THE US government stuffed up a golden opportunity to spy on Osama bin Laden because stupid security agencies blew their cover.
Acording to the Washington Post a small private intelligence company called SITE hacked into an Al-Qaeda server and was monitoring it for a year for information on suicide bombers and spy codes.
When the server turned up a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, SITE told two members of the Bush administration so that they could prepare for the release.
Although they told them on the condition that their hack remained secret, within an hour the site had been visited by 16 Intelligence Agencies and two telly channels.
Not surprisingly Al-Qaeda smelt a rat and shut the server down.
SITE is furious with the government whose ignorance of surveillance was only matched by its desire to catch a real terrorist rather than some idiot who owned a dodgy book.
Rita Katz, the firm's 44-year-old founder said that techniques that took years to develop are now ineffective and worthless.
Ross Feinstein, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said that while SITE'S account of events was true, it was far better that the US defence agencies handled such monitoring.
In a comment which should earn him the title patronising idiot of the year, Feinstein, said that US agencies have their own sophisticated means of watching al-Qaeda on the Web and had individuals in the right places to handle it.
If by the right people you mean the television stations and so many uncoordinated government spooks you reveal to the person you are monitoring they are being watched, then we suppose he is right.
Looks like all those agents will have to go back to demanding full body searches from pensioners at airports who happened to hold half a bottle of water and leave the real spying to the private companies.
More here. µ
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