For many, the counter side of intelligence — or, the activities you use to prevent a given actor from gaining intelligence on you — barely receives a mention. There are plenty of resources on how to get intelligence, and that’s what most people focus on. In reality, intelligence and countering makes up a sort of balancing act: you’re trying to collect while your adversary engages in counterintelligence to thwart that, and meanwhile the same is (hopefully) going on in reverse. Counterintelligence is a critical part of your group’s activities, and there are resources available to learn about that as well.

This is just a very slight scratching of the surface on the topic, but I highly suggest you read all of them. Not every word in every book is applicable to you; as you read these, however, you’ll get a feel for what to discard for your own situation, and what you can use. Something to remember is that what works for one group may not work for another; specific tradecraft practices or activity choices could have different pros and cons attached to them based on everything from locale to finances to group size and goals. You should, however, get a good understanding of even the things your group doesn’t use — because someone else is using them, and quite possibly using them against you.

Also keep in mind that when learning about counterintelligence, it’s also beneficial to read about successful intelligence collection operations. By doing so, you can get your mind working on questions like, “How could the target have prevented this level of collection from happening?”

Spying on America: The FBI’s Domestic Counterintelligence Program
By James Kirkpatrick Davis

This is one of several on FBI activities; you should have a very good understanding of FBI intelligence programs — and I don’t mean in a meme-sharing, complaining-over-a-beer kind of way. You should be able to understand how they happened, what factors combined to make them possible, where their targets failed, and how you can avoid those same pitfalls. For instance, you’ll probably come away from reading a lot of these books and think you need to downgrade your cell phone to an old flip phone. That is a valid counterintelligence activity, and one that you’ll need to consider as part of your critical information analysis (under the step asking “What am I willing to do to prevent my adversary getting my information?”).

There’s Something Happening Here: The New Left, the Klan, and FBI Counterintelligence
By David Cunningham

Ruby Ridge
By Jess Walter

American Intelligence in War-Time London: The Story of the OSS
By Nelson MacPherson

Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards: U.S. Covert Action & Counterintelligence
By Roy S. Godson

James Jesus Angleton, the CIA, and the Craft of Counterintelligence
By Michael Holzman

There are many, many more, but this will get you started. If you have questions, there is still time and one or two seats left in the Q&A session NC Scout and I are putting on tonight.

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