maandag 25 oktober 2010
Spycraft - The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda
“Often, books on this type of topic are either really dry reading, or they are so novel-like that you wonder how much of it is "made up". Spycraft strikes a nice balance between interesting facts and history and good stories. The authors (Mr. Wallace and Mr. Melton) are certainly among the most qualified people around to discuss TSD/OTS history, so there are no worries about authenticity of the material. I can highly recommend this book.
Today's CIA is regularly criticized for emphasizing technology at the expense of human intelligence. In this history of the agency's Office of Technical Services, Wallace, its former head, and academic specialist Melton (Ultimate Spy) refute the charge with exciting content and slam-bang style. The book's chief value is its perspective on the synergy of technology and tradecraft. From WWII through the Cold War and up to the present, the authors say, technical equipment—for clandestine audio surveillance, for example—has been an essential element of agent operations. In the post–Cold War information society, technology plays an even more significant role in fighting terrorism. Agents remain important, along with their traditional skills. Increasingly, however, they support clandestine technical operations, especially infiltrating and compromising computer networks. The authors persuasively argue that employing and defending against sophisticated digital technology is the primary challenge facing U.S. intelligence in the 21st century. Their position invites challenge, but it cannot be dismissed. 32 pages of photos, over 100 b&w illus. throughout.”