Spies, Lies, and Algorithms: The History and Future of American Intelligence

Seminar

Speaker(s)

Date and Time

February 8, 2022 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Availability

RSVP Required.

Location

Virtual to Public. Only those with an active Stanford ID with access to William J Perry Conference Room in Encina Hall may attend in person. 

* Please note all CISAC events are scheduled using the Pacific Time Zone.

 

Registration Link: https://stanford.zoom.us/webinar/register/3516292448059/WN_cydo4qubT3evbP5MfekRHw

 

About the Event: Spying has never been more ubiquitous―or less understood. The world is drowning in spy movies, TV shows, and novels, but universities offer more courses on rock and roll than on the CIA and there are more congressional experts on powdered milk than espionage. This crisis in intelligence education is distorting public opinion, fueling conspiracy theories, and hurting intelligence policy. In Spies, Lies, and Algorithms, Amy Zegart separates fact from fiction as she offers an engaging and enlightening account of the past, present, and future of American espionage as it faces a revolution driven by digital technology.

Drawing on decades of research and hundreds of interviews with intelligence officials, Zegart provides a history of U.S. espionage, from George Washington’s Revolutionary War spies to today’s spy satellites; examines how fictional spies are influencing real officials; gives an overview of intelligence basics and life inside America’s intelligence agencies; explains the deadly cognitive biases that can mislead analysts; and explores the vexed issues of traitors, covert action, and congressional oversight. Most of all, Zegart describes how technology is empowering new enemies and opportunities, and creating powerful new players, such as private citizens who are successfully tracking nuclear threats using little more than Google Earth. And she shows why cyberspace is, in many ways, the ultimate cloak-and-dagger battleground, where nefarious actors employ deception, subterfuge, and advanced technology for theft, espionage, and information warfare.

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About the Speaker: 

Amy Zegart is the Morris Arnold and Nona Jean Cox Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She is also a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Chair of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence and International Security Steering Committee, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. She specializes in U.S. intelligence, emerging technologies and national security, grand strategy, and global political risk management.