Spies – Nothing new!

People have been spying on people since the biblical times. I wonder why we are so surprised when a country or a company detects that an individual or a group of individuals are soliciting information for another country or company.

Every country does it to someone. We are in the information age and information can give one an advantage in diplomacy, in politics, in business, in war, in manufacturing and even in sports by learning the signals of an opposing team via binoculars.

The notable spies of history: Nathan Hale, Belle Boyd, Mata Hari, Alger Hiss, the Cambridge Spies – Burgess, Blunt, Maclean and Philby, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, Aldrich Ames, Giacomo Casanova, Klaus Fuchs, Major John Andre, and Richard Sorge.

Some specifics from the People’s Almanac:

“Moses ordered Joshua to lead a band of 11 spies into the land of Canaan.

In 334 B.C. Alexander the Great intercepted the outgoing mail from his soldiers and spying on them.

In 878 A.D. England’s King Alfred the Great disguised as a wandering poet-singer sang through the Danish military camps and got enough information to defeat the Danes at Edington.”

During the “cold war,” it was a touch more dramatic to catch a spy in either the United States or in the then Soviet Union. Not so today.

In Many ways, spies are disguised soldiers. They gather and disseminate information for the advantage of their country. It is barbarically interesting that because spies do not wear the uniform of their country, they can be summarily executed. Fortunately, businesses do not have the right to terminate a life. There are probably some company individuals who would like that option to keep their proprietary information intact.

Spying not much different from voyeurism, Peeping Toms, table listening or eavesdropping. The information may be less threatening to national security, but it is spying nonetheless.

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