Not So Frequently Asked Questions (4)

What’s with Spying Today’s dull colour scheme?

When the Spying Today site was designed (some people would say: “thrown together after a drunken lunch by a trio of old spies”), the idea was to keep the design as simple as possible. When it came to colour we wanted something distinctive. The colour grey was agreed with the designers because it is symbolic of the nature of the site. This is why:

In the world of espionage, intelligence can be graded in many different ways such as high level/low level, raw/finished or political/military/economic. One of these ways is to divide intelligence reports into “Black”, “White” and “Grey” intelligence. “Black” intelligence is reports produced from secret sources, either agents or technical means. This is the sort of thing people usually think of when they hear the words “intelligence report”. “White” intelligence is produced from freely available sources such as press reports, published academic studies or commercial reports.

Then there is “Grey” intelligence which, historically speaking, is a fairly new idea in the intelligence world. This is reporting which draws on open sources but adds something more that would not usually available – either context from an intelligence professional or additional information from sources that are, while not necessarily secret, not available to members of the public. That is what we try to give the readers of Spying Today – open source material but only once it has been run past our experts and other contacts in the intelligence world. The reason we do that is because we believe that everyone in a democratic society should have access to the sort of information that “those in the know” have (while respecting the limits of national operational security of course). We believe that makes for better intelligence service and a healthier relationship with the citizens they serve.

We are grey and so is our site. Add to that, white text on the grey background and you have the colour scheme that makes Spying Today so distinctive. At least, we hope so!

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