Chatter

The Chatter Podcast: Private Sector Intelligence with Lewis Sage-Passant

By David Priess
Thursday, June 9, 2022, 9:51 AM

When the term "intelligence" comes up regarding an organization, most of us immediately think of government institutions. And there's a good reason for that; nation-states have become the centers of the most prominent intelligence collection, analysis, and direct action.

But that's far from the whole story. Increasingly, corporations are developing intelligence units of their own to uncover and assess threats to their personnel and facilities, analyze geopolitical and environmental risks that might affect their business prospects, and even take actions traditionally associated with governments.

In this episode of Chatter, David Priess chats about all of this and more with Lewis Sage-Passant—who has built on his experiences in British military intelligence, private sector intelligence, crisis management, and related PhD research to explore the history, evolution, and ethics of this intriguing and challenging domain. They discuss the long history of private sector intelligence efforts, the difficulty disentangling early commercial efforts from government purposes, the fabled Pinkertons in the United States, the development of intelligence around modern corporations, the ethical issues that arise in this realm—and James Bond.

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

Among the works discussed in this episode:

The book Venice's Secret Service: Organizing Intelligence in the Renaissance, by Ionna Iordanou

The book The Richest Man Who Ever Lived: The Life and Times of Jacob Fugger, by Greg Steinmetz

Lewis Sage-Passant’s writing at Encylopedia Geopolitica

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