"Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence."
That's the real story for me, and I find it disheartening. Some dudes from 4chan just hacked the emails, phone systems, and then simply sat in on a phone conference between the FBI and British police.
I had the same reaction when I learned about the Wikileaks cables. 3 million people have access to the database? Many of those with 'secret' clearance? Unlimited downloads? Some kid downloads the _entire database_ logged by himself, on his work computer, without raising so much as a single eg. Nagios alert? Wait, no audit whatsover?? They literally discovered him because he bragged about it to his friends.
It's doubly disheartening since the heads of intelligence in the free world used to be so badass. We all read about Bletchley Park during WWII, about Alan Turing, about the Enigma, about OXCART and HEXAGON during the Cold War. These used to be lean, incredibly focused organizations with large budgets; they used to attract the smartest people in the world, who dedicated their lives to these projects knowing that freedom and democracy were at stake.
Today, our military and intelligence agencies seem to have devolved into a bureaucratic stupor. We layer one embarrassing mistake on top of another. Plenty of raw data on Osama bin Laden before 2001, for example, but no actual intel until far too late. He then proceeded to live in a big, comfortable house in the 'burbs in an ostensibly allied country, while we spent an epic amount of cash ransacking a different country and not finding him for a solid 10 years. Meanwhile, the CIA interrogated and tortured a German-Lebanese dude named Khalid el-Masri for several months at a "secret location" because they confused him with a different "el-Masri". Wikileaks showed that "CLASSIFIED", "SECRET" and "TOP SECRET" are a joke. And now, Anon drove the point home, repeatedly.
It's triply disheartening because there _are_ intelligence agencies today that are lean, mean, and narrowly focused. They're just not ours. They're not anywhere that's free and democratic. And