Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

Ernest Hemingway’s Private WWII-Era Spy Network

During World War II Hemingway organized a private spy network, which he jokingly called the Crook Factory, and gathered information about Nazi sympathizers on the island. But in a secret, 124-page report on Hemingway, the FBI—which feared his personal prestige and political power—expressed resentment at his amateur but alarming intrusion into their territory, and unsuccessfully […]

Posted inNonfiction, Quotes

On the Difference Between ‘Technical’ and ‘Tactical’ Spies

Why then does the American public still consider all spies to be demons? Why does the public make no distinction between technical spies like Julius Rosenberg stealing useful knowledge and tactical spies like Kim Philby destroying human lives? Perhaps it is because the American public is misled by the American secrecy system. The secrecy system is a bureaucratic monster that classifies vast quantities of information as secret, making it impossible for the ordinary citizen to see the difference between important and unimportant secrets.

Posted inNonfiction, Reading List

The Dark Arts: A Corporate Espionage Reading List

Corporate espionage takes many forms and is known by a number of names. At its most benign, it’s “competitive-intelligence,” which is the kind of information gathering that George Chidi describes in Inc. On the other end of the spectrum is the far more exciting—and illicit—line of work seen in Richard Behar’s 1999 story about the pharmaceutical industry. Here are five stories that delve deep into the murky world of corporate information gathering.