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Agent is a term that is generally used inconsistently in the German-speaking area. He can stand for a full-time (full-time) employee of an intelligence service (also known as an intelligence agent or secret service agent ). It is also used for private individuals whose regular, long-term collaboration with an intelligence service is not known to third parties ( intelligence sources , informants , spies ) or for those who, in individual cases or occasionally and without being asked, offer information to an intelligence service without being guided by them and receive orders ( informants ). An agent is also referred to as someone who, under the previous definition, works with another governmental or non-governmental body, e.g. B. the police . As a legal term, agents in Germany are covered by the definition of secret service agent activity in Section 99 of the Criminal Code (StGB).

Agent in the property

Intelligence service employees who are in the "operational area" (on missions abroad) and obtain information there by exhausting their access options are referred to as agents in the facility . This also includes that the agent legally enters and exits the object to be observed due to his living conditions and legend .

Agent provocateur

Agents of the intelligence services (or the police) who penetrate underground organizations not to collect information there, but to induce the group or individuals to take actions that enable state intervention or countermeasures are named as agent provocateur . So it is a political agent who acts as a lure to provoke opposing groups or individuals to take action or make statements. An employee of the police who instigates another criminal offense in order to be able to punish him is also called this way.

Agent network

A group of agents that are organizationally connected to one another is called an agent network or spy ring. The members of an agent network do not have to know each other personally. Some of these interrelationships are also structured hierarchically. The prerequisite here is that the agents in the same network all know each other personally.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. Glossary - Informant. In: Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution , accessed on November 15, 2019 .
  2. Criminal Code Section 99