Government Email Problems, Wikileaks, Russia, Drone Leaks, NASA Security and Other Counterintelligence Nightmares | Episode 20

Covert Contact kicks off again with an admittedly rambling, but hopefully entertaining, start as I review a number of high profile security issues with counterintelligence pro William Tucker. We look at the hack of DCIA John Brennan’s AOL account, Hillary Clinton’s email problems, and then ponder the broader risks associated with the personal accounts of key U.S. officials. And while we’re at it what’s with the curious lack of interest that organizations like Wikileaks have in exposing officials in Russia or North Korea. What’s up with that? Then we move on to drone leaks and drone policy before closing out the show with a look at the almost depressingly terrible security practices exhibited by NASA in the Bo Jiang case. Again, it’s a bit of a ramble but hopefully a fun one.

You can follow William J. Tucker on Twitter and read his guest posts on Blogs of War:

Everybody Spies – and for Good Reason
Hawaii a Priority Target for Foreign Espionage
Would the U.S. Really Kill Edward Snowden?
Snowden’s Snowjob?

Other Covert Contact Episodes Featuring William:
Episode 15: Hillary Clinton’s Email Server: Dissecting the Risks with William Tucker
Episode 12: Counterintelligence: William J. Tucker Breaks Down the Challenges

Robots and the Future of Warfare: The Advantage Might Not Lie with the Inventors | Episode 6

In episode 6 I am looking at the evolution of unmanned platforms and speculate about the impact that they could have on warfare. The technology is evolving faster than our appreciation for the complications it will bring so while there will be countless positive benefits there will also unquestionably be a dark side to it all. Smarter systems are better, and spare innocent lives, but does that mean that less ethical actors could exploit less capable platforms to kill indiscriminately? Does that give them an advantage?

Blogs of War contributor William Tucker also called in to the Covert Contact voicemail line and shared some thoughts on how the U.S. intelligence community should be allocating its resources. I close out the episode with a special drone edition of Five to Follow.

The Week’s Five to Follow

@GregoryMcNeal – Professor working in law & public policy and a Forbes magazine contributor. His blog can be found at

@DIYDrones – The worlds largest RPAS community with over 50,000 members.

@chr1sa – Ex-Wired Editor in Chief, 3D Robotics CEO, DIY Drone founder.

@dronelaws – Brendan M. Schulman is a lawyer who specializes in commercial drone law.

@drunkenpredator – Knowledgeable commentary on drones cloaked in humor.