What follow are a few relevant excerpts from Cory Doctorow's 3-29-17 Boing Boing post entitled "How East Germany's Stasi Tried to Drive Activists Insane, and How They Resisted":
"East Germany's secret police, the Stasi, were the most aggressive surveillance force of their day -- at the Stasi's peak, one in 60 East Germans was snitching for the agency.
"The tactics that the Stasi deployed to recruit informants -- blackmail, cash, patriotism, immunity from prosecution, and gamification -- are less interesting than the things the Stasi did to their adversaries, inflicting mental torture of various types to drive the opposition to attack itself, or simply give up.
"Just by spreading rumors about the existence of informants, the Stasi were able to drive a wedge into the opposition, as activists turned their suspicions on one another.
"But by forming circles of trust and mutual aid, demonstrating intergroup solidarity, and deploying active countermeasures, a resistance was able to form and, eventually, depose the hated, oppressive government and its army of spies."
To read Doctorow's post in its entirety, please click HERE.