only time that governments need to know what their enemies, or allies, are planning. The threat of war always exists and it is much better to be safe than sorry.
Like everything else in our modern society, the technological advancements dictate changes in the way that we might spy on each other. Much of the current espionage between countries is conducted remotely through the use of computers and satellites. In the US government system there are hundreds of thousands of cyberattacks each day, originating in Beijing alone. They are all attempts to get through firewalls, in order to learn the intelligence procedures that the government puts into place.
There is still a limit to what technology can do, however, and the need to have human spies in certain situations is always a requirement. Iran, North Korea and China probably have the highest number of spies in the US, and there are just as many (or more) from the US in their countries.
Jonathan Pollard, who was a US intelligence analyst, received a life in prison sentence for spying for Israel. This proved that countries can be allies but still feel the need to spy on the other. It was quite a bit of a shock to many of the nation’s citizens, but not entirely unexpected, since the US always has spies in Israel due to the threat of their supposedly secret nuclear project.
Whereas government spies are expected and tolerated the biggest scare to the safety and security of the nation, is actually terrorist spies. Since they are not bound by either law, or in many cases, the same morals as everybody else they will do anything in order to achieve what they desire. One example of this is a double agent Al Qaeda spy in the CIA who committed a suicide bombing, killing several people and temporarily putting a hold on intelligence operations in Afghanistan.
As long as there are government systems, there will be spies from other countries trying to infiltrate them. The best way that it can be handled is to keep up with the technology, and other means necessary, to limit the information that they are actually able to pick up. This way the country and its citizens will be kept as safe as possible.