The scout differs from a spy?

Many remember that during Soviet times the word «spy» was equated with the insult. The so-called enemies of the people, traitors, liars and traitors. Each pioneer dreamed about, to find the spy and bring him to the authorities. While the term «scout» has been our countrymen only a positive Association and was even fanned a kind of romantic halo. Take a screen shtirlitsa from «Seventeen moments of spring». So why in essentially identical concepts invested so different meanings? Try to understand what distinguishes the scout from spy.

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Scout – a person whose duties include the collection, study and synthesis of information on probable or current enemy. Depending on performed tasks and working methods can be military or intelligence. In the first case it is in form clad soldier in penetrating the enemy’s lines to collect specific information. The resulting data is transmitted to the command and used them to assess the situation and take decisions. Undercover intelligence officers often operate under the guise of diplomats and have diplomatic immunity. Some of them work undercover and not out in direct connection with their missions. Illegal and is called scouts, they resort to illegal methods of obtaining information that fall under the concept of «theft of information» and «espionage».


Spy – a person engaged in covert collection of information about one of the parties to the conflict in favor of the other party. Often his work involves the kidnapping of officially classified information, under the guidance of foreign special services. In their work spies use different secret techniques, whether it be spying or eavesdropping using special technical devices. Often the agent is embedded in the camp of the enemy and pretends to be «for her». Spies are referred to as full-time employees of foreign intelligence, and citizens of the state, recruited by the opposite party, and transmitting classified information to her.

to contents ↑the Difference between scout and spy

Will try to look deeper into the essence of each of the concepts. To begin with, that the term «scout» is used primarily to refer to a person, extracting information in favour of our country. It can also be called a Snitch or informant. While a spy called agent, recruited by a foreign service. That is why the last word has a very negative overtones and is used in the context of «the enemy, a traitor.» To the scouts always are respectful, they are often even raised to the rank of heroes. This is largely due to the exploits of the soldiers of the Second world war.


Another difference from the scout spy is the method of gathering information. The last deals with the kidnapping of secret information, extracting them by unfair methods. He observes, overhears, is rubbed on people’s trust and draws out from them the desired data. Often it is embedded in the enemy camp and pretends to be «for her». Espionage is an illegal activity, which entails criminal liability. The scout can get information both legal and illegal methods. The first category includes the collection of data from open sources, listening to foreign radio channels, the use of special satellites. Illegal operations fall under the concept of «espionage».

Extracting secret information to a foreign country, the scout must wear the uniform of their armed forces. In the case of capture agent of the enemy side he will have the status of prisoner of war. Whereas in the absence of the form, the person automatically credited to the spies. That is, from the standpoint of international law, scouts are considered the only soldiers wearing the clothes of their armed forces. All the others, extracting secret information by secret by definition are spies. Against them can be prosecuted.

To summarize, what is the difference between scout and spy.


Collect information about the enemy in favor of our state
Engaged in the abduction secret information under the guidance of foreign special services

Has a positive reputation
The word is used exclusively in a negative context

Synonyms – Snitch, informant
Synonyms – an enemy, a traitor

Can extract data both legal and illegal methods
Gathers information in a dishonest way

Wear the uniform of their armed forces and acts only on their side
Can infiltrate the enemy camp and pretend to be «for her»

In the case of capture by the enemy receives the status of prisoner of war
If they are exposed, shall be criminally liable

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