“Private Spies and Our Growing Surveillance State”
The fact that we know very little about how TrapWire operates—even though most of the company’s clients are taxpayer-funded organizations—cuts to the heart of the problem of outsourcing intelligence. Since private corporations are not subject to public records law, there are limited avenues by which we might learn more about what the firm’s technology is really capable of. That, like many other thorny issues TrapWire raises, is a problem that applies to all intelligence contractors. As more secrets are farmed out to private corporations, the public loses twice: we pay more for the privilege of being surveilled, and we lose crucial access to the very transparency mechanisms that are supposed to keep the intelligence agencies in check and operating within the rule of law.
From Kade Crockford’s excellent piece in The Nation.