Tradecraft, within the intelligence community, refers to the techniques, methods, and technologies used in modern espionage (spying) and generally as part of the activity of intelligence assessment. This includes general topics or techniques (dead drops, for example), or the specific techniques of a nation or organization (the particular form of encryption (encoding) used by the National Security Agency, for example).
In the books of such spy novelists as Ian Fleming, John le Carré and Tom Clancy, characters frequently engage in tradecraft, e.g. making or retrieving items from "dead drops", "dry cleaning", and wiring, using, or sweeping for intelligence gathering devices, such as cameras or microphones hidden in the subjects' quarters, vehicles, clothing, or accessories.
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