Covert Human Sources
Collecting intelligence from covert human sources is the most complex endeavor of any intelligence service. Beyond technological and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) developments, human sources are essential in gathering and validating national security intelligence.
The selection and training of officers working with human sources is very strict. Taking advantage of their superior social and communication abilities, the officers make possible the involvement of individuals who can access relevant information to the preservation of national security.
Recruitment of covert human sources is a complex process made up of various stages:
- Evaluating and assessing both the potential of the target to supply information relevant to national security, and its willingness to cooperate;
- Establishing communication;
- Developing and maintaining a relation based on trust.
Therefore the agent is the individual who provides information voluntarily. This information together with data from other sources (technical, open) provides a complete overview of risks and threats.
Working with covert human sources takes a calm and balanced approach. One needs to be able to divide one’s attention, to find hidden meanings in apparently minor details, to have good knowledge of the non-verbal language and a deep understanding of human psychology.