In intelligence, assets are persons within organizations or countries that are being spied upon who provide information for an outside spy.

There are different categories of assets, including people

  • that willingly work for a foreign government for ideological reasons such as being against their government, but live in a country that doesn't allow political opposition. They may elect to work with a foreign power to change their own country because there are few other ways available.
  • that work for monetary gain. Intelligence services often pay good wages to people in important positions that are willing to betray secrets.
  • that have been blackmailed and are forced into their role.
  • that do not even know they are being used. Assets can be loyal to their country, but may still provide a foreign agent with information through failures in information safety such as using insecure computers or not following proper OPSEC procedures during day-to-day chatting.

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