CIA Director Claims Mobile Phones Have Made Spying More Difficult

CIA Director Claims Mobile Phones Have Made Spying More Difficult

( – Most good spy movies have scenes where one secret agent stalks another one along city streets, often in a disguise. But, in our modern era of cellphones, security cameras, GPS, and social media, this cat-and-mouse game isn’t that stealthy anymore. CIA Director William Burns recently highlighted that while technology is helpful in many areas, the data-driven world has actually made spying “much more complicated.”

During his February confirmation hearing, Burns acknowledged that his agency would “have to adapt” to a constantly surveilled world. He highlighted that the incredible amount of tracking technology installed in phones, computers, and cameras today makes it difficult for intelligence officers to go unnoticed. However, if they go completely off-grid and refuse to use a cell phone and similar technologies, that also sends up red flags that they are up to something.

Former CIA station chief Duyane Norman has said that “the foundational elements of espionage…have been shattered,” but others remain optimistic that CIA agents on the ground in foreign countries are still as active as ever, and that they just look different these days.

Technology has changed nearly every aspect of American life, from grocery shopping to cyber classrooms. Now, the government has to adapt its intelligence operations in a similar way in order to continue collecting foreign secrets and carrying out covert operations. But, the CIA has likely been adapting to these issues long before everyday Americans even recognized the issue and hopefully have it all under control.

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