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In May 1984, former U.S. Marine, engineer, and early Silicon Valley entrepreneur James Harper was sentenced to life in prison for his central role in an audacious scheme to sell a bevy of classified documents relating to U.S. missile defense to the Soviet bloc and its allies. Four decades later, his story was almost forgotten, until it was rediscovered and investigated by national security reporter Zach Dorfman with help from some of the men who helped catch Harper—and the spy himself. Now, with help from our friends at Goat Rodeo, Dorfman has turned this story into a six-part podcast series entitled “Spy Valley,” which takes a close look at Harper's seminal spy case.
Lawfare Senior Editor Scott R. Anderson sat down with Dorfman to talk over Harper's story and what it can tell us about the relationship between America's national security and those working at the bleeding edge of technological development.