Wednesday, October 23, 2013


One genre I tire of quickly involves variations on "of course that happens you naive fool!" The latest is that of course we spy on world leaders!

One reason not to do so is that, you know, there is no way to expect to keep the billion secrets we have given the hundreds of thousands of people who have access to them. If your surveillance state is that big, and it involves an unholy alliance of government agencies with cowboy contractors with little oversight (they outsourced the effing granting of security clearances), there is no chance of keeping such things secret. Snowdens everywhere.

And what are the good reasons to spy on our closest allies in effective peacetime? None, other than blackmail or as part of a broader program of commercial espionage.