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People Are Spying On You! A Paranoid Private Service Announcement By the US Army

Amidst the sound and fury over Wikileaks and Julian Assange, it's easy to forget about Army private "Bradley Manning":, the likely source...

Dec 10 2010, 6:26pm

Amidst the sound and fury over Wikileaks and Julian Assange, it’s easy to forget about Army private Bradley Manning, the likely source of those quarter of a million diplomatic cables. He was a 22-year-old Baghdad based intelligence analyst when he allegedly copied the secret data to a fake Lady Gaga CD, and one of tens of thousands of people who had access to a protected data network. Anyone with that kind of access goes through serious anti-espionage training; in the U.S. Army, that effort is collected under a program called Subversion and Espionage Directed Against the US Army, or SAEDA.

The video above, from the 1980s, is a primer on how to deflect the advances of foreign spies, and a classic example of military starchiness in the Cold War era, with bad early computer graphics, a flat-toned narrator with awkward formulations (“What is OPSEC? There are as many definitions as there are people who have asked that question.”), an array of obsolete technologies, and warnings on the dangers of social clubs around Washington, DC (note the two men meeting for an intimate bar encounter).

Manning certainly knew these rules, and said he was willing to be executed for exposing secrets. Now the danger of spies plying and blackmailing Army officers for secret information seems almost laughable next to what a young, ideologically-motivated and tech savvy Army private can do.