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From satellites that can photograph postage stamps from space to covert operatives who are searching for Osama bin Laden, private companies now help run much of the clandestine services for organizations like the Central Intelligence Agency. For example Science Applications International Corporation of San Diego, California, is designing the eavesdropping software for the National Security Agency in the United States to monitor phones, faxes and email.

Outsourcing the Kill Chain: Eleven Drone Contractors Revealed
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
August 3rd, 2015
Hundreds of private sector intelligence analysts are being paid to review surveillance footage from U.S. military drones in Central Asia and the Middle East, according to a new report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

French Tribunal Investigates Qosmos Over Surveillance Software Use In Syria
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
July 21st, 2015
Qosmos – a French technology company – is being investigated for acting as an “assisted witness” in alleged torture in Syria. The specialized crimes unit of the Paris Tribunal has agreed to study the use of Qosmos surveillance software by Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, following complaints filed by two human rights NGOs.

Selling Your Secrets: The Invisible World of Software Backdoors and Bounty Hunters
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch/Tomdispatch
February 7th, 2014
Mass surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency involves close partnerships with high-tech companies in order to gather data on everyday people. The agency has cut deals to install secret backdoors into computers; exploit flaws in popular software; and surreptitiously analyze personal data from smartphone games.

Turning the Table on the Trackers: Wikileaks Sniffs out Spy Salesmen
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 6th, 2013
What was Mostapha Maanna of Hacking Team, an Italian surveillance company, doing on his three trips to Saudi Arabia in the last year? A new data trove from WikiLeaks reveals travel details for salesmen like Maanna who hawk electronic technology to track communications by individuals without their knowledge

Turkmenistan and Oman Negotiated to Buy Spy Software: Wikileaks
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
September 4th, 2013
Turkmenistan and Oman have been negotiating with a consortium of British, German and Swiss companies to buy “FinFisher” software to spy on phone calls and Internet activity of unsuspecting targets, according to a new trove of documents just released by Wikileaks, the global whistleblowing organization.

Surveillance Contractor Bug In Ecuador Embassy Fails to Stop Wikileaks
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
July 3rd, 2013
Bugging equipment from the Surveillance Group Limited, a British private detective agency, has been found in the Ecuadorean embassy in London where Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks, has taken refuge. The spy devices have so far failed to foil the whistle blowing group's daring exploits to support Edward Snowden.

Raytheon Video Claims Riot Software Can Track Users Via Social Networks
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
February 13th, 2013
Raytheon, a U.S. military manufacturer, is selling a new software surveillance package named “Riot” that claims to predict where individuals are expected to go next using technology that mines data from social networks like Facebook, Foursquare and Twitter.

U.S. Congressional Wartime Commission Targets Armed Contractors
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
June 23rd, 2010
This week, almost a decade after the U.S. "War on Terror" began, the Commission on Wartime Contracting held two days of hearings into the role of private contractors in conducting and supporting war. The Congressional witness table included Aegis, DynCorp and Triple Canopy. Curiously, Blackwater was not called; and the CEO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions failed to appear.

US/AFGHANISTAN/PAKISTAN: U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts
by Mark MazzettiNew York Times
May 15th, 2010
Top military officials continue to rely on a secret network of private spies set up by Michael D. Furlong, despite concerns about the legality of the operation. A New York Times review found Mr. Furlong’s operatives still providing information, with contractors still being paid under a $22 million contract, managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by a Pentagon office.

AFGHANISTAN/US: Outsourcing intelligence
by David IgnatiusWashington Post
March 17th, 2010
The headline read like something you might see in the conspiracy-minded Pakistani press: "Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants." But the story appeared in Monday's New York Times, and it highlighted some big problems that have developed in the murky area between military and intelligence activities.

Afghanistan Spy Contract Goes Sour for Pentagon
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 16th, 2010
Mike Furlong, a top Pentagon official, is alleged to have hired a company called International Media Ventures to supply information for drone strikes and assassinations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a complaint filed by the CIA and revealed by the New York Times on March 15.

AFGHANISTAN/US: Contractors Tied to Effort to Track and Kill Militants
March 15th, 2010
Under the cover of a benign government information-gathering program, a Defense Department official set up a network of private contractors in Afghanistan and Pakistan to help track and kill suspected militants, according to military officials and businessmen in Afghanistan and the United States. The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives.

US/CHINA: U.S. Holds Fire in Google-China Feud
January 12th, 2010
U.S. government officials and business leaders were supportive but wary of taking sides in Google Inc.'s battle with China, a sign of the delicate tensions between the growing superpower and the West. Google has threatened to bolt from China over censorship and alleged cyber spying.

