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Spycraft & CIA Terms

COMINT – Acronym for Communications Intelligence; i.e., intelligence derived from the interception of electronic or voice communications.

CST - The CIA’s Clandestine Service Training Program. While most CIA trainees go through the CIA’s Professional Training (PT) Program, only those CIA employees slated for the clandestine Special Activities Division (SAD) field operations go through the additional one-year CST training.

DIA – Acronym for the Defense Intelligence Agency. The DIA is the agency tasked with supplying and managing military intelligence for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

DNI – Acronym for the Director of National Intelligence. This position, established post-9/11, acts as head of the U.S. Intelligence community (IC) and reports directly to the U.S. President. Affiliated IC agencies (aka “elements”) reporting to the DNI include the CIA, DIA and other Department of Defense (DoD) intelligence agencies, NSA, Dept. of Energy’s OICI, Dept. of Homeland Security, FBI, DEA, Dept. of State’s INR and Dept. of Treasury’s TFI (Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence). The DNI’s office is responsible for preparing the President’s Daily Brief (PDB).

The Farm – Camp Peary, aka “Camp Swampy” or “The Farm”, is a CIA covert training facility of nearly 10,000 acres near Williamsburg, Virginia. Contrary to popular opinion and its portrayal in movies, only a portion of CIA training is actually done at the Farm (also see “The Point” below).

FSB – The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation, Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsi, aka “FSB”, is the primary Russian counter-intelligence and domestic security service. It is the successor organization to the KGB of Cold War fame and is headquartered in the former KGB’s headquarters building, aka “Lubyanka Prison”, aka “Adult’s World”, in Lubyanka Square in Moscow. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the KGB was dismantled. Subsequently, the FSB was reconstituted as Russia’s primary domestic security agency.

MASINT – Acronym for Measurement and Signature Intelligence; i.e., intelligence derived from the analysis of technical data, such as the spectrographic analysis of the fuel exhaust of an enemy’s new rocket. MASINT is sometimes referred to as the “CSI” of the intelligence community.

NRO – The National Reconnaissance Office, a U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) agency, operates the spy satellites that supply satellite data for all U.S. intelligence agencies.

NSA - The U.S. intelligence agency primarily responsible for COMINT (Communications Intelligence, see above), cryptanalysis and computer intelligence and security. For many years, the U.S. government refused to acknowledge the NSA’s existence, leading Washington insiders to quip that the letters “NSA” stood for “No Such Agency”.

The Point – aka “Harvey Point”, aka “Harvey Point Defense Testing Activity Facility”, is a CIA training facility near Hertford, North Carolina.

SVR - The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedk, was reconstituted from the KGB’s First Chief Directorate, as the Russian external intelligence service. The SVR is headquartered in the Moscow suburb of Yasenevo.