Intelligence: Spies Love Smart Phones, Tablets and The Internet

Archives

March 19, 2014: A growing intel opportunity for spies is the temptation for people who work with classified information to put it on a PC, tablet or smartphone. They do this so they can work at home or while on the road. Spies have found that secret data is much easier to steal when it ends up on someone’s laptop, tablet or smartphone. Aside from simply stealing (or borrowing) these devices for the data on them, access is also gained via that fact that most of these devices are on the Internet and can be hacked into. Warning to safeguard these devices when travelling abroad and reminders that it’s illegal to keep certain types of data on portable electronic devise are becoming more frequent, more often public and increasingly backed by prosecutions of those who ignore the warnings. Thus it should be no surprise that Israel recently prosecuted 14 air force pilots for carrying classified data on their smartphones. Two of those pilots were sentenced to five days in jail while eleven others got suspended jail sentences and one was acquitted.

In Japan officers have been prosecuted for putting classified data on CDs and distributing them to students because it was more convenient, despite the fact that some of the data was highly classified. Similar incidents have occurred in South Korea and Taiwan. China doesn’t talk about the problem, but apparently similar sloppiness has been a bonanza for foreign intelligence services.

The problem is not going away and there is no easy solution. At least these lapses are no longer being ignored, which was the case back in the 1990s when it first became a problem.

 

Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad Help Keep Us Online!
 

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close