4.12.18

MI6 spy chief outlines ‘fourth generation espionage’

The director of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service —known as MI6— has outlined the parameters of a new, “fourth generation of espionage”, which he said is needed to combat the “threats of the hybrid age”.Technological change, as well as the degree of interconnectedness, he said, has made the world “dramatically more complicated”. The British spy chief added that MI6, as “one of the few truly global intelligence agencies” is well positioned to respond to hybrid threats, mostly by augmenting its human intelligence role —using human spies to collect information. Human intelligence, which is MI6’s core task, “will never change fundamentally”, said Younger, adding that “in fact it will become even more important in a more complex world”. However, it will need to evolve to meet the challenges of the hybrid age. MI6 was pioneering a “fourth generation of espionage”, which is the product of the fusion of traditional human skills with “accelerated [technological] innovation”.

This new generation of espionage said Younger, relies not on individual work but on operations that are carried out by dynamic teams within and across state agencies. Additionally, the ultimate task of these operations is not simply to know the actions of one’s adversaries, but “to change their behavior”, said the British spy chief. Furthermore, in order to successfully develop fourth generation espionage capabilities, MI6 will have to “ensure that technology is on our side, not that of our opponents”, noted Younger. The same methods, which make the modern world more transparent, can pose “a serious challenge if used against us”, warned the MI6 chief.

Joseph Fitsanakis
https://intelnews.org/2018/12/04/01-2449/

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