Sue Gordon, the principal deputy director of national intelligence, wakes up every day at 3 am, jumps on a Peloton, and reads up on all the ways the world is trying to destroy the United States. By the afternoon noon, she has usually visited the Oval Office and met with the heads of the 17 intelligence agencies to get threat reports. The self-described “chief operating officer of the intelligence community” has a lot to worry about, but the 37-year veteran is generally optimistic about America’s future. Now, she says, she just needs Silicon Valley to realize that tech and government don’t have to be opposed.
On a recent trip to Silicon Valley, Gordon sat down with WIRED to talk about how much government needs Silicon Valley to join the fight to keep the US safe. She was in town to speak at conference at Stanford, but also to convince tech industry leaders industry that despite increasing employee concerns, the government and tech have a lot of shared goals.
“I had a meeting with Google where my opening bid was: ‘We’re in the same business’. And they’re like ‘What?’ And I said: ‘Using information for good,’” Gordon says.
That’s a hard sell in Silicon Valley, especially in the post-Snowden years. After Snowden’s leaks, tech companies and tech workers didn’t want to be seen as complicit with a government that spied on its own people—a fact Gordon disputes, saying that any collection of citizen’s information was incidental and purged by their systems. This led to a much-publicized disconnect between the two power centers, one that has only grown more entrenched and public in 2018, as Silicon Valley has undergone something of an ethical awakening.
(Via Security Latest)
I’d say I have complicated emotions about this, but it’s my rational brain that struggles. I don’t know if Ms. Gordon’s story makes it better but I appreciate seeing a bit from her perspective.