Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing” as Want to Read:
Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In Spies for Hire, investigative reporter Tim Shorrock lifts the veil off a major story the government doesn't want us to know about - the massive outsourcing of top secret intelligence activities to private-sector contractors. Starting during the Clinton administration, when intelligence budgets were cut drastically and privatization of government services became national ...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Simon & Schuster
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Spies for Hire, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Spies for Hire

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Erwin
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Most of us, most of the time, are sheep. Sadly, we don't realize we're being marched to the slaughterhouse until we actually reach the door. Our lack of awareness. Our lack of curiosity. Our collective apathy. Unless we evolve to be more skeptical and watchful, we will not be effective stewards over any representative republic, let alone over an actual democracy.

Many of our unsurprisingly apathetic citizens seem to believe that Shorrock is raising the alarm about something that isn't important.
...more
Gary
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
With stories of the NSA surveillance program making the news those interested in finding out about its origins and how the expanding Intelligence-Industrial complex has built the surveillance state we’re familiar with today should give Tim Shorrock’s ‘Spies for Hire’ a read. Tracing the history of this relationship through the middle of the 1980s when more than just a handful of companies were dabbling in government intelligence contracts to the enormous push for privatization in the wake of 9/1 ...more
Erin
Oct 11, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book does not have any truly surprising conclusions, and in parts cites unreliable sources. Often it seems as if the book is saying "We have a lot of contractors working for the government! That's shocking, right? Right? Well, I think it's shocking! You should too!" In parts the author definitely adds 2+2 and gets 10. What could have been an interesting book, perhaps even with interviews with contractors who have served in the positions he is writing about, there is simply a lot of guess wo ...more
Mark Cichonski
This book is very interesting. It lays out the facts very well. The general gist is that by subcontracting out the intelligence business, the government loses the ability to provide oversight. In addition, it allows the government to do bad things, like violate our civil rights. Besides the fact that Mr. Shorrock and myself are on opposite sides of the politial spectrum, I agree with many parts of his analysis. However, there are some underlying themes that I do not care for. One is that if you ...more
Teresa
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
If you were wondering how a private contractor Snowden or a lowly Private Manning could get access to top secret military or intelligence information this will help explain how our governmental alphabet soup of agencies (CIA, FBI, DIA, DEA, etc.) relies on private contractors for our intelligence gathering from cyber-spying to boots on the ground, up close and personal spying. The federal government has been woefully slow in keeping up with the advances in the use of computers and cyberspace, an ...more
Barry Eisler
Feb 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the book that Dana Priest and William Arkin forgot to credit in their big Washington Post series on Top Secret America. Shorrock got there first, deeper, and more comprehensively, and anyone who wants to understand the causes and effects of the corporatization of America's military, intelligence, and security functions should read this excellent book.
Douglas
Jun 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
The history is good in the book. However, if you didn't come into the book already believing that the outsourcing of the IC is, prima facie, a bad thing. If you don't believe that, however, the argument won't compel you.
Cwhittall
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
A detailed but badly written account of the state of information technology contracting in the intel community and DOD. Based on my experience Shorrock's book is directionally correct. This is a topic that should get more attention in my opinion and hopefully it will.
Paul
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's well researched and comprehensive (from the business perspective - it glosses over any technology) but written in a needlessly verbose and repetitive way. This book could be half as short without cutting any information.
Keith
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Made me want to apply for intel career. Supposed to outrage, I got a "meh" out of it.
Tony
Dec 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
God damn I thought I knew everything I needed to know about Beltway Banditry but then this book came in and changed everything - a real look inside the revolving door of government contracting!
Steve
Jul 02, 2008 rated it liked it
An excellent top-level view of the outsourced intelligence industry.
Elizabeth
May 14, 2008 marked it as to-read
As heard on "Fresh Air" on WYPR.
Jeff Brailey
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea.
Trip
rated it liked it
Mar 15, 2015
Rohit
rated it it was ok
Oct 28, 2012
Stumblebum
rated it it was amazing
Sep 28, 2012
Ellis
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2016
Kevin Currie
rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2015
Alex
rated it it was amazing
Oct 09, 2018
Demetrius Mercado
rated it it was amazing
Aug 23, 2013
Nicholas Nezis
rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2013
Alex K.
rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2010
C.A.
rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2013
Frank
rated it it was amazing
Dec 08, 2009
Gabor Szalai
rated it liked it
Dec 22, 2014
Marcel Brussee
rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2014
Nick Christenson
rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2016
Ji-Yeon Yuh
rated it it was amazing
Dec 14, 2015
Steve Panaghi
rated it really liked it
May 19, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Tim Shorrock on WHYY 6/21/13 re NSA, Snowden 1 1 Jun 21, 2013 07:31AM  
  • The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America
  • The World That Never Was: A True Story of Dreamers, Schemers, Anarchists, and Secret Agents
  • The Ultra Secret
  • Chatter: Dispatches from the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping
  • Quest for Kim: In Search of Kipling's Great Game
  • Wilderness of Mirrors: Intrigue, Deception, and the Secrets that Destroyed Two of the Cold War's Most Important Agents
  • Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games
  • Megatrends 2000
  • Defend the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5
  • I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon's Black World
  • Putin's Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia
  • Cyberwar: The Next Threat to National Security & What to Do About It
  • Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad: How to Be a Counterintelligence Officer
  • The CIA And The Cult Of Intelligence
  • Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad (Updated)
  • History of the Present: Essays, Sketches, and Dispatches from Europe in the 1990s
  • Crimes Against Humanity: The Struggle For Global Justice
  • NATO's Secret Armies: Operation Gladio and Terrorism in Western Europe