Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Espionage: the market for secret information

The newspapers this morning are full of stories about the arrest of eleven accused Russian spies, e.g. the NY Times reports In Ordinary Lives, U.S. Sees the Work of Russian Agents.
"They had lived for more than a decade in American cities and suburbs from Seattle to New York, where they seemed to be ordinary couples working ordinary jobs, chatting to the neighbors about schools and apologizing for noisy teenagers.
"But on Monday, federal prosecutors accused 11 people of being part of a Russian espionage ring, living under false names and deep cover in a patient scheme to penetrate what one coded message called American “policy making circles.” "

The story in the Harvard Crimson adds an interesting detail: Kennedy School Grad Arrested in Russian Spy Raid.
"Called the “Boston Conspirators” in a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Heathfield and Foley are alleged to have met with a “former legislative counsel for US Congress” and a “member of faculty in economics.” The documents redacted the affiliation of the faculty member."

It's true that the publication process in Economics is ridiculously slow, but I thought the internet had removed the need for cells of long term sleeper spies to find out what's in our working papers...

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