Hands up if you remember Mad Magazine. They had a regular feature called Spy vs. Spy. It featured great art work, and a not-so-subtle spoof of James Bond and other secret agents who were all the rage back then.
If Mad were around today, they might consider something like Hacker vs. Hacker. One of the hottest movies right now is The Fifth Estate, the story of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. We have endless revelations about hacking and surveillance all over the world. We’re told repeatedly that we have no right to expect that our phone calls or e-mails will be private.
In the U.S. the story has focused on the NSA, the National Security Agency. The endless War on Terror is the justification for all invasions of privacy. Even heads of state are not safe. The Germans are royally ticked that Chancellor Angela Merkel may have had someone listening to calls she made on her cellphone.
The sky seems to be the limit when it comes to technology. Despite the best efforts of the best geeks that money can buy, no one seems able to come up with a communications system that can’t be hacked.
We also now know that Canada is part of the game. Who among us had ever heard of an agency called the Communications Security Establishment Canada or CSEC ? They are settling into a new home in Ottawa that cost taxpayers about $1.2 billion. That makes it the most expensive public building ever constructed in this country.
What are they telling us about it? Would you believe almost nothing. Everything is top secret, but thanks to the government of Brazil, we do know that C-SEC is involved in spying for commercial purposes. What kind of spying? No one can say.
Should we be afraid? I think so, and I sure wish I had Mad Mazazine to help pass the time.
I’m Roger Currie