It's from the movie Tenet

Michael Crosby: I gather you have an interest in a certain Russian national.

Protagonist: Anglo-Russian. So I have to watch my step.

Michael Crosby: Indeed. He's tapped into the intelligence services. I've warned them he's feeding them rubbish...

What's the meaning of "tapped into"? Does it mean that he is an agent of intelligence services or he is just helping them?

2 Answers 2


It means that he's connected with and has access to the intelligence services (much in the way that "tapping into" a keg would connect to and give access to the contents of the keg. It could mean that he has access to their information, possibly by (based on the limited context; I haven't seen the movie) feeding them supposedly secret information.


According to Cambridge Dictionary "tap into something" means:

to manage to use something in a way that brings good results

It is related to the verb "to tap", which, according to Lexico means to draw (liquid) from a cask, barrel, or other container and has its origin in the Old English word tæppian: ‘provide (a cask) with a stopper’.

To tap is also used to mean draw sap from a tree and, more recently, connect a device to (a telephone) so that conversation can be listened to secretly.

In your example the Anglo-Russian is evidently able to feed in information, as well as draw it out, and (assuming we're on the side of Michael Crosby) is trying to mislead 'our' intelligence services.

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