AFGHANISTAN: Lost in Limbo: Injured Afghan Translators Struggle to Survive
by Pratap ChatterjeeProPublica
December 17th, 2009
Local translators are hidden casualties of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. military uses defense contractors to hire local residents to serve as translators for the troops. These local translators often live, sleep and eat with soldiers. And yet when they are wounded, they are often ignored by the U.S. system designed to provide them medical care and disability benefits, according to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times and ProPublica.

Spies for Hire: New Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors
by Tim ShorrockSpecial to CorpWatch
November 16th, 2009
CorpWatch joins with Tim Shorrock today, the first journalist to blow the whistle on the privatization of U.S. intelligence, in releasing Spies for, a groundbreaking database focusing on the dozens of corporations that provide classified intelligence services to the United States government.

Mission Essential, Translators Expendable
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 11th, 2009
Ohio-based Mission Essential Personnel supplies over 2,000 translators to the Pentagon in Afghanistan, who play a critical role in protecting local and military lives. These interpreters are a key communications link. But if they are wounded or killed, they are often left to fend for themselves. This special features video of CorpWatch interviews with three Afghan whistleblowers, recorded in country in April. Click through to hear their story.

US: Cash-rich SAIC hits the acquisition trail
by Sami LaisWashington Technology
August 6th, 2009
Making a big splash in recent weeks, Science Applications International Corp. bought two companies, adding new capabilities in cybersecurity, energy and disaster recovery — areas in which government spending is expected to grow.

IRAN: Iran's Web Spying Aided By Western Technology
by Christopher Rhoads and Loretta ChaoWall Street Journal
June 22nd, 2009
The Iranian regime has developed one of the world's most sophisticated mechanisms for controlling and censoring the Internet. The Iranian government appears to be engaging in a practice often called deep packet inspection. The monitoring capability was provided, at least in part, by a joint venture of Siemens AG, the German conglomerate, and Nokia Corp., the Finnish cellphone company.

US: Contractors Vie for Plum Work, Hacking for U.S. Government
May 30th, 2009
The Obama administration’s push into cyberwarfare has set off a rush among the biggest military companies for billions of dollars in new defense contracts. Nearly all of the largest military companies — including Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon — have major cyber contracts with the military and intelligence agencies.

US: Contracting Boom Could Fizzle Out
by Dana HedgpethWashington Post
April 7th, 2009
The surge in the U.S. military contracting workforce would ebb under Defense Secretary Gates's budget proposal as the Pentagon moves to replace private workers with full-time civil servants. The move could affect companies such as CACI and SAIC. "We are right-sizing the defense acquisition workforce so we can improve our contract oversight and get a better deal for the taxpayers," said the Pentagon's director of defense procurement and acquisition policy.

Outsourcing Intelligence in Iraq: A CorpWatch Report on L-3/Titan, Updated December 2008 with Recommendations from Amnesty International
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
December 9th, 2008
When U.S. troops or embassy officials want to investigate Iraqis - such as interrogating prisoners, the principal intermediary is a Manhattan based-company named L-3. CorpWatch is pleased to release an updated version of this report, with recommendations from Amnesty International on human rights and other standards for translation and intelligence contracting.

IRAQ: U.S. to Fund Pro-American Publicity in Iraqi Media
by Karen DeYoung and Walter PincusWashingtom Post
October 3rd, 2008
The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.

US: Foggo pleads guilty in Wilkes case: Former CIA official fraudulently sent contracts to friend
by Paul M. KrawzakSan Diego Union Tribune – Washington Bureau
September 30th, 2008
Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the former No. 3 official in the CIA, pleaded guilty yesterday to fraudulently steering intelligence contracts to his lifelong friend, former Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes.

UK: Qinetiq buys US spy services firm
BBC News
August 4th, 2008
Qinetiq, once owned by the Ministry of Defence (MOD), said it would it pay $104.5m (£53m) in cash for the firm.

IRAQ: Iraq Case Sheds Light On Secret Contractors
by Siobhan Gorman and August ColeWall Street Journal
July 17th, 2008
Court documents and interviews with whistleblowers shed light on persistent problems in the operations of private military and security company MVM, Inc., a top provider of secret security to U.S. intelligence agencies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Over the Counter Intelligence
by Philip Mattera
June 13th, 2008

Analysis: Dogs of War: Inherently governmental?
by David IsenbergUnited Press International
May 9th, 2008
Amid all the polemics over the use of private military and security contractors by the U.S. government there are two words one rarely sees, but they lie at the very heart of the debate: "inherently governmental."

