Social informatization makes spies face threats

In recent years, technological developments have allowed surveillance to operate with unprecedented speed and efficiency, creating new challenges for intelligence agents to cover their false identities. The popularization and application of advanced technologies such as biometrics, real-time online data, and video surveillance networks have a serious impact on espionage-related work such as recruiting agents, funding support, intelligence exchange, and covert operations.

Everyone is being watched to some degree, and those most likely to be intelligence agents, especially diplomats, have little escape from omnipresent surveillance.

Vast amounts of stolen and legally obtained information are being converted into actionable counterintelligence data sets that can be used to identify agents. This information includes financial details, travel records, medical histories, social media accounts and other forms of personal data.

Some data is stored in databases owned by commercial and government organizations, which state powers may obtain through legal process. In addition, cyber attacks by hacker techniques may also cause data leakage, thereby exposing the true identity of spies.

Cameras of all kinds are everywhere now. Factories, companies, institutions, shops, private cars, public transport, taxis, private residences and personal mobile phones are all constantly recording and transmitting videos and images of the entire society. The combination of high-definition video image technology and artificial intelligence enables remote biometric identification, physiological analysis, and psychological analysis such as face, iris, and heartbeat. The possibility of exposing agents and their covert operations is greatly increased.

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