In the modern era, there is great convergence in the technologies used by friendly nations and by hostile ones. Signals intelligence agencies find themselves penetrating the technologies that they also at times must protect. To ease this tension, the United States and its partners have relied on an approach sometimes called Nobody But Us, or NOBUS: target communications mechanisms using unique methods accessible only to the United States. This paper examines how the NOBUS approach works, its limits, and the challenging matter of what comes next.
Alexander K. Bollfrass is a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center, specializing in nuclear weapons policy and proliferation. His research compares how well intelligence agencies perform in assessing other countries' nuclear programs. Its main focus is on the foreign intelligence branch of the Stasi, the former East German intelligence service. In parallel, Bollfrass pursues research interests on how climate affects civil wars and the ethical dilemmas of serving the security state. He was a nuclear weapons policy researcher at the Washington-based Stimson Center and Arms Control Association before earning a Ph.D. in security studies from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Bollfrass also holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.Last Updated: Aug 31, 2017, 6:37pm