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Revision as of 22:41, 5 October 2012

Welcome to the Spooks Portal on Powerbase

Welcome to the Spooks Portal on Powerbase—your guide to networks of power, lobbying and deceptive PR. This portal focuses on Intelligence agencies and their activities.

Theorists have traditionally divided the activities of the world's spies into four areas: intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, counterintelligence and covert action. The last of these covers covers a wide range of political interventions, from propaganda and disinformation, through support for front groups to terrorism and guerrilla warfare.

Major Intelligence Agencies

Main page: List of intelligence agencies

Powerbase has a policy of strict referencing and is overseen by an Managing editor and a Sysop and several Associate Portal editors. The Editor of the Spooks Portal is Tom Griffin tom.griffin AT powerbase.info.

Priority pages on Spooks and Intelligence

Eyekeyhole.jpg This article is part of SpinWatch's Spooks Portal, tracking intelligence agencies and dirty tricks.


The Elements of Intelligence

Despite the secrecy which surrounds intelligence agencies, the general nature of their activities is well-known, being based on practices that are thousands of years old. Each of the four main intelligence disciplines present profound issues for democratic societies.

Intelligence collection

Intelligence analysis


  • Classification: Categorisation of information according to its sensitivity, e.g. secret, top secret.
  • Security Measures taken to obstruct hostile intelligence services such as personnel vetting and physical security.
  • Counterespionage: Measures designed to actively frustrate a hostile intelligence service, such as surveillance and collection of intelligence on agents.
  • Offensive counterintelligence Attempting to turn one's opponent's intelligence operations to one's own advantage, e.g. Operation Double-Cross.
  • Deception: Operations designed to mislead an opponent's intelligence analysis, e.g. Operation Fortitude
  • Feedback: Intelligence indicating whether a deception has successfully influenced an opponents analysis.

Covert action

Covert action is a term of art used by the American intelligence community to describe "the attempt by a government or group to influence events in another state or territory without revealing its own involvement."[1] Similar terms include the British Special Political Action or Political warfare and the Russian aktivnye merpriiatiia or active measures.


There are a list of categories associated with this page:

New pages on Powerbase

<recent columns="2" limit="20"  />

Recent changes to pages on Spooks


 title=Newest Pages



 title=Recently Updated Articles


References and Resources

Getting Started

Looking for somewhere to start?

To learn how you can edit any article right now, visit Powerbase:About, Welcome, newcomers, our Help page, Frequently Asked Questions, A quick guide to editing or experiment in the sandbox.

Or contribute a new article: go to Quick Guide to Getting Started.

Research and Writing Tips

How to research front groups | Resources for studying propaganda | Research using the web

Can you help?

Powerbase can be made more effective if more people join the project. If you have research or writing skills or just spare time, you can help.

If you are unsure where to start, you could expand some of the recently created but currently very brief articles. (If you look at the recent changes page you will see some noted as being 'stubs' - articles that may just be a line or two and needing to be fleshed out). So if you would like to add to some of those you would be most welcome.

There is an automatically updated page which includes the pages which have been signalled by Powerbase users as most wanted. In addition there is a page which includes a list of Things you can do to help.

Or if you would like some other suggestions closer to your interests you could drop Powerbase editor, David Miller an email. His address is editor AT powerbase.info

Start Here

Powerbase history

Powerbase is a collaborative venture initiated by Spinwatch in collaboration with Lobbywatch, GM Watch Red Star Research and Corporate Watch, but put into effect by a wide variety of volunteers and independent researchers.

Contributors are now working on 18,646 articles.

Disclaimer: Powerbase is an encyclopedia of people, issues and groups shaping the public agenda. It is a project of the Spinwatch—email editor AT powerbase.info.

Antispam note: To avoid attracting spam email robots, email addresses on Powerbase are written with AT in place of the usual symbol, and we have removed "mail to" links. Replace AT with the correct symbol to get a valid address. We regret the inconvenience this entails. Campaign for more effective antispam regulations.


  1. Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards, by Roy Godson, Transaction Books, 2001, p.3.