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

Why espionage and proliferation?

Being informed on a timely and correct basis is often decisive for success or failure both in vocational and private life. Such an information advantage is crucial to states as well. Collecting overtly available information, for instance, is one of the most important and legitimate tasks of foreign diplomats in Germany. In this way, they are in a position to inform their governments on current events and longer-term developments.

Some countries also try to obtain information that is not publicly available through their intelligence services, so as to attain an information advantage that inevitably is to Germany's disadvantage.

This kind of clandestine intelligence collection is called espionage, which under certain conditions is punishable as treason or as an offence of "working as an agent on behalf of an intelligence service".

The Counter-intelligence Department of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz is tasked with uncovering and countering foreign intelligence services' espionage activities.

Counter-intelligence also comprises preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), related missile technologies or goods required to produce such weapons, and the necessary expertise.

Due to the changed security situation and the increasing number of regional conflicts, some countries consider WMD an appropriate means to counter military threats and to gain foreign policy influence. Uncontrolled proliferation of this weapons technology would jeopardise regional stability and could lead to arms races or military conflicts which could no longer be contained.

Hence, Germany has undertaken to prevent the uncontrolled proliferation of WMD.

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Gebäude 2

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

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

Publications

2017 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2017 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: July 2018
Further information Download
How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

DOI: March 2018
Further information Download
2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: July 2017
Further information Download
Our topics – Facts to know

Our topics – Facts to know

DOI: January 2017
Further information Download
Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

DOI: January 2017
Further information Download
Social media – Risks posed by social networks

Social media – Risks posed by social networks

DOI: March 2016
Further information Download