Last week the Chicago Tribune published an article regarding how easy it was to identify covert CIA agents using simple web searches. The byline summed up their views on it "It's easy to track America's covert operatives. All you need to know is how to navigate the Internet.". They then described the outcome of their investigation as this:
When the Tribune searched a commercial online data service, the result was a virtual directory of more than 2,600 CIA employees, 50 internal agency telephone numbers and the locations of some two dozen secret CIA facilities around the United States.
Former CIA agent Larry Johnson noticed this article and has taken a more realistic view on it.
Oh really? Okay Mr. Crewdson (the author of this nonsense). Please search the internet and identify 100 CIA officers for me. Go ahead. Give it a shot. Oh, I forgot, first you need a name. You do not just enter a random name and come up with a flashing sign that says, "this guy is CIA". So really what you are saying is that if I tell you someone works for the CIA you can do a search and find out that someone, who is a private consultant, once worked for the U.S. State Department? In other words, you first have to be tipped off to look at a particular person.
I agree 100% with Larry on this but I also want to take it further. For years we have been reminded of Osama's existence by video and audio transmissions that are placed on al Qaeda websites. The problem is that someone has to be sitting at a computer to put this information on the web and we can not find them. If someone downloads illegal porn then we know exactly where they are at but we can't find public enemy number one who is also using a computer?