It's probably the most famous classified operation of the US Security agencies known to man. At the moment the details are hazy to me, though known to be sinister and sneaky. Of course that's what intelligence services do. So what else is new? Well, what's new is that Black Mirror is showing some of the possibly dystopian consequences of what we know these new technologies might unleash on society given the new ubiquity of powerful IT tools and techniques. We're kind of sliding into it sideways without, I think, an adequate amount of useful terminology in the public mind.
So let me slide sideways a minute and go back to 9/11. When that happened, I was hanging out with a group called Brainstorms, and one of the members of the group was connected to the intelligence community. We asked this dude to help us understand what we have now come to know as 'asymmetrical warfare' and it was very difficult to get straight answers. That was a combination of his commitment to secrecy and our relative ignorance of the context of the intel warrior's job. Well one of the things that is very difficult to grasp is how many tens of thousands of programmers there are who now understand and have access to the kind of technology the intelligence services deploy. The asymmetrical warfare of small, agile coders with excellent software is on the other foot, as it were. The short term advantage is with the little guy.
So it occurs to me that as I get better at securing data for my clients, I should add a level of abstraction. Especially when it comes to describing best practices, it's very useful over the long term to talk about the customer in a way that isolates them. So I'm going to help anonymize my customers by giving their projects codenames. Nothing particulary spooky but spookish nonetheless.
So now I can tell you about
without having to kill you.