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infosec-news: [ISN] Spycraft, contacts still key in espionage wo

[ISN] Spycraft, contacts still key in espionage world

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_nospam>
Date: Fri Sep 17 2010 - 06:37:15 GMT

Forwarded from: Simon Taplin <simon.taplin (at)>

By Peter Apps
Independent Online
16 September 2010

London - Smartphones and e-mail might be revolutionising espionage, but
old-style personal spycraft is as important as ever when it comes to
protecting - or breaking - state and corporate secrets.

The rise of "state capitalist" economies that may use government
intelligence agencies to win commercial advantage for official-linked
companies could pose a growing threat to their Western corporate rivals,
experts say.

China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and India either have
or are all pushing for security agency access to encrypted BlackBerry
smart phones, which they say they need to monitor dangerous militants.

But while the skills of electronic snooping are important, where
information ends up can come down just as much to private deals put
together in anonymous offices by spy chiefs, companies and powerful

"In somewhere like the UAE, if I was the CIA or MI6 station chief I
might go to the head of local intelligence and ask for help in following
or monitoring someone," said Fred Burton, a former US counterterrorism
agent now vice president for US political risk consultancy Stratfor.


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