Earlier this week it was announced that a few Russian spies had been captured operating in the U.S. That’s interesting, and I’m actually surprised that the media hasn’t made a big deal out of it. Because it’s not. The Wall Street Journal cites a number of sources that say this story, with even as little attention as it has garnered, is still blown out of proportion.
- Philip Shenon at The Daily Beast indicates that “The Justice Department and the F.B.I. have been unable to point to a single significant piece of classified information that the so-called spies obtained during their many years in the United States; none of the suspects is accused of espionage.”
- Daniel Drezner, at Foreign Policy calls it the “lamest espionage conspiracy….ever.”
What is notable, is that these “spies” had allegedly been passing information to the Motherland in a manner that was previously only theoretically possible:
The accused spies posted the seemingly mundane photos on publicly accessible websites, but then extracted coded messages from the computer data of the pictures, according to the criminal complaint filed by the FBI. Although computer scientists have theorized about the existence of this communication technique for over a decade, this is the first publicly acknowledged use of the technique.
Off-the-cuff, you kinda have to wonder if this is some sort of pretext for the Orwellian “internet kill switch”, which would really concentrate the dissemination of information and “opinion” among the state-sanctioned media outlets, who would of course remain fair and impartial as they repeat the ruling party’s propaganda, and it would be the coup de grace for whatever vestiges remain of our freedoms of speech and information.