Spying 101

The glamour and thrill of espionage, brought to life on screen by characters such as James Bond, have long captivated imaginations. But this profession is deeply misunderstood, and it is always changing. Today, spycraft hangs in the balance as new technologies emerge and societies change. 


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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Podcast Host and Producer
Episode Guests
  • Emily Harding
    Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Edward Lucas
    Senior Fellow, Center for European Policy Analysis

Show Notes

In 2020, the United States appropriated more than $85 billion for the National Intelligence Program. However, most people misunderstand the day-to-day activities of the intelligence community. Behind the glamourous Hollywood depictions, is an entire ecosystem of agencies staffed with analysts who work around the clock to gather information. Without them, U.S. security and national defense would be in the dark. 


But espionage must adapt to meet twenty-first-century developments. With the advent of the internet, social media, facial-recognition software, and digital surveillance, being a spy has become nearly impossible. The world continues to change, and spycraft must innovate to meet the mark.


Dig Deeper 


From Edward Lucas


The Spycraft Revolution,” Foreign Policy


From Emily Harding


Four Talking Points for Biden’s Address to the Intelligence Community,” CSIS


Kaseya Ransomware Attack Demands Action to Match Rhetoric,” CSIS


Holding Moscow Accountable for its Criminal Networks,” CSIS


The Intelligence Community’s Annual Threat Assessment,” CSIS 


From CFR


The Declining Market for Secrets,” Zachery Tyson Brown and Carmen A. Medina, Foreign Affairs


Cyber Week in Review: March 26, 2021,” Adam Segal


The Future of Espionage with Emily Harding,” Gabrielle Sierra and Emily Harding

Voter, You’ve Been Hacked,”  Gabrielle Sierra, Joseph Marks, Malcolm Nance, and Laura Rosenberger


How the Afghan Army Collapsed Under the Taliban’s Pressure,” Max Boot


Read More


China’s Spies Are on the Offensive,” Atlantic 


The people’s panopticon: The promise of open-source intelligence,” Economist 


Decade After Cold War’s End, U.S.-Russia Espionage Rivalry Evolves,” NPR 


Watch and Listen


The Spycast Podcast, International Spy Museum 

I Spy, Foreign Policy

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