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历年考研英语阅读理解2003年01

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[00:06.12]2003 Text1

[00:12.28]Wild Bill Donovan would have loved the Internet.

[00:15.51]The American spymaster who built the Office of

[00:18.42]Strategic Services in World War II

[00:21.35]and later laid the roots for the CIA

[00:24.38]was fascinated with information.

[00:27.67]Donovan believed in using

[00:29.25]whatever tools came to hand in the "great game"

[00:32.58]of espionage--spying as a "profession."

[00:36.81]These days the Net,

[00:38.93]which has already re-made such everyday pastimes

[00:42.26]as buying books and sending mail,

[00:44.68]is reshaping Donovan's vocation as well.

[00:48.78]The last revolution isn't simply a matter of

[00:51.70]gentlemen reading other gentlemen's e-mail.

[00:54.62]That kind of electronic spying has been going on for decades.

[00:59.16]In the past three or four years,

[01:01.38]the World Wide Web has given birth to a whole industry

[01:04.91]of point-and-click spying.

[01:08.12]The spooks call it "open-source intelligence,"

[01:11.66]and as the Net grows, it is becoming

[01:13.88]increasingly influential.

[01:16.70]In 1995 the CIA held a contest to see

[01:21.74]who could compile the most data about Burundi.

[01:26.20]The winner, by a large margin,

[01:28.41]was a tiny Virginia company called Open Source Solutions,

[01:32.25]whose clear advantage was its mastery

[01:35.07]of the electronic world.

[01:38.20]Among the firms making the biggest splash

[01:41.13]in this new world is Straitford, Inc.,

[01:43.65]a private intelligence-analysis firm based in Austin, Texas.

[01:48.29]Straitford makes money by selling the results

[01:51.31]of spying (covering nations from Chile to Russia)

[01:55.85]to corporations like energy-services firm McDermott International.

[02:01.70]Many of its predictions are available online

[02:09.78]Straitford president George Friedman says

[02:12.91]he sees the online world as a kind of

[02:15.18]mutually reinforcing tool for

[02:17.81]both information collection and distribution,

[02:21.23]a spymaster's dream.

[02:23.54]Last week his firm was busy vacuuming up data bits

[02:27.49]from the far corners of the world

[02:29.60]and predicting a crisis in Ukraine.

[02:32.52]"As soon as that report runs,

[02:35.24]we'll suddenly get 500 new Internet sign-ups from Ukraine,"

[02:39.58]says Friedman, a former political science professor.

[02:43.40]"And we'll hear back from some of them."

[02:45.83]Open-source spying does have its risks, of course,

[02:49.86]since it can be difficult to tell good information from bad.

[02:54.00]That's where Straitford earns its keep.

[02:57.82]Friedman relies on a lean staff of 20 in Austin.

[03:02.16]Several of his staff members

[03:03.83]have military-intelligence backgrounds.

[03:06.76]He sees the firm's outsider status

[03:09.17]as the key to its success.

[03:11.69]Straitford's briefs don't sound like

[03:14.22]the usual Washington back-and-forthing,

[03:17.34]whereby agencies avoid dramatic declarations

[03:20.26]on the chance they might be wrong. Straitford,

[03:23.49]says Friedman, takes pride in its independent voice.

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