Why do people spy on others

Hanisauland: Lexicon @todo: from Preprocess

Espionage in your class

Imagine, as a team with some classmates, you make a great invention for a school competition. You worked hard for it and you have a great chance of winning first prize. Then you will learn that another team has discovered your closely guarded secret. The other team just adopted your invention without actually working on it. This is called "espionage", the perpetrators are "spies".

Corporate espionage

This example can be transferred to other and larger areas. There is also espionage in industry and in other commercial enterprises. Agents spy out company secrets and steal valuable knowledge. Other companies want to gain advantages in economic life in this way.

Espionage between states

States also spy on one another. They want to know what the other state is planning. Here, too, the spying state hopes for advantages for the future. It happens again and again that such espionage activity is discovered. It can result in the spies being arrested and convicted. Sometimes the states later exchange their spies. But since all of this is very secret, not much of this kind of thing gets to the public.


If someone passes on military or other important secrets of his state to a foreign country, he can be punished for treason. It is possible that this betrayal could threaten the security and peace of one's own country.