An Afternoon with L-3 Communications/Titan
by Tonya Hennessey
April 30th, 2008

Carlyle Group May Buy Major CIA Contractor: Booz Allen Hamilton
by Tim Shorrock Special to CorpWatch
March 8th, 2008
The Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity funds, may soon buy out the $2 billion dollar intelligence division of Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the biggest advisors to the U.S. spy community.

US: Court dismisses lawsuit on secret kidnapping
by Adam TannerReuters
February 14th, 2008
A federal judge, saying the case involved a state secret, dismissed a lawsuit on Wednesday against a unit of Boeing Co that charged the firm helped fly terrorism suspects abroad to secret prisons.

US: Bush Presses House to Approve Bill on Surveillance
by ERIC LICHTBLAUThe New York Times
February 13th, 2008
The president’s remarks came the morning after the Senate handed the White House a major victory by voting to broaden the government’s spy powers and to give legal protection to phone companies that cooperated in President Bush’s program of eavesdropping without warrants.

US: CIA Likely Let Contractors Perform Waterboarding
by SIOBHAN GORMANThe Wall Street Journal
February 8th, 2008
The CIA's secret interrogation program has made extensive use of outside contractors, whose role likely included the waterboarding of terrorist suspects, according to testimony yesterday from the CIA director and two other people familiar with the program.

UK: FBI wants instant access to British identity data
by Owen BowcottThe Guardian (UK)
January 15th, 2008
Americans seek international database to carry iris, palm and finger prints

US: Wider Spying Fuels Aid Plan for Telecom Industry
by Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and Scott ShaneNew York Times
December 16th, 2007
The Bush administration is waging a high-profile campaign to persuade Congress to pass legislation protecting companies from lawsuits for aiding the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping program. At stake is the federal government's partnership with industry to conduct a wide range of secret surveillance operations in fighting terrorism and crime.

Domestic Spying, Inc.
by Tim Shorrock Special to CorpWatch
November 27th, 2007
A new U.S. intelligence institution will allow government spy agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the country for the first time. Contractors like Boeing, BAE Systems, Harris Corporation, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation are already lining up for possible work.

US: Failure to Launch: In Death of Spy Satellite Program, Lofty Plans and Unrealistic Bids
by Philip TaubmanNew York Times
November 11th, 2007
Collapse of a government funded project to build new spy satellites was all but inevitable.

US: Intel official: Say goodbye to privacy
by Pamela Hess Associated Press
November 11th, 2007
Privacy no longer can mean anonymity, says Donald Kerr, the principal deputy director of national intelligence. Instead, it should mean that government and businesses properly safeguards people's private communications and financial information.

US: Yahoo plea over China rights case
BBC News
November 7th, 2007
Internet giant Yahoo has asked a US court to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of complicity in rights abuses and acts of torture in China.

CHINA: An Opportunity for Wall St. in China’s Surveillance Boom
by Keith BradsherNew York Times
September 11th, 2007
China Security and Surveillance Technology, a fast-growing company that installs and sometimes operates surveillance systems for Chinese police agencies, jails and banks, has just been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The company’s listing is just a sign of ever-closer ties among Wall Street, surveillance companies and the Chinese government’s security apparatus.

US: Role of Telecom Firms in Wiretaps Is Confirmed
by Eric LichtblauNew York Times
August 24th, 2007
The Bush administration has confirmed for the first time that American telecommunications companies played a crucial role in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program after asserting for more than a year that any role played by them was a “state secret.”

US: I Spy-For Capitalism
by Eamon JaversBusinessWeek
August 13th, 2007
In late May, a Russian agent slipped unnoticed into a Moscow movie theater showing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. He donned night-vision goggles, scanned the theater, and spotted his target. But this was no Cold War spy scenario: The agent was an ex-Russian cop, and he was searching for real-life pirates making illicit copies of the Walt Disney (DIS ) film.

US: Boeing unit subject of refiled CIA-flight suit
by Bloomberg NewsChicago Tribune
August 2nd, 2007
A Boeing Co. unit falsified flight plans to disguise the Central Intelligence Agency's transporting of terrorism suspects to secret prisons overseas, the American Civil Liberties Union claims in an updated lawsuit.

US: As Iraq Costs Soar, Contractors Earn Record Profits
by Eli CliftonInter Press Service News Agency
August 2nd, 2007
In a report to lawmakers earlier this week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the war in Iraq could cost U.S. taxpayers over a trillion dollars when the long-term costs of caring for soldiers wounded in action, military and economic aid for the Iraqi government, and ongoing costs associated with the 190,000 troops stationed in Iraq are totaled up.

IRAQ: A Private Realm Of Intelligence-Gathering; Firm Extends U.S. Government's Reach
by Steve Fainaru and Alec KleinWashington Post Foreign Service
July 1st, 2007
On the first floor of a tan building inside Baghdad's Green Zone, the full scope of Iraq's daily carnage is condensed into a 30-minute PowerPoint presentation. The intelligence was compiled not by the U.S. military, but by a British security firm, Aegis Defence Services Ltd. The Reconstruction Operations Center is the most visible example of how intelligence collection is now among the responsibilities handled by a network of private security companies that work in the shadows of the U.S. military.

IRAQ: 'Pentagon Moved to Fix Iraqi Media Before Invasion'
by Jim LobeInter Press Service
May 9th, 2007
In the run-up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon planned to create a 'Rapid Reaction Media Team' (RRMT) designed to ensure control over major Iraqi media while providing an Iraqi 'face' for its efforts, according to a ‘White Paper' obtained by the independent National Security Archive (NSA) which released it Tuesday.

US: Translator Who Faked Identity Pleads Guilty To Having Secret Data
by Josh WhiteWashington Post
February 15th, 2007
An Arabic translator who used an assumed identity to get work as a contractor for the U.S. Army in Iraq pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of possessing classified national defense documents, including sensitive material about the insurgency that he took from an 82nd Airborne Division intelligence group in 2004.

The Fourth Branch of Government
by Pratap Chatterjee
February 12th, 2007

PERU: UN Mission Probes Private Security Groups
by Ángel PáezInter Press News Service (IPS)
February 7th, 2007
A priest who provides support for Peruvian farmers in their conflict with a transnational gold mining corporation complained to a United Nations mission that he was under surveillance by a private security company.

This Alien Life: Privatized Prisons for Immigrants
by Deepa FernandesSpecial to CorpWatch
February 5th, 2007
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the U.S. government invoked national security to sweep up and jail an unprecedented number of immigrants. Companies like Corrections Corporation of America and Wackenhut, have reaped the benefits.

IRAQ: US money is 'squandered' in Iraq
BBC News
January 31st, 2007
Millions of dollars in US rebuilding funds have been wasted in Iraq, US auditors say in a report which warns corruption in the country is rife.

US: PUC Not Letting Verizon off Hook
by Ann S. KimPortland Press Herald (MAINE)
January 30th, 2007
The Maine Public Utilities Commission decided Monday to begin contempt proceedings against Verizon Communications for failing to affirm the truthfulness of statements the company made about its possible role in the government's warrantless surveillance program.

US: New Scanners for Tracking City Workers
by Sewell ChanNew York Times
January 23rd, 2007
The Bloomberg administration is devoting more than $180 million toward state-of-the-art technology to keep track of when city employees come and go, with one agency requiring its workers to scan their hands each time they enter and leave the workplace.

US: Muslim Says He Was Abducted By U.S.
by Armen Keteyian and Phil Hirschkorn.CBS News
November 28th, 2006
Khaled El-Masri says he is not after money but answers about why he spent five months in harsh captivity as a prisoner in the war on terrorism.

US: Congressman's Favors for Friend Include Help in Secret Budget
by John R. WilkeWall Street Journal
November 1st, 2006
With Rep. Gibbons's Backing, An Ex-Trader for Milken Wins Millions in Contracts A Lawsuit's Sensitive Subject

IRAQ: Pentagon Audit Clears Propaganda Effort
by Mark MazzettiNew York Times
October 20th, 2006
An American military propaganda campaign that planted favorable news articles in the Iraqi news media did not violate laws or Pentagon regulations, but it was not properly supervised by military officials in Baghdad, an audit by the Pentagon Inspector General has concluded.

IRAQ: Corporate Torture in Iraq
Ali Eteraz
Counter Punch
October 11th, 2006
What remains under-reported and under-appreciated is the fact that this war has afforded a vast collection of corporations to reap the benefits of lucrative government contracts. A number of such companies are involved in supervising, maintaining, and providing support for the numerous prisons in Iraq in the areas of interrogation, interpretation, and translation.

IRAQ: Firm That Paid Iraq Papers Gets New Deal
by Rebecca SantanaAssociated Press
September 27th, 2006
A public relations company that participated in a controversial U.S. military program that paid Iraqi newspapers for stories favorable to coalition forces has been awarded another multimillion-dollar media contract with American forces in Iraq.

US: Border Security Contract Goes To Boeing
September 22nd, 2006
Boeing Co. has been chosen to build a "virtual fence" using sensors and cameras along the U.S. border with Mexico and Canada to help control illegal immigration in a contract projected to be worth up to $2 billion.

US: Spy Agencies Outsourcing to Fill Key Jobs
by Greg MillerThe Los Angeles Times
September 17th, 2006
At the National Counterterrorism Center — the agency created two years ago to prevent another attack like Sept. 11 — more than half of the employees are not U.S. government analysts or terrorism experts. Instead, they are outside contractors.

US: Pentagon Spends Billions to Outsource Torture
by Joshua HollandAlternet
September 14th, 2006
The thousands of mercenary security contractors employed in the Bush administration's "War on Terror" are billed to American taxpayers, but they've handed Osama Bin Laden his greatest victories -- public relations coups that have transformed him from just another face in a crowd of radical clerics to a hero of millions in the global South (posters of Bin Laden have been spotted in largely Catholic Latin America during protests against George W. Bush).

CANADA: Our side of defence
by Jorge BarreraThe Ottawa Times
August 20th, 2006
Ottawa may have the reputation of a government town, but it's also home to Canada's military-industrial complex.

Intelligence in Iraq: L-3 Supplies Spy Support
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 9th, 2006
L-3 Communications, a little-known but gigantic military contractor, provides 300 contract intelligence experts to the Pentagon in Iraq to support operations ranging from interrogation to media analysis. The secretive $426.5 million operation, which is run out of Virginia, may be a recipe for disaster, say critics.
Also see related story, A Translator's Tale, by Pratap Chatterjee.

A Translator's Tale
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 9th, 2006
Goran Habbeb was shot and left for dead by gunmen in Iraq for helping troops in counter-intelligence tasks. He worked for Titan, a military contractor, who supply translators to the military under a profitable multi-billion dollar contract. Almost 200 of their workers have been killed, the highest by far of any contractor in Iraq.

US: Pentagon Orders Investigation Of Cunningham's MZM Earmark
by Walter Pincus Washington Post
March 24th, 2006
Undersecretary of Defense Stephen A. Cambone ordered an internal study of how funding earmarked in a bill by then-Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.) led to contracts for MZM Inc. to do work for the Pentagon's new agency: the Counterintelligence Field Activity.

IRAQ: Increase in Contracting Intelligence Jobs Raises Concerns
by Walter PincusThe Washington Post
March 20th, 2006
By using contract employees for intelligence work, government agencies lose control over those doing this sensitive work and an element of profit is inserted into what is being done. Also, as investigations have revealed, politics and corruption may be introduced into the process.

Meet the New Interrogators: Lockheed Martin
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
November 4th, 2005
Sytex, a subsidiary of Lockheed , the world's largest military contractor, has emerged as one of the biggest recruiters of private interrogators deployed to the United States-run prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan.

US: AS US Falter in Iraq, China Gains
by Tom Plate The Seattle Times
August 23rd, 2005
It looks as if history will judge Mahathir to have been the wiser of the two owls. The U.S. military is enmeshed in a vicious insurgency and there may be no way out — except, in fact, to get out, outright.

US: Lockheed Martin Is Hired to Bolster Transit Security in N.Y.
by Sewell Chan and Shadi RahimiThe New York Times
August 23rd, 2005
A new world of transit security in New York City began to take form this morning, as officials disclosed plans to saturate the transit system with 1,000 video cameras, 3,000 motion detectors and a wide array of sophisticated gadgets, all intended to buffer the city's subways, bridges and tunnels from a terror attack.

An Interrogator Speaks Out
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 7th, 2005
A former military interrogator talks about what went wrong at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib.

Intelligence, Inc.
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
March 7th, 2005
US military interrogators -- who will work at sites ranging from Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo Bay -- must first receive training at one obscure military fort in Southern Arizona. Today, that training has been taken over by private contractors working for profit. ALSO: An Interrogator Speaks Out

Information Warriors
by Pratap ChatterjeeSpecial to CorpWatch
August 4th, 2004
Rendon Group Wins Hearts and Minds in Business, Politics and War The Rendon Group is a consulting firm whose services range from creating "a favorable environment before privatization begins" to helping justify war. Rick Rendon, a founding partner talks to CorpWatch about his latest project, "Empowering Peace."

USA: Spying for Fun and Profit
by Kari LydersenAlternet
May 28th, 2003
Survelliance technologies raise serious questions about invasions of privacy and violations of civil liberties. They also cost a lot of money. Taxpayers fund this massively beefed up security. Private corporations and even individuals are also paying large amounts to boost their own security procedures in light of the war on terrorism. Naturally, someone is also profiting off this boom.

US: 'New War' May Shift Defense Spending
by Gary GentileAssociated Press
October 1st, 2001
In the nation's "new kind of war" on terrorism, defense spending is likely to focus as much on information and surveillance as bombs and bullets.