At the top of the list of this year's Bilderberg meeting agenda (at least the one they've put on their website), are artificial intelligence and cyber-security. Indeed, cyber-security has just vaulted to almost the top of the list of olgarchical concerns> As they meet, a story has broken that American electronic and human intelligence may have been severely compromised via hackers who have found personnel lists of people in sensitive intelligence positions:
Snowden may have some clarifying to do after bombshell reports that Russia and China accessed NSA files
Officials: Second hack exposed military and intel data
From the first article, we note the following:
Times reports that Russia and China de-encrypted files stolen by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, forcing the UK intelligence service MI6 to pull officers out of live operations in hostile countries.
"Western intelligence agencies say they have been forced into the rescue operations after Moscow gained access to more than [1 million] classified files," The London paper, citing senior UK officials, reports.
The reader will also note that the map at the end of this first article shows the nations that are the chief target of the NSA electronic surveillance program, among them the major continental European powers and the Middle East. We'll get back to that.
From the second article we note the following:
"Hackers linked to China have gained access to the sensitive background information submitted by intelligence and military personnel for security clearances, U.S. officials said Friday, describing a cyberbreach of federal records dramatically worse than first acknowledged."
"This tells the Chinese the identities of almost everybody who has got a United States security clearance," said Joel Brenner, a former top U.S. counterintelligence official. "That makes it very hard for any of those people to function as an intelligence officer. The database also tells the Chinese an enormous amount of information about almost everyone with a security clearance. That's a gold mine. It helps you approach and recruit spies."
The short story here is that the Obama administration is facing an intelligence crisis of a potential scale the likes of which no western intelligence agency or apparatus has faced since the Russian penetration of British intelligence and various departments of the American government during and immediately after World War Two. One needs to think in terms of Alger Hiss, Klaus Fuchs, and Kim Philby, but on a much much larger scale. One need only recall that in the wake of the Yuri Nosenko case, CIA counter-intelligence guru James Jesus Angleton virtually turned the agency inside out and upside down hunting a Soviet mole whom he believed had penetrated the agency, a mole which was (allegedly) never found.
On the larger scale, however, the consequences are even more far-reaching. As the first article notes in the map that is included with article, the USA has intelligence swap arrangements with Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand and with the signals and human intelligence apparati of those nations. In short, the potential breach here may not just be limited to the USA, but the potential exists for it spread to Britain's GCHQ and Canada's RCMP and other agencies, either in the form of compromising their operations and security, or in the form of blowback as those nations tighten the spigots on how much information is exchanged with the USA.
There is a wider context in which these events must be seen, and those are the stories from the last two years of the hacking of Sony, various banks, and (I would submit), the physical and quite professional attack on a California electrical substation in the southern tip of the Silicon Valley region, and the severing of internet connections between Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona, last year. One might also mention the curious incident of the take-down of air traffic control computers in Salt Lake City, which disrupted air traffic in the southwestern USA for some hours, an incident which also had disturbing footprints of covert operations.
So what's the high octane speculation here? For a number of months I have been concerned that American heavy-handed actions in the Ukraine via covert operations, a coup against a legitimate (and admittedly very corrupt) government, to install yet another (very corrupt) government, was to invite a retaliation from Russia in our own back yard. Covert operations, I have been trying to warn, are a game two can play. With the growing evidence that the BRICSA bloc means business, and is coordinating its financial policy and institutions, there is every reason to assume that this entails similar secret intelligence and covert operations agreements, particularly between Russia and China. Or to put it as country simple as possible: it looks like those covert operations games in our own back yard have just begun. Expect it to spread, and, like all such operations, expect it to use cutouts for more "physical work." The problem that the Obama administration now faces, is that cynicism and distrust have reached such epic proportions, that official statements of potential foreign involvement in such operations must overcome inherent public distrust, and the only way to do that is with irrefutable evidence and proof, and that would mean disclosing yet more intelligence sources and methods.
Welcome to Cold War, 2.0.
See you on the flip side...