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Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer of spies

With a blockbuster movie and plenty of major and minor international incidents, this season might be a taste of a booming future for espionage

By Wesley Wark, Ottawa Citizen Special -- New global powers, such as China, are emerging as the most aggressive practitioners of spying; dangerous non-state actors, such as transnational terrorist groups, increasingly recognize the need and value of spying on their enemies and counter-intelligence to protect themselves. The spy world has shifted into the cyber realm, deepening concerns about cyber aggression and cyber security. The question of loyalty to the state looks increasingly fluid, hence the concern about the Daniel Houghtons of this world.

It may be that we are headed into, not just the summer of spies, but the century of spies, in which some part of the peace and security of the globe will rest on the ability of intelligence services to do their jobs well. If so, we are in for a rough ride, and will need to re-think our notions of espionage.

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