Some background on Edward Snowden: when he leaked details of mass surveillance programs to the press, he was employed not directly by the National Security Agency, but by Booz Allen Hamilton, an NSA contractor.
How did a third-party contractor get involved with top-secret government programs to intercept telephone and internet metadata? You can get your explanation from The Atlantic . . . or from Nicholas Mennuti and David Guggenheim’s debut thriller, Weaponized, which goes on sale July 30th:
- “Eavesdropping was privatized, outsourced to my boss” —Kyle West, a contract programmer on the run in Weaponized
- “We have vastly over-privatized, and in the process lost control over swaths of important policy areas while allowing unaccountable and even outlaw behavior to expand.” —The Atlantic on Snowden’s work for Booz Allen
- “Countries, nations—all outmoded terms now. We’re talking about corporations. Corporations taking the place of nation-states. Corporations paid to watch you, because they’re better at it than the government.” —Kyle West
- “As government has been squeezed and public employees vilified and cut back, the only feasible way to hire competent people who are needed to fill important functions is to do it through the back door.”—The Atlantic on the privatization of federal functions
- “Private contractors know the game well; they can recruit top government employees and then effectively lease them back to the government, where they do the same jobs and stick taxpayers with much higher bills.” —The Atlantic
- “The [eavesdropping software] program’s a violation of constitutional law if Chandler took any tax money to develop it.” —Kyle West on Christopher Chandler’s company in Weaponized, effectively a Booz Allen stand-in
Regarding that last quote, should we expect next week’s headlines to discuss the constitutionality of Booz Allen’s wiretapping technology? And what else have these two debut novelists predicted? Preorder Weaponized to find out!