If there is something to be gained by betrayal, some henchman of yours is someday going to entertain the idea of doing it at their earliest opportunity. It could be an essential bit of mission planning, or perhaps a hidden vulnerability in one of your defenses that the other side could exploit at a potentially embarrassing time: anything that tips the delicate balance against you can be up for grabs. One must remain vigilant for the warning signs of impending treachery among your staff, and probe for moles working for the enemy with the utmost of vigor. The price of laxity is potentially an memorably messy spectacle.
- At risk individuals. Identifying those who are most likely to sell you down the river is a multifactor assessment: those with the most to gain, with access to the most valuable intelligence, with the weakest ties to you personally and professionally are the ones who should fall under your gaze the earliest. Also those who have been promoted through their deeds and who may believe themselves to be beyond suspicion are by that very fact candidates for scrutiny. Train those individuals on the front lines of recruiting in watching for the telltale signs, innocent though they may seem at first, and note these down in the permanent personnel record for the individual.
- Counterintelligence squad. If your preferred means of operation is through secrecy, it may be worth your while to designate a team whose main job is to oversee the hunt for spies within the organization, from the hiring process through training and live missions. Through a strict surveillance regime backed up by a policy of compartmentalizing the operational details of every mission, along with sufficient technological means to intercept and break encrypted communications to your adversaries, this can keep the threat of a severe compromise of security to a minimum.
- Set up a honeypot. If you have identified the existence of a leak, you may wish to leave a valuable target in the open to tempt the traitor into leaking some of its contents to the other side. By varying the contents of the honeypot over time, you can trace the conduit of the information to a small number of persons who had access at the corresponding time. For this to be a long-lasting countermeasure, it is important that its fake contents be both convincing to outsiders over a long stretch of time, a considerable investment in your own effort that needs to lead to a high-valued catch or two.
- Make an example. Once you have the bad actor in hand, it is incumbent on you to disincentivize the behavior among your other troops, by making a vivid display of the negative consequences which result from the disloyalty. It is important not to convey the message that getting caught is the one and only thing being punished, but rather an entire traitorous lifestyle which is denigrated. Your goal is rather to associate the very thought of their working with the other side with a scene of existential horror that no rational being would want to repeat.
Strokes of genius
- Hypnosis. The power of suggestion to a human mind which has not been specifically hardened against it is often surprising to the layperson. If the hypnotist is able to install a sense of identification with the suspect, even the most hardened foes can offer telling glimpses Certain psychoactive preparations can help break down the mental barriers as well, though some have called into question the accuracy of intelligence gathered with their help.
- Frustrating the spymaster. On the other end of the conversation your traitor is having with your enemy is a designated handler, who reports to someone in charge of penetrating your wall of silence. Over time you can get to know this person's tendencies, the kinds of things they dangle before your people to lure them in, and with any luck their vulnerabilities. Exercise some creative roleplaying to get into the mind of the enemy's spymaster and see whether you can break up some of their schemes in the early stages.
- The one that got away. If you uncover the informer only after that person has made a clean getaway potentially to a life of luxury and ease under a new identity, your most closely held secrets laid open to the world, the first order of business is likely to be damage control. Recognize that you are not the first evildoer to have experienced this kind of disgrace, so there is no reason to give up your life of crime solely on this account. You should also refrain from exterminating your entire corps of goons entirely, since this is the foundation that you will need to use to rebuild your organization into a stronger, more secure whole.
- Frenemies. If you suspect one of your hirelings of working with the enemy, you may be able to force the issue by arranging that person to perform some dastardly deed (one involving grievous bodily harm or death) upon their suspected confederates, while under your close scrutiny. Particularly good targets include any possible love interests on the other side. The tension should be ratcheted up so that the individual nears the breaking point as they ponder whether to maintain their façade of loyalty to you or to break it and save their true companions.
Traps for mere fools
- Shielded brainwaves.
- Spy radios. And tiny cameras.
- Suicide capsules.
- Listening devices.
Precious and needful
- Rubber hose.
- Red hot poker.
- Spy camera.
- Large fish. Wrapped in paper.
- Truth serum.
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- Image credit Informant by ramyo
- Image credit Traitor - 108/365 by morberg
- Image credit Mouthy by Truthout.org