There’s been an ongoing news issue related to the NSA that I’m not going to directly comment on, Charles Stross has one of the more interesting comments about it . One of his major points is that any success at government secrecy relies on the type of work environment that existed 40+ years ago. Corporatism has killed government secrecy – now it’s a matter of time before corporate whistle-blowers start seriously leaking documents.
One article that Charles links to is an interesting and insightful blog post Adam Curtis wrote for the BBC about the many failures of MI5 . I think that everyone is aware of their biggest failures but from Adam’s article it seems that they have only failed and never succeeded in anything. I wonder whether ASIO is any better, it’s probably not (the Wikipedia page notes the involvement of MI5 in creating ASIO). It seems that the best way of achieving the goals of ASIO and MI5 would be to disband those organisations and assign regular police to do such work, after all it’s been proven that British police are better at catching spies than MI5.