- Devices connected to internet leak information
- CIA director says these gadgets will ‘transform clandestine tradecraft’
- Spies could watch thousands via supercomputers
- People ‘bug’ their own homes with web-connected devices
Petraeus says that the treasure trove of data connected appliances and devices will be able to gather on a “person of interest” will make it much easier to see what potential terrorists and others are doing inside home and to intercept communications. He also noted that connected household devices with the potential to be turned in the spy tools “change our notions of secrecy.” While the CIA has numerous regulations and laws preventing it from spying on American citizens, it’s apparently a much grayer area when it comes to collecting geolocation data that many devices
Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” — that is, wired devices — at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”
CIA director David Petraeus (seen here playing Wii golf) is really excited about the idea behind the Internet of things. The thing is most excited about isn’t his refrigerator being able to order milk, but the effect that connected appliances and devices will have on “clandestine tradecraft.” In other words, he’s excited about being able to use these devices to spy on people.
Phi Beta Iota: Patraeus was “musing” at an In-Q-Tel conference, so he can reasonably be forgiven for being taken out of context. However, this is just one more stronger signal that the $80 billion a year US Intelligence Community, within which CIA provides armed drones, foreign liaison hand-outs, and very little else, is money wasted. Clandestine tradecraft is about humans. All-source analysis is about integrating a strategic analytic model with history and forecasting to deliver decision-support. It is not about technology except in so far as it supports human cognition. It’s a pity the Director of the CIA has not learned that. Technology is not a substitute for thinking, and administration is not a substitute for leadership.
2010 Human Intelligence (HUMINT): All Humans, All Minds, All the Time(US Army Strategic Studies Institute, June 2010
2009 Intelligence for the President–AND Everyone Else, as published in CounterPunch, Weekend Edition, February 27 – 1 March 2009