Tag Archives: Stasi

Population Surveillance

What every regime, regardless of ideology, fears the most is the people. In this respect Uncle Sam is no different from North Korea or East Germany, as evidenced by actions taken against its population: targetting peace activists, labor unions, students, etc. Today American citizens are the most spied on in the world, but this massive surveillance operation is nothing new…

“In a secret program called HTLINGUAL, the CIA screened more than 28 million first-class letters and opened 215,000 of them between 1953 and 1973, even though the Supreme Court held as far back as 1878 in Ex parte Jackson and reaffirmed in 1970 in U.S. v. Van Leeuwen that the Fourth Amendment bars third parties from opening first-class mail without a warrant. The program’s stated purpose was to obtain foreign intelligence, but it targeted domestic peace and civil rights activists as well. In a 1962 memo to the director of the CIA’s Office of Security, the deputy chief of the counterintelligence staff warned that the program could lead ‘to grave charges of criminal misuse of the mails’ and therefore U.S. intelligence agencies must ‘vigorously deny’ HTLINGUAL, which should be “relatively easy to ‘hush up.'”

From: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/The-CIA-Burglar-Who-Went-Rogue-169800816.html?c=y&page=2

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
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A Stasi informant in every family

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“This week, the commission for the Stasi files will publish a handbook on the HVA, the Stasi branch that handled foreign intelligence and was run by legendary spymaster Markus Wolf. The book offers new insight into the Stasi’s work in West Germany, making clear for the first time just how purposefully and extensively the East German intelligence service had West German politics and society in its sights.

It’s now possible to reconstruct in unprecedented detail where and how the Stasi cast its nets. The organization had 149 informants active just in Bonn, the former West German capital. There were 542 in West Berlin.

It seems the HVA recruited most of these spies from industrial sectors, as a way of obtaining Western technological knowledge. It also maintained excellent connections in the center-left Social Democratic Party, where 78 unofficial collaborators and other contacts kept East Berlin up to date, 13 of them serving as sources of information on activities within the party’s executive committee. The Stasi was also well informed on internal matters in unions, churches and universities.”

Read More: http://m.spiegel.de/international/germany/a-799335.html#spRedirectedFrom=www

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Omnipresence of spies and informants

On the occasion of last month’s 50th anniversary of construction of the Berlin Wall the press published pieces on the omnipresence of spies and snitches for dictatorial regimes, such as that of East Germany’s, taking aim at Stasi. Its spies and informants penetrated every aspect of society, from professional groups to the bedrooms:

“Just to have an idea of the magnitude of interference, the Stasi used a network of informants in a ration of one in ninety East German citizens.”

To illustrate the pervasive nature of Stasi’s spy network, the Washington Post quoted the Cold War bureau chief of Associated Press, who doubled as a spy for U.S. intelligence…

Ah, the pervasiveness of spies and informants in dictatorial countries!

Source: http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/israel-goodwill/2011/aug/15/berlin-wall-and-stasi-most-powerful-espionage-serv/

Swallows and Ravens

“The first honeytrap in recorded history come in the Bible where the two honeypots in chief were Delilah and Judith. The latter seduced the enemy commander Holofernes and assassinated him, and famously Delilah seduced Samson and got him to reveal the secret of his enormous strength (his hair), before she went on to be immortalised in song by Tom Jones.

In the modern era honeypots (of both sexes) were used by both sides in the Cold War but perhaps because they were ultimately defeated, we know a lot more about the honeypot techniques of the KGB and Stasi (the East German secret police) than we do of the techniques employed by the Americans and British. In the Soviet Union, for instance, “swallow” was the KGB codename for women honeypots, and “raven” the term for men. An ex-CIA officer has claimed that the West “found that offers of money and freedom worked better.”

Cases of female honeypots entrapping men are so common that even very recent history is littered with them.”

Source and more: http://www.sabotagetimes.com/people/the-spy-who-fucked-me/

Espionage terms

Anatomy of CIA recruitment techniques

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How Marja-Liisa Linkoaho, a Finnish consular employee, was recruitted by CIA to smuggle agents out of East Berlin:

“When I was going to work in the morning, before nine in the morning, the car was not on Prenzlauer Allee, where I had left it. I was quite desperate. I owed much money, and the money had been invested in the car that was now stolen.”

It was as if someone had been waiting for this determined woman to have a weak moment.

A few days later Linkoaho was contacted by the US Central Intelligence Agency, which offered her an opportunity to work for the CIA. In return she would get some monetary compensation, as well as a Western car of her own.

“The CIA had contacted me a few times before. I always said that I felt that I had enough to do already. I did not want more responsibility, so no thank you.”

Now the situation was different, and Linkoaho agreed to the proposal. Her mission was to be an assistant and a rescuer in case things go wrong. If a CIA agent in East Germany were to need to flee quickly to the West, it would be the task of the Finnish woman to bring the agent across the border hidden in her car.

Now Linkoaho got a 1959 model Opel Rekord beige-coloured car with the registration number IA 61-15.
It was an ordinary Opel, but its twin included American espionage technology. The CIA vehicle had a mechanism installed, which made it possible to hide a person in the back seat. The CIA even had to put a dent in the sister vehicle in the same location where Linkoaho’s car was also dented.”

Recapping:

1) CIA tries to recruit the woman several times, but she refuses each time.

2) She borrows money to buy a car.

3) The car gets “stolen”, but the debt must be repaid.

4) CIA offers to pay off her debt, if she agrees to spy…

More: http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Finnish%2Bconsular%2Bemployee%2Brecruited%2Bby%2BCIA%2Bto%2Bsmuggle%2Bagents%2Bout%2Bof%2BEast%2BBerlin/1135268587387

The Art of Spy Disguise

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“What did East German spies wear to work? Archival photographs uncovered by a Berlin-based artist reveal disguises that included fur hats, upturned collars, and, naturally, sunglasses. The images from the Stasi secret police course on the ‘art of disguising’ provide a sometimes absurd perspective on what the Cold War era spies considered inconspicuous.”

Source and more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,777716,00.html