AuthorI am Jason Hanson, former CIA officer, security specialist, and expert on safety and survival. AMA!
Mar 6th 2018 by SpyEscape • 15 Questions • 116 Points
Hello, Reddit! I’m Jason Hanson, a former CIA officer and founder of the Spy Escape and Evasion school. I use the safety and survival tactics I learned on the job to help civilians protect themselves and their families and covered some of them in my New York Times bestselling book, Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life.
My new book, Survive Like a Spy, goes deeper into the world of espionage with stories from real CIA operatives engaged in life-threatening missions around the world, and will show you how to use these spy techniques in situations like a kidnapping or a natural disaster.
So, whether you have questions about conducting the perfect surveillance detection route or about whether that episode of The Americans or Homeland is remotely close to what being a spy is actually like, I am here for it. AMA!
EDIT: Thank you guys so much for all of your great questions, I really appreciate it. Please check out my new book because I truly believe it will keep you safer.
What are your main tips for efficiently building a network of sources (without necessarily recruiting them)? Would you see any value in doing that in a systematic way in civilian life? Also - would you agree that HUMINT in it's traditional form has become too expensive and time consuming and should therefore give way to an emphasis on OSINT and maybe a digital OSINT-HUMINT hybrid? Thanks in advance.
I think it's a great idea to build sources in a civilian life. I want as many people on my side as possible. The best way to build sources is to essentially make friends with everyone you meet and take care of them. So, when you go out to eat, really get to know the hostess and the waitress and tip them well. When you go to the bank, ask your banker questions about their life and get to know them. I've even done this with my local law enforcement where I live.
I believe that HUMINT is the best way to collect intelligence. There's nothing like having "boots on the ground" and building personal connections. I don't think it's too expensive and time consuming and over the years, I know that the majority of the best intelligence we've gotten has come from HUMINT.