Sunday 24 Feb 2019 | 01:29 | SYDNEY
Sunday 24 Feb 2019 | 01:29 | SYDNEY

Former US spy chief on Snowden and the future of espionage



26 March 2014 08:25

Spiegel's interview with former CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden is endlessly quotable. Some nuggets below.

On the future of the internet:

There are countries that do not want the Internet as we know it. Russia, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia. The Snowden revelations will now allow them to argue that we Americans want to keep a single, unitary Internet, because it just helps us spy. My fear is that the disclosures may have set a motion in progress that ends up really threatening the Internet as we know it.

On the Pentagon's ambition for 'information superiority':

We Americans think of military doctrine and "domains" -- land, sea, air, space. As part of our military thought, we now think of cyber as a domain. Let me define air dominance for you: Air dominance is the ability of the United States to use the air domain at times and places of its own choosing while denying its use to its adversaries at times and places when it is in our legitimate national interest to do so. It's just a natural transfer that to the cyber domain. I do not think it is a threat to world peace and commerce any more than the American Air Force is a threat to world peace and commerce.

On Chinese cyber-espionage:

...although I think the Americans and some others are more sophisticated than the Chinese at doing this, no one is doing it on the scale that the Chinese are doing it. As a professional intelligence officer, I just stand back in awe at the depth, breadth and persistence of the Chinese espionage effort against the West and the United States...

Spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel:

Perhaps we underestimated the depth of feelings that the German people -- and again, not just the chancellor, but the German people, felt about this question of privacy, given their historical circumstances compared to our historical circumstances. At the Munich Security Conference it was clear to me that Germans regard privacy the way we Americans might regard freedom of speech or religion. Perhaps we did not appreciate that enough.

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