Dr. Ruth Delaforce
(Research Fellow at the Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security, working on the Fragile States and Transnational Actors projects. She completed her PhD on private military and security companies at Griffith University, Australia).
The ongoing revelations by private contractor, Edward Snowden, have focused attention on the extensive scope of global intelligence gathering by the United States (US).
In particular, highlighting the vulnerabilities of digital data, raising concerns by civil libertarians in Europe and North America on citizen privacy, and causing diplomatic rifts between states, examples being the US and Germany, and Australia and Indonesia. However, limited attention has been paid to the challenges of privatising intelligence, especially where this occurs on behalf of the state. While current media reports indicate the US is the most active state involved in privatised intelligence, followed by Great Britain, it is also likely that other states are engaged in similar operations under the guise of private companies, through contractual arrangements, or by covert infiltration..... Read more