I get upset with people who get this one wrong.

2. A foreign intelligence or security service has many advantages when they are working on their home turf and you are in an unfamiliar environment. Although many foreign countries conduct intelligence operations in the United States, it is much more difficult for them to operate here.

If you have access to valuable information, you can become the target of a foreign intelligence or security service anytime, anywhere. Additionally, you may become a target for scrutiny by design or by chance for any of the following reasons:

If you do become a target, the methods used to obtain information from you or about you could include any one or all of the following: elicitation, eavesdropping, assessment of political attitudes, identification of weaknesses (for alcohol, drugs, money, sex), clandestine microphones (in hotel room or office), "bag operations" (surreptitious entry into hotel room to steal, copy, or download information), or electronic monitoring (of telephone calls, fax transmissions, or computer emissions).

The likelihood of your being a target depends a great deal upon which country you are visiting, the purpose of your visit, and how attractive you are as a target. Any intelligence activities directed against you will usually be conducted in an unobtrusive and nonthreatening manner, although in some cases a foreign intelligence service may employ more aggressive provocation tactics.

Related Topics: Risks During Foreign Travel, Who's Doing What to Whom, Economic Collection and Industrial Espionage, How Do I Know When I'm Being Targeted and Assessed?, Vulnerability to Technical Operations, Elicitation.