Encyclopedia > HUMINT

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HUMINT, short for human intelligence, is the gathering of information either by interviewing or tracking a subject of investigation, or by using a combination of 'black' techniques to gain confessions or involuntary disclosure of information.

The KGB considered the following as standard practice, and even defined the MICE acronym to help Soviet agents remember the "tricks of the trade":

Money - Buy the agent
Ideology - Turn dislike of his own country's system to your advantage
Compromise - Trick the target into a compromising situation
Ego - Appeal to the target who feels they deserve better treatment than they are getting, and/or make them feel more important in their own eyes

Many intelligence types refer to the HUMINT task in terms of phrases like "Having feet on the ground" or "Having a source on the ground". This refers to the need for hard HUMINT data to backup or supplant other forms of intelligence.

Related Topics

  • IMINT - Intelligence gathered by satellite and aerial photography
  • SIGINT - Intelligence gathered by interception of signals
  • TECHINT - Technical intelligence

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