net, chain, cell system

net, chain, cell system

Patterns of clandestine organization, especially for operational purposes. Net is the broadest of the three; it usually involves: a. a succession of echelons; and b. such functional specialists as may be required to accomplish its mission. When it consists largely or entirely of nonstaff employees, it may be called an agent net. Chain focuses attention upon the first of these elements; it is commonly defined as a series of agents and informants who receive instructions from and pass information to a principal agent by means of cutouts and couriers. Cell system emphasizes a variant of the first element of net; its distinctive feature is the grouping of personnel into small units that are relatively isolated and self-contained. In the interest of maximum security for the organization as a whole, each cell has contact with the rest of the organization only through an agent of the organization and a single member of the cell. Others in the cell do not know the agent, and nobody in the cell knows the identities or activities of members of other cells.
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