RECENT ESPIONAGE CASES
Since its first publication in 1985, Recent Espionage Cases has offered the security educator easy-to-find factual information about cases for use in briefings, newsletters, and other educational media. 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. These case summaries bear little resemblance to the glamorized fictional accounts of spy novels; rather, they tell a mundane tale 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.
Many of the disasters described in these summaries might have been avoided if concerned co-workers, recognizing danger signs, had been willing to intervene. Other lessons that can be shared with employee audiences are that most offenders are 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, Recent Espionage Cases has consistently been in high demand as a reference source for security managers and policymakers and has been 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 an aggressive prosecution of arrested spies in the mid-70s. Within 10 years, the number of cases brought to court each year had risen to nearly a dozen. Recent Espionage Cases now includes 105 case summaries. New events are added each year as they come to light in the public media.
All cases summarized here were reported in the public news media or appeared in other open-source literature. Each 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. Each case is identified by the year of arrest (or public disclosure of the case) and by the name of a person who was officially named or indicted on at least one count of espionage. 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 Security Research Center will continue to update and publish Recent Espionage Cases 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 Security Service.