If I am given information from an anonymous source and that informtion tells me that someone has got a bounty on them and that is a warning to me and them. is it Classed as spying. No credits, ship, vehicles nothing ever exchanged hands.
Also if an ooc friend tells me about what his brother's faction is doing is that classed as cheating, because he tried to but I stopped him because I thought it might.
Passing information about the faction you are in to someone outside of the faction is spying. However, passing information about a faction you own or lead is not spying, since what you choose to reveal to others is up to you.
That said, since you're being informed in an OOC manner, if you have the willpower not to act on or further distribute the information, no one would ever know that you know. But if it is clearly information that would violate the spirit of the spying rules and you act on it, you could definitely be banned for it.
So really what is happening could be called third partying. according to the rules as lets say (just an example) a bounty hunter has given me information on a faction wanting to have my faction arrested.