By 1995, some 174,000 inoffizielle Mitarbeiter (IMs) Stasi informants had been identified, almost 2.5% of East Germany's population between the ages of 18 and 60. 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age. From the volume of material destroyed in the final days of the regime, the office of the Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records (BStU) believes that there could have been as many as 500,000 informers. A former Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if occasional informants were included.
Edward Snowden's disclosures and yesterday's Vault 7 release from Wikileaks show us that our own Stasi analogs have automated much of the work that used to be done by human informants. But one of these days, after the US regime goes the way of the East German regime and we learn more about what the state security organs got up to, I wonder how the informant numbers will stack up by comparison.