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Word Count: 525
Espionage was rampant in the early 1900s Citizens made significant sacrifices to make the world safe for democracy2 Americans were also alert to the presence of spies who could sabotage the war effort Congress passed the Espionage Act on June 15 1917 The law provided stiff penalties for those found guilty of aiding the German enemy and increased public rancor toward Germany and all things German Espionage is defined as the act of obtaining information clandestinely The term applies particularly to the act of collecting military industrial and political data about one nation for the benefit of another Industrial espionagethe theft of patents and processes from business firmsis not properly espionage at all4 Espionage was a major undertaking for many nations during the era of the Cold War which lasted from about 1946 until 1990 Because the world was divided into hostile camps dominated by the two superpowers--the United States and the Soviet Union--the Cold War made espionage a vital undertaking in order to protect national security and to help prevent a major war The embassies and consulates of the United States were used as headquarters for the gathering of military and industrial secrets of other nations particularly the Soviet Union and its allies With the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe in 1989 and the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 the excesses of Cold War espionage ended But the intelligence-gathering organizations that conducted espionage did not go out of business There were still many trouble spots in the world that merited attentionEspionage is the secret gathering of information about a rival but very often the spying is done on friendly or neutral countries as well There is also a type of intelligence gathering called industrial espionage the stealing of trade secrets from one company by another in order to profit by the information Not all espionage is a secret furtive activity with the romance and thrills of a James Bond movie Much
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