Technology is Making Life Harder for Spies
An article from The Economist makes a point that I have been thinking about for a while: the modern technology makes life harder for spies, not easier. It used to be the technology favored spycraft — think James Bond gadgets — but more and more, technology favors spycatchers. The ubiquitous collection of personal data makes it harder to maintain a false identity, ubiquitous eavesdropping makes it harder to communicate securely, the prevalence of cameras makes it harder to not be seen, and so on.
I think this an example of the general tendency of modern information and communications technology to increase power in proportion to existing power. So while technology makes the lone spy more effective, it makes an institutional counterspy organization much more powerful.