Friday, December 12, 2008

Risks During Foreign Travel

You Are the Target

The risk of becoming an intelligence target increases greatly during foreign travel. As an American government official, scientist, or business traveler with access to useful information, you can become the target of a foreign intelligence or security service at anytime in any country. As described in Who's Doing What to Whom, the threat is certainly not limited to so-called "unfriendly" countries.

Never think, "They wouldn't dare risk something like that against me. They have too much at stake." Many countries do risk it, routinely, because the potential benefits are great and the risks are very low when an intelligence service is operating on its home turf. Even U.S. Government cabinet level officials and corporate CEOs have been assigned to bugged hotel rooms and had all their documents secretly photographed or their laptop computers accessed.

Conversely, never think you are too low-ranking to be of interest. Secretaries, file clerks and cleaning crew are targeted because they can often provide access to valuable information.

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