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It’s Getting Kinda Technic(al)

A reminder that there is more to intelligence and security than policy-wonk stuff . . .

The older I get the less proficient in technology I get, but there was a time when I was fairly ‘l33t (get your kids to explain it to you). Today I’m in the running for the world’s worst computer science grad and I’m rapidly becoming a very stale computer forensics practitioner. Still, I can live vicariously through the likes of Bret Pardres and Ovie Carroll, the proprietors behind CyberSpeak, a podcast of forensics and technical security issues. For you DC readers think The Sports Junkies only replace sports with computers.

Bret and Ovie are members of the AFOSI mafia, which seems to have a lock on the forensics business in both government and the private sector. You can’t throw a stick and not hit one of them, which speaks volumes about how seriously the AF takes computer security issues (I’m not sure what it says about AF retention policies). In the interest of full disclosure I’m technically “mobbed up” but have never met these two wise guys.

Why the sudden plug for tech issues? One because I have it on the brain after listening to the podcast while cooling my jets at Dulles all afternoon. Secondly it is a reminder that keeping abreast of technical issues is going to serve you well when you’re considering future threats and vulnerabilities to national security. Spying is still spying, but the ubiquity of computing devices and the growing prevelence of always-available, high-speed connectivity means that the spying game just got a lot easier for one side, and a lot tougher for the other.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.