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Forwarded from: Simon Taplin <simon.taplin (at) gmail.com>
By Peter Apps
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,
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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