Counter intelligence is the action taken by each and every intelligence organizations and other related sectors in order to prevent or put a stop on the other intelligence organizations that poses a threat to them.
Furthermore, this type of action is taken by such intelligence organization to thwart hostile or intimidating enemy intelligence organizations from efficiently and successfully collect or gather information and other important data or records that is against them (Shulsky and Schmitt, p.1, 2002).
More often than not, counter-intelligence, just like data gathering in a certain field, offers chances, chances of being successful and chances of failing, and it is important to understand that this is normal and occurs in one form or type of counter-intelligence to the other.
In some instances, there are counter-intelligence agencies which are created by the government. These counter-intelligence agencies or sectors are separate from the intelligence group or sector that the government had already created.
Counter-intelligence agencies had been put up by a lot of country in order to specifically perform or conduct the collection and gathering of information, data, records, technologies, innovations and new facts from the enemy government, agency or intelligence sector. Furthermore, these counter-intelligence agencies research, study and conduct actions or services having specialized purposes (Fleisher, p.12, 2000).
The counter-intelligence activities oftentimes include counter-espionage and may often include activities such as dissemination of incorrect data or records. The counter-intelligence sector or agencies often conduct or spread disinformation that has the goal or purpose of misleading their enemies or other counter-intelligence sectors and directly target the enemies’ intelligence method of collecting data, information and other resources.
In some instances or for some counter-intelligence agencies such as the U.S. Espionage and Intelligence, the focus of their organization is to give or allow scholars and researchers from directly accessing new information, researches, data and other intelligence files which are already declassified (Davis, p.x, 1992).
These information or data given to the scholars and researchers are often in the form of a detailed primary document that is about military, intelligence, diplomatic components or other new records and facts. Such new information is highly needed in order to obtain further or deeper understanding of some incidents or confrontations against other enemy agencies or government.
Most often than not, both counter-intelligence and intelligence activities occur at the same time and side by side, not only among competing governments or military agencies but also in the commercial and private industries. Furthermore, the intelligence and counter-intelligence may also occur among law enforcement groups or agencies and the criminal groups or gangs.
Spies or agents working for a counter-intelligence agency infiltrates the other enemy counter-intelligence agency or sector and prevent the enemy from its activities. In the purpose of preventing data collection and enemy’s human intelligence gathering from properly working, efforts of collecting and new information from them is also taken or done at the same time. In most cases, these spies or counter-intelligence agents have included in their mission or purpose, the detection, neutralization whenever possible, and the exploitation of the surveillance and intelligence activities of the other enemy spies.
Of course, there are instances where the spies or counter-intelligence agents are discovered. When this happens, the counter-intelligence agency or sector has the rights and is empowered by the law and the constitution to arrest these suspected spies.
Upon capturing them, exploitation or information collection and gathering is also done against these spies. Interrogations, subsequent test of loyalty, and manipulations are done by the agencies to the captured spies to take advantage of the situation and benefit from the enemy spy’s existing knowledge. In this sense, counter-intelligence is already being committed or done by the agencies that captured, interrogated and manipulated the captured spy or enemy agent.
Oftentimes, spies or enemy agents do not give in to the counter-intelligence agencies that captured them. In this case, the counter-intelligence agencies often neutralize or get rid of the spy in order to protect themselves or the information which was already “stolen” from them. Killing or neutralizing the captured spies or enemy agents is the next best thing that is done by the counter-intelligence agencies if they cannot exploit the spies.
Captured spies are given chances to talk or squeal what they have learned or collected and bargain a cooperative plea with a penalty of imprisonment rather than directly giving or passing a death penalty. If the captured spy would talk or give all the information that he has, then the counter-intelligence would be a success for those who captured him, while it is a failure for those who “owned” or sent the spy that did not keep the code of secrecy (Godson, p.181, 1942).