By DEVIN LEONARD
Off the Shelf
The New York Times
March 5, 2010
IT'S easy to understand how Washington reporters can become jaded. They
are constantly being spun by the same gang of politicians and lobbyists
who dominate the nation's capital.
So, by his own admission, Eamon Javers, a veteran Washington
correspondent who now covers the White House for Politico, was thrilled
when he stumbled on a new cast of characters in the area: former spies
who peddle their services to large companies.
The result is "Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of
Corporate Espionage" (Harper Business, 306 pages) , Mr. Javers's
account of how he doggedly tracked down rent-a-spies in United States
and Europe and tried to get them to divulge their mysteries.
The author obtained quite a few meetings with former C.I.A., MI5 and
K.G.B. agents who comb through trash and snoop on people using satellite
technology, on behalf of the private sector. He says their business is
booming, although he isn't sure if this is good for the world.
Mr. Javers warns, "In an increasingly fragmented geopolitical
environment, the balance seems to be shifting away from governments and
toward corporate and even private individuals, who have access to more
intelligence and information-gathering abilities than many governments
in history ever had."
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