Zwei verdeckte Männer vis-à-vis zur Illustration des Arbeitsfelds „Spionage- und Proliferationsabwehr“, Keyvisual Spionageabwehr

What objectives do foreign intelligence services pursue?

Intelligence services act on behalf of and under the control of their respective governments. Hence, the national leadership's political priorities also determine the focal objectives to be pursued by the intelligence services, which – in this context – collect intelligence from various fields.

One focal issue is their collection of intelligence from the fields of politics, trade and industry, science and the military. Foreign intelligence services try to obtain sensitive information from these fields, in order to be informed of Germany's stance in advance, e.g. in case of international negotiations, and to be in a position to foresee future economic decisions, gain information on current research results or intelligence on the military capabilities of the German Armed Forces and their allies.

However, especially in industry some intelligence services are also interested in specific information such as technical expertise, products or marketing strategies of companies. This illegal knowledge transfer can contribute to saving time and development costs and to achieving competitive advantages.

Some foreign intelligence services are legally tasked with supporting their national economies this way.

Another focus of intelligence collection is spying on the opposition. Some regimes try to monitor and spy on their nationals living in Germany, who are either opposed to their governments back home, or who are regarded as posing a threat for other reasons.

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Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Publications

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DOI: März 2018
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