“I did have an interesting (unattributable, of course) briefing from someone very senior in one West Coast mega-corporation who conceded that neither he nor the CEO of his company had security clearance to know what arrangements his own organization had reached with the US government. ‘So, it’s like a company within a company?’ I asked. He waved his hand dismissively: ‘I know the guy, I trust him.’”

“Do MPs and congressmen have any more sophisticated idea of what technology is now capable of? Could they, as supposed regulators, also decipher such documents? A couple of weeks ago I asked the question of another very senior member of the British cabinet who had followed the Snowden stories only hazily and whose main experience of intelligence seemed to date back to the 1970s. ‘The trouble with MPs,’ he admitted, ‘is most of us don’t really understand the Internet.’”

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, in New York Review of Books, on who we trust and what we know when it comes to technology and spying. Read more on spying.


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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