Spy vs Surveillance



Spy vs Surveillance


The recent back and forth between the House and the DOJ/FBI is akin to the pot calling the kettle black don’t you think? Does one go to RentaSpy.com or RentaSurveillancePerson.com to inquire about having someone watched for a specific purpose?


Back in the olden days wasn’t that the job of hiring a private investigator?


I can see Bond, James Bond tell the beautiful brunette or blonde babe that he is in the surveillance business for an organization he is not at liberty to divulge or he’d have to kill you. Wouldn’t it just be easier to follow the script and say he works for MI-6 as an international spy?


I have compiled bits of information available online with Merriam Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com) to help clarify this tit for tat discussion.


Definition of spy

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1: to watch secretly usually for hostile purposes

2: to catch sight of

3: to search or look for intensively


intransitive verb

1: to observe or search for something

2: to watch secretly as a spy


Definition of spy

(Entry 2 of 2)

1: one that spies:

  • one who keeps secret watch on a person or thing to obtain information
  • a person employed by one nation to secretly convey classified information of strategic importance to another nation
  • a person who conveys the trade secrets of one company to another

2: an act of spying


Synonyms for spy: Verb

behold, catch, descry, discern, distinguish, espy, eye, look (at), note, notice, observe, perceive, regard, remark, see, sight, spot, view, witness


Synonyms: Noun

agent, asset, emissary, intelligencer, mole, operative, spook, undercover


Examples of spy in a Sentence


  • They were accused of spying for a foreign government.
  • I spy a motel off in the distance, so let’s spend the night there.



Definition of Surveillance


Definition of surveillance

Close watch kept over someone or something (as by a detective)


Synonyms for surveillance

care, charge, guidance, headship, oversight, regulation, stewardship, superintendence, superintendency, supervision


Examples of surveillance in a Sentence

  • Government surveillance of suspected terrorists
  • The bank robbery was recorded by surveillance video cameras.


Recent Example on the Web


It was revealed earlier this year that Horowitz’s office was investigating allegations of government surveillance abuse tied to the start of the Russia probe. — Brooke Singman, Fox News, “Peter Strzok grilled for hours on Capitol Hill over any involvement in start of Russia probe,” 2 Oct. 2018


Example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word ‘surveillance.’ **Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.


So to wiretap a phone, hide microphones in lamps, desks, tables or other furniture for the purpose of obtaining (and recording) information which might incriminate someone is it called spying on them or simply conducting surveillance? Does it depend upon “who” is doing it or to “whom” it was done?


Legally must there be probable cause to obtain a warrant?

What are the criteria for a FISA court warrant?

Who is responsible for gathering the probable cause info?

Who presents it to the FISA court judge?

Who authorizes the operation to proceed?

Who makes the determination to compile all the “incriminating evidence” (dotting the I’s and crossing all the t’s) and present it to higher authority?

Who is that higher authority?

At what point is authorization given to “leak” it to the media or to the public?

Who is held ultimately accountable?


I don’t think a reasonable person would have any problem connecting the dots and with a little investigative skill (and lots of luck) be able to place names in the appropriate places in the narrative above to see if wrong doing (illegal activity) occurred and attach the correct name(s).


The fact that operatives from the outgoing Obama administration would sabotage, falsify or alter documents, personnel and assets in order to prevent the new incoming Trump administration to begin functioning immediately places a lot of people suspect and culpable to criminal prosecution for treasonous action. Regardless of the number of participants it is ultimately the responsibility of the outgoing President (Barack Obama).


In my opinion (I’m no legal scholar) equally responsible and just as guilty of wrong doing are the members of Congress who bullied, colluded and conspired other members of Congress to the point that the “Mob Mentality” ruled the day and for more than 2 years. There are many moving parts yet to be seen, but like a roadmap all roads lead back to Barack Obama. – I am the Real Truckmaster!




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