> Articles > Espionage
in the 21st Century
in the 21st Century - People
Don't Spy Anymore, Computers, Cars, Squirrel and Even the
They say spying is an old
profession. Second only to prostitution. Well, the latter hasn't
changed much, but the former really, really has.
Spying in the 21st century is
so different than it was even just 25 years ago. Actually spying
has been quiet the same for over 2000 years, sure the art
changes, progresses, being it that is a covert practice, however
over the last 10 years, spying has changed arguably more than in
the past 2 milleniums.
2400 years ago, Sun Tzu said
there are five kinds of spies. 1) The local spy, is a serviceman
or employee working in the enemies district. 2) The insider spy,
is having a local official working for you. 3) a converted spy,
is an enemies spy captured and bribed/threatened to become a
double agent. 4) Doomed spies, are basically, bait for the enemy
5) surviving spies, are ones that come back with intelligence.
One thing that is common
between those 5 types of spies is that they are, well, HUMAN
spies. Humans were the greatest source of gathering
intelligence. They did it with their own two hands, with their
own eyes and ears and they did it for their country. They did it
so they could tip off their country so it can gain advantage
militarily. Surveillance, confiscation (e.g. theft) and
assassination (if necessary) were the tradecraft used to obtain
the necessary intelligence. It has always been that way. Not so
much anymore. First off, spying is mostly performed from the
comfort of ones computer and is done mostly for business
reasons. The methods and instruments are different too today. Sure
humans are still behind the espionage, but they are no longer
the catalyst of gathering intelligence.
spyware is a neo spy tool that uses computer technology in two
ways to gather intelligence. One, there is advertiser
spyware or adware that simply gathers information from people's
personal computers, mostly for marketing reason, albeit. Then
there is spy software and hardware (namely keyloggers) the are
used to secretly gather logs of all computer activity that can
be used as evidence, to steal trade secrets of just to spy on
people's private lives. Those are just private computers
that spy. There is also Carnivore, Echelon and the NSA that spy
on global communication networks but that a whole other story.
Businesses Also Spy... Military
intelligence was the primary focus of spying in the past. Now
economic espionage is the biggest reason for spying. Major
espionage cases are happening in every facet of every industry.
Large corporations that have had Economic Espionage Act cases in
the recent decades include the likes of Adobe, Avery, Business
Engine Software Corporation, Microsoft and the even today there
has been known cases of spying amongst sports teams (look up
"spygate") and even in
the F1! McLaren had been accused of spying on Ferrari. Spying is all about getting the competitive edge. And
if cars needs to spy on other cars, to win the race, then so be
Squirrels Spy Too!!! Also
in the animal world . . . From the BBC translators, an editorial
by Saleh Eskandari headlined "spying
squirrels," published July 10 by the Iranian newspaper
"A few weeks ago, 14
squirrels equipped with espionage systems of foreign
intelligence services were captured by [Iranian] intelligence
forces along the country's borders. These trained squirrels,
each of which weighed just over 700 grams, were released on the
borders of the country for intelligence and espionage purposes.
According to the announcement made by Iranian intelligence
officials, alert police officials caught these squirrels before
they could carry out any task.
"Fixing GPS devices,
bugging instruments and advanced cameras in the bodies of
trained animals like squirrels, mice, hamsters, etc, are among
modern methods of collecting intelligence. Given the fast speed
and the special physical features of these animals, they provide
special capabilities for spying operations. Once the animals
return to their place of origin, the intelligence gathered by
them is then offloaded. . . ."
Always thought there was
something NUTS about current intelligence industry practices and
this just validates it.
Wow Even The Chinese Spy! Some
(western) people are a tad behind in
terms of the world and its lighting fast globalization patterns
and sociological advancements. Many still believe that China is
a 3rd world communist country filled with rice fields. Well,
they still do love rice, but the Chinese are becoming so
advanced in every department, militarily, technologically and
especially economically, that they are already a world
superpower in everyway possible. Their open and relentlessly
agenda is to become advanced and powerful in every arena of
world politics (world domination?), and this is highlighted by their
countless attempts (both successful and not) to spy on the USA.
The US FBI Director said that
Chinese intelligence operations against the United States are a
major problem and that the FBI is stepping up counterespionage
efforts against them. Several recent Chinese spy cases highlight
the problem of Beijing's spying, including the case of Los
Angeles businesswoman... a longtime informant for the FBI who
was later accused of secretly working a Chinese intelligence
China has repeatedly denied
that it is spying on US military or economic intelligence. While
the USA has declared Chinese espionage the biggest threat on the
net. Of course most of the alleged China spy cases in the USA
are military and economic intelligence related.
Surveillance, confiscation and
assassination are no longer really in use in today's spy world.
There's the odd case of a break in, a gun down or big
brother keeping a look out on a target, but even the most
sovereign spies limit how much of their necks they put on the
line for their good ol' motherland! So to conclude, spying is mixed up with
competition, politics and legality so much so nowadays, that it seems that
less and less people are putting themselves on the line, which
means HUMINT (human intelligence) style spies like James Bond,
really no longer exist... or do they? Maybe they are that good.