Every weekend, Longform highlights its favorite international articles of the week. For daily picks of new and classic nonfiction, check out Longform or follow @longform on Twitter. Have an iPad? Download Longform's new app and read all of the latest in-depth stories from dozens of magazines, including Foreign Policy.
The Geeks on the Frontlines, by David Kushner, Rolling Stone
While Uncle Sam is jockeying for the Internet's best troops, private security firms are offering way more pay and way less hassle.
Charlie Miller, a famous hacker who exposed vulnerabilities in the MacBook Air and iPhone, spent five years with the National Security Agency before joining Twitter's security team. Earlier this year, the DHS lost four top cybersecurity officials. In April, Peiter "Mudge" Zatko, a renowned member of the pioneering hacker collective Cult of the Dead Cow who was working at the DOD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, split for Silicon Valley to join his former DARPA boss, Regina Dugan. "Goodbye DARPA," he tweeted. "Hello Google!"
As a result, there's a metawar taking place: one between government and industry to score the country's toughest geeks -- like the ones here this weekend -- to join their front lines before it's too late. "We need hackers," Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told Rolling Stone in June, "because this is the fastest-growing and fastest-changing area of threat that we're confronting."
OMAR TORRES/AFP/Getty Images
The Syrian War is Creating a Massive Kidnapping Crisis in Lebanon, by Sulome Anderson, The Atlantic
My father, Terry Anderson, was kidnapped during the Lebanese civil war in the 1980s. Now, history is repeating itself as abductions escalate.
Twenty-one years after my father came home, I'm a freelance feature writer working in Beirut. Lebanon is suffering intense fallout from the war in neighboring Syria, and kidnappings have become a common occurrence again. The Lebanese state is hopelessly deadlocked in a struggle between the country's opposing sects-the larger Sunni and Shia Muslim populations and the Christian and Druze minorities. Shifting alliances aside, Lebanon appears to be fracturing. Incidents such as rocket attacks, bombings, and assassinations have occurred over the past year, threatening the fragile peace that's held since the civil war ended in 1990.
Hezbollah is now deeply and militarily invested in helping Syrian president Bashar al-Assad stay in power. While the U.S. seriously debates military intervention in Syria, tit-for-tat sectarian kidnappings related to the Syrian conflict occur almost weekly along the Lebanese border, and ransom kidnappings have also become more frequent. Everything points towards a disastrous repetition of history-perhaps not on the same scale as the previous strife, but certainly the drums of war have begun to beat with increasing volume.
MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Image