35 Years Ago in TIME

The U.S. is grappling with how to reform its intelligence agencies, which have been hit by leaks and questions about tactics. As during the cold war, THE SPY's job, if sometimes unglamorous, remains vital to national security.

The heroes, if there are any at all, sit behind gray desks in Moscow; Langley, Va.; and London. There they must sift through tons of material provided by hundreds of different sources before they can, with luck, piece together a picture of, say, the locking mechanism on a swing-wing fighter ... It is work that occupies tens of thousands of mathematicians and cryptographers, clerks...

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