listening post

noun
1.
Military. a post or position, as in advance of a defensive line, established for the purpose of listening to detect the enemy's movements.
2.
any foreign country or city viewed as a source of intelligence about an enemy or rival nation or one that is a potential enemy.
3.
any concealed position maintained to obtain information: The government had listening posts to keep informed of revolutionary activities.

Origin:
1915–20

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
listening post
 
n
1.  military LP a forward position set up to obtain early warning of enemy movement
2.  any strategic position or place for obtaining information about another country or area

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  listening post1
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a center for gathering intelligence, intercepting electronic communications, etc.
Main Entry:  listening post2
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a place near the enemy line set up for detecting movements
Main Entry:  listening post3
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  any position from which to listen or gather information
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Example sentences
My apartment is only a fifty-year-long funnel, but that makes it a good listening post for family matters.
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