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MI6 Chief Sees Need For Predictive Analytics from Private Sector

Richard Moore, Chief of the U.K. Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) said there is no longer such a thing as an analog intelligence operation in the digital world.

“Our intelligence targets have online lives. Our officers need to operate invisibly to our adversaries. And we need to be able to run our agent and technical operations in an environment in which “Made in China” surveillance technology is found around the world.”

Secret Intelligence Service Chief Richard Moore (SIS)

“All of this requires insights from data, the tools to manipulate data and, most important, the talent to turn complex data into human insight. The combination of technological prowess and insights from human intelligence gives the U.K. a powerful edge. The Integrated Review elevated science and technology as a component of the highest importance to our national security and we need to work to shape international norms in collaboration with allies and partners.

“Our adversaries are pouring money and ambition into mastering artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology, because they know that mastering these technologies will give them leverage.”

“An intelligence service needs to be at the vanguard of what is technologically possible.”

Moore said MI6 is now pursuing partnerships with the tech community to help develop world-class technologies to solve the biggest mission problems.

“We cannot match the scale and resources of the global tech industry, so we shouldn’t try. Instead we should seek their help. Through the National Security Strategic Investment Fund we are opening up our mission problems to those with talent in organizations that wouldn’t normally work with national security. Unlike Q in the Bond movies, we cannot do it all in-house.

“I cannot stress enough what a sea-change this is in MI6’s culture, ethos and way of working, since we have traditionally relied primarily on our own capabilities to develop the world class technologies we need to stay secret and deliver against our mission.”

MI6 is in safe hands for its modernization. Moore understands not only the threats facing the U.K. and its allies, but also how these must be confronted in the digital age. He is not afraid to break the mold and is the first member of the British intelligence services to use social media publicly.

From the Shadow Emerges Knowledge