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[FYI] (Fwd) US spies left behind by computer revolution
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- Subject: [FYI] (Fwd) US spies left behind by computer revolution
- From: "Axel H Horns" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 20:52:00 +0200
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Date sent: Mon, 29 Nov 1999 13:21:50 +0000
From: Ian Brown <I.Brown@cs.ucl.ac.uk>
Organization: Department of Computer Science, University College London
Subject: US spies left behind by computer revolution
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FROM IAN BRODIE IN WASHINGTON
The Times, 29 November 1999.
AMERICA'S super-secret National Security Agency,
which electronically eavesdrops on targets around the
world, is being overwhelmed by high-volume flows of
e-mail, fibre-optic transmissions and unbreakable digital
codes, says a caustic assessment published today.
As a result, the sprawling NSA headquarters at Fort
Meade, near Washington, nicknamed the "Puzzle Palace",
is said to be suffering from an intelligence gap that has left
its spies caught out in the cold.
Its failure to prepare for the high-tech computer revolution
has already created unwelcome surprises for America's
national security officials, says Seymour Hersh, writing in
The New Yorker.
Mr Hersh, a seasoned investigative journalist, reports that a
recent spectacular failure was the NSA's inability to detect
any signs of increased activity or communications around
Pokharan, India, when the Indians set off their first round
of nuclear tests last year. Equally alarming, North Korea,
with the help of funds from the United Nations, has bought
encrypted mobile phones from Europe, high-speed
switching gear from Britain and an up-to-date dialling
service from the US, creating a system that the NSA
cannot readily read.
An advisory group formed by the Senate intelligence
committee to investigate the NSA has delivered a harsh
judgment. One member said: "We told them that unless you
totally change your intelligence collection system, you will
go deaf. You've got ten years."
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