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An access agent is

[a]n individual used to acquire information on an otherwise inaccessible target.[1]
an agent whose relationship or potential relationship with a foreign intelligence personality allows him or her to serve as a channel for the introduction of another controlled agent for the purpose of recruitment of the target.[2]


"Another method of identifying and keeping track of suspected intelligence personnel is to recruit people close to suspects, known in the jargon as 'access agents.' Counterintelligence operators can seek out secretaries, janitors, chauffeurs, interpreters, neighbors, or friends and request that they pass on information about the target's predilections and behavior."[3]


  1. Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of Counterintelligence, Terms & Definitions of Interest for DoD Counterintelligence Professionals GL-2 (May 2, 2011) (full-text).
  2. AFOSI Manual 71-142 (June 9, 2000).
  3. Roy Godson, "Dirty Tricks or Trump Cards: US Covert and Counterintelligence" 218-19 (1995).