Seeking dishonest advantages


Those who spy, endevour to get access to classified information, information which should remain secret.

Those who spy seek access to classified information in order gain an unfair advantage over their competitors such as political opponents, military rivals or economic and scientific adversaries.

Spies can be either on a state's pay-roll or work for a competing company. The "Verfassungsschutz" (Agency for Protection of the Constitution) has the responsibility to deal with espionage conducted, controlled and financed by other states.

Competing for the lead in knowledge

After the collapse of the former Eastern Block and the end of east-west confrontation, many believed that espionage ceased to be worthwhile. Indeed, military and political espionage had its heyday in the cold-war-era, however, today, intelligence services around the world are competing more than ever to gain an edge as far as technological, economic and scientific know-how are concerned.

Governmental institutions and activities can nevertheless fall prey to espionage. Therefore documents, information and installations which the Federal Republic of Germany wants to and has to keep secret must be protected against treason and unauthorized access.