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[FYI] (Fwd) US spies left behind by computer revolution

------- Forwarded message follows -------
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
To:             	ukcrypto@maillist.ox.ac.uk
Subject:        	US spies left behind by computer revolution
Send reply to:  	ukcrypto@maillist.ox.ac.uk

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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