Writing in the Financial Times, Bruce Schneier expands on Charlie Stross's demographic theory of US military/espionage leaks, which holds that the end of the "job-for-life" culture in the spookocracy and the corporate America from which it draws its foot soldiers means the end of the deep loyalty of spooks.
Sure, it is possible to build a career in the classified world of government contracting, but there are no guarantees. Younger people grew up knowing this: there are no employment guarantees anywhere. They see it in their friends. They see it all around them.
Many will also believe in openness, especially the hacker types the NSA needs to recruit. They believe that information wants to be free, and that security comes from public knowledge and debate. Yes, there are important reasons why some intelligence secrets need to be secret, and the NSA culture reinforces secrecy daily. But this is a crowd that is used to radical openness. They have been writing about themselves on the internet for years. They have said very personal things on Twitter; they have had embarrassing photographs of themselves posted on Facebook. They have been dumped by a lover in public. They have overshared in the most compromising ways—and they have got through it. It is a tougher sell convincing this crowd that government secrecy trumps the public's right to know.
The Spooks Need New Ways to Keep Their Secrets Safe
Netzpolitik is an amazing German activist/journalist organization; in 2015, they braved a treason investigation by publishing Snowden docs that showed that the German intelligence services were conducting illegal surveillance and illegally collaborating with the NSA; now they’ve done it again, publishing a new leaked oversight report on spying at the Bad Aibling surveillance station.
When Edward Snowden came in from the cold, it catapulted his employer, Booz Allen Hamilton — a giant military/intelligence contractor — into the public eye, but Booz is small potatoes, one of the Big Five in the intelligence contractor industry, but it’s dwarfed by Leidos Holdings, which recently merged with Lockheed’s Information Systems & […]
With the leak of exploits developed by The Equation Group, the long-secret, NSA-adjacent super-elite hacking squad — published by The Shadow Brokers, who have some extremely heterodox theories about auction design — it’s now possible to audit the source code of some of the NSA’s crown-jewel cyberweapons.
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