Sunday, January 17, 2010

Secrecy Versus Sharing

Bruce Schneier raises an interesting point about our adversaries, and what that means for the intelligence community:
[During the Cold War,] We needed to defend against technologically advanced electronic eavesdropping operations, their agents trying to bribe or seduce our agents, and a worldwide intelligence gathering capability that hung on our every word.

In that environment, secrecy was paramount. Information had to be protected by armed guards and double fences, shared only among those with appropriate security clearances and a legitimate "need to know," and it was better not to transmit information at all than to transmit it insecurely.

Today's adversaries are different. There are still governments, like China, who are after our secrets. But the secrets they're after are more often corporate than military, and most of the other organizations of interest are like al Qaeda: decentralized, poorly funded and incapable of the intricate spy versus spy operations the Soviet Union could pull off.


Anonymous said...

great article. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you learn that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.

George Pal said...

Never know where to go first when confronted with a smorgasbord.

Schneier’s distillation is completely oblivious to the volatile constituents and the down and dirty of intelligence – ground forces. The seven dead CIA agents, the circumstances of their death, and the agent who killed them demonstrate the abilities of the poorly funded to score intelligence coups - or denial of intelligence coups.

As for the rest of it (gobbledygook) - Jiminy Cricket on a three-day bender! Socio-techno generation gap, open source intelligence – (slaps forehead) – it’s all so obvious – why didn’t anyone think of this before.

“President Obama, in his speech last week, rightly focused on fixing the intelligence failures that resulted in Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab being ignored, rather than on technologies...”

You want to fix the intelligence failures? Here’s how – PROFILING – with prejudice.

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