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.
Eleanor Freund is a 2017-2018 Associate at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Her research focuses on U.S.-China relations, Chinese foreign policy, and Asia-Pacific security issues. From 2015 to 2017, she was a Research Assistant at the Belfer Center. She is currently a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and will begin a Ph.D. in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in August 2018.
Prior to joining the Belfer Center, Eleanor was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. and a student at the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing. She earned a B.A. in political science, with highest honors, from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013.Last Updated: Jul 7, 2017, 4:00pm