Posts Tagged ‘MI5’

Review: Spies Episode 1

Published January 9th 2017

Spies is the ‘new’ game show from Channel 4. I say ‘new’ because it’s a blow-for-blow remake of the 2004 BBC series Spy, which also took a small group of members of the public and had three former spooks put them through their paces via a series of tests and training exercises. The first episode of Spies contained one variation from the BBC’s version – one of the contestants is a mole, part of the team called ‘control’ who are ostensibly running the training course.

NSA Report on John le Carré Novels

Published January 5th 2017

Recently made available by Cryptome this NSA report originally appeared in an issue of their publication Cryptolog in 1992. It examines the role that signals intelligence (SIGINT) plays in the storylines of several John le Carré novels and considers whether the inaccuracies and limitations in these portrayals are of benefit to the NSA. They assess the influence of the novels on both the general public and on policy makers and in a moment of great irony they accuse le Carré of overlooking the moral consequences of his more favoured human intelligence (HUMINT), while doing the exact same thing themselves.

ClandesTime 085 – WW2 Spies and Hyperreality

Published September 25th 2016

Mutt and Jeff were a pair of Norwegian double agents during WW2, named after the popular cartoon characters. They played a crucial role in deceiving the Nazi intelligence apparatus by taking part in false flag sabotage and deception operations. Several of these operations have very curious codenames including Operation GUY FAWKES and Operation BUNBURY. In this episode I dwell on the relevance of MI5 operations sourcing their codenames from historical and fictional figures. I also analyse how an episode of Spooks in 2002 foreshadowed the declassification of government documents on these WW2 operations, before asking if MI5 are suffering from hyperreality.

16 Military and Intelligence Code Names Inspired by Popular Culture

Published June 22nd 2016

One of the most prominent influences of pop culture on government and on the deep state is in the use of code names. From the capture of Saddam Hussein to a counter-smuggling helicopter unit in Hawaii, from a mass surveillance program named after Blazing Saddles to Secret Service and MI5 code names taken from cartoon characters, this is a widespread and frequent phenomenon. It seems that the military and intelligence services are as obsessed with pop culture as anyone else, with both hilarious and terrifying results.

Review: The Double-Cross System

Published June 7th 2016

In my opinion, the importance of the intelligence war in World War 2 cannot be overstated. Economically, Britain was essentially bankrupt by the end of the war. Militarily they were not as well resourced and equipped as Germany with the exception of naval warfare, where the odds were much closer than in World War 1. The most decisive factor in Britain being on the victorious side of WW2 was their superior intelligence capabilities. There is nothing new in the technique of turning the agents of the enemy into channels for deception and misdirection, but the British in WW2 turned it into an art form. The Double-Cross System by John Cecil Masterman describes perhaps the most effective example of the use of double agents in modern military history.

Support