Spies of today aren’t like the spies you see in traditional spy story media, or even most modern spy films and books. Rather than skulking around in dark alleys, most work of the spies of today revolves around the formally illegal data gathering from computer systems, though that is not to say that the spy work of old has been put out to pasture.
There has been recent breaking news announcing Canadian Spies acknowledged for work in Afghanistan and, given the technological status of modern Afghanistan, it’s not surprising to see old techniques again finding their day in the sun.
Without much of the technological framework from which modern governments have been able to use to spy on their citizens, these Canadian spies have had to rely on the much more dangerous and hands-on approach of direct interaction and apparent assimilation with their enemies.
This included being invited into these groups that they intend to stay with, maintaining their cover for vast periods of time, and reporting back to their superiors without identifying themselves as the leaks. Unlike most digital forms of spying, this direct course of action is still held in high regard by citizens the world over, and thus the Canadian government had no problem acknowledging these men and women for their work.
While this kind of spying becomes less common as technology improves, it is likely that it will always have a place in modern espionage, and you have to admire the tenacity and bravery of those who submit themselves to this lifestyle, even if you don’t agree with their actions.