ESPIONAGE AND OTHER COMPROMISES OF NATIONAL SECURITY 1975-2008

Cartoon Picture of Spy

Introduction

Since its first publication in 1985 as Recent Espionage Cases, this product (download) has offered the security educator easy-to-find factual information about espionage-related cases for use in briefings, newsletters, and other educational media. This new edition, issued by the Defense Personnel Security Research Center (PERSEREC), supplements the collection of case summaries with 20 new entries, and updates and expands previous accounts for which we now have more complete information. With this July 2009 edition, we have changed the title to Espionage and Other Compromises of National Security: Case Summaries from 1975 to 2008 in order to more accurately reflect the range and type of events summarized here. Our goal is the enhancement of security awareness among cleared employees and military service members by showing that espionage involves real people in workplace situations like their own and that loyal and conscientious employees continue to be the target of attempts by agents of foreign intelligence services to recruit them as sources of sensitive defense and intelligence information. These case summaries bear little resemblance to the glamorized fictional accounts of spy novels; rather, they tell mundane tales of human folly resulting in tragic personal consequences.

Cases can be accessed in three ways: by date of arrest, name of the offender, and organization on which or from which information was taken. Click below on the desired means of access.

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1975-80   1981-1982   1983   1984   1985   1986-1987   1988   1989
1990-1992  1993-1995   1996   1997-1999   2000-2004   2005-2008

Many of the disasters described in these summaries might have been avoided if concerned coworkers, recognizing danger signs and personal vulnerabilities, had been willing to intervene. Other lessons that can be shared with employee audiences are that most offenders were trusted insiders, not foreign agents; even "friendly" countries have been the recipients of stolen US classified information; and these damaging betrayals can occur in either government or contractor organizations.

In addition to serving the needs of the security educator, this publication through several editions since 1985 has been consistently in high demand as a reference source for security managers and policymakers and used in the training of counterintelligence and security professionals in government and industry.

The year 1975 was selected as the starting point for these case summaries as it marked the end of a 10-year period of relative quiet in the active prosecution of espionage cases. According to news reports, the government decided to resume aggressive prosecution of spies in the mid-1970s. Within each year of the decade that followed, the number of cases brought to court rose to about ten a year, peaking in 1985. Since we have continued to update and reissue this publication while retaining all of the older case summaries that are still instructive, it was reasonable to change its title with this reissuance from 'Recent Espionage Cases. The collection now includes 139 case summaries in which US information or assets have been targeted. New cases will be added in future updates.

All cases summarized here were reported in the public news media or appeared in other open-source literature. Each case summary identifies one or more offenders who were implicated in an effort to illegally provide US classified or other sensitive national defense information to a foreign interest or in any other action that seriously compromised national security information. Each summary is identified by the name of a person who was officially named or indicted on at least one count of espionage or espionage-related offenses. The authors offer selected citations at the end of case summaries should a reader wish to refer to original sources for more information.

Consistent with our interest in developing innovative products to support security education, the Personnel Security Research Center will continue to update and publish Espionage and Other Compromises of National Security in electronic format to allow for easy downloading and printing should hard copy be desired.

The public media articles on which many of these case summaries are based do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, nor does this publication constitute endorsement or confirmation of these facts by the Department of Defense or the Defense Personnel Security Research Center.

For comments and questions contact PERSEREC at perserec@osd.pentagon.mil