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2022 CONCLUSION | Enigma Machines

2022 CONCLUSION | Enigma Machines

by Starling Insights

Starling Insights Editorial Board

May 15, 2022


“We have to defend ourselves as a country against a growing threat from state actors,” said Richard Moore, “within an international system which is not working as it should do to constrain conflict and aggression.” Chief — or “C” — of Britain’s storied Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6, Moore was giving his first public speech, in November last year, to address “an era of dramatic change in the security landscape,” and to emphasize the importance of human intelligence in an increasingly digital landscape.1 “We can not match the scale and resources of the global tech industry, so we shouldn’t try,” Moore conceded. “Instead we should seek their help.”

Moore cited assessments suggesting that we may experience more technological progress in the next ten years than we have witnessed in the last century. “What we do, as a human intelligence agency, is essential,” Moore insisted, “because at the end of the day, even in a digital world, critical decisions are made by real people.” While an intelligence agency must keep with the vanguard of what technology makes feasible, and while a modern clandestine service must draw on insights found in data, it is more important still, Moore argued, that MI6 possess, “the talent to turn complex data into human insight.”

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