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Surprisingly, one of the best sources in the history of Russian spying is the CIA. In the 1960s, the Agency produced a series of articles on the methods of the Tsarist secret police to disrupt their political opponents. The articles were classified to ... cia.gov/library/center…
...conceal the CIA’s interest in these methods. These documents are now available online on the CIA’s website. Not only are they of historic interest, but in light of recent events are worth a read because spying methods never change. cia.gov/library/center…
In particular, the CIA were interested in the use of: 1) external surveillance of its own citizens, 2) use of "internal" surveillance--penetration of groups by recruiting agents from among their ranks or by sending in double agents, 3) (controversial) use of agents provocateurs.
Agent provocateur is a French term. Russians perfected the art. Sources undertook the very acts that the secret police were trying to stop. This was so sensitive that the police officially denied it had run agents who organized and participated in sanctioned revolutionary acts...
It would be interesting to see to what extent the CIA incorporated such methods into their activities.
..Use of provocateurs was so reprehensible that this activity was the focus of March 1917 inquiry into Tsarist police abuse.
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