“The multinationals' intelligence needs . . . are not much different from those of the United States, France or any other country. . . .Indeed, any discussion of the intelligence battles among the CIA, KGB, and their satellite agencies will be incomplete if it doesn't describe the increasingly important roles played by the apparats of Exxon, Chase Manhattan, Mitsubishi, Lockheed, Phillips and others," writes Jim Hougan in Spooks, an analysis of the private intelligence agencies.”
“The Third Wave”, Alvin Toffler
Third Wave civilization is held together by information and communication. Covert and clandestine intelligence gathering and espionage is no longer just the tool of nation-states.
Corporations, NGOs, IGOs, political lobbies, special interest factions, think-tanks, city-states and other nonstate groups all make use of espionage and covert intelligence operatives.
This is not just for industrial espionage or sabotage. If you want to interact or do business with someone, it pays to know as much about them as you can. Operations often involve surveillance, verification, disinformation or investigation. Often the duties of the private spy overlap with that of a private eye or journalist.
Some organizations have their own intelligence (and/or counterintelligence) sections. Most use private sub-contractors. Some use a mixture of both. Collaboration with the intelligence services of nation-states is not unknown.
The THS Solar System has hundreds, probably thousands of private intelligence services. An accurate count is impossible since companies are constantly appearing, disbanding or merging. Some are dummy companies or fronts for nation-states, criminals, special/covert forces, mercenaries or other companies.
There is plenty of work for a private intelligence agent, but due to false-flag operations, the use of dummy companies and other security measures, an agent often has no idea who they are ultimately working for.
“You are with Mendez Pham?…I thought we were working for Mendez Pharm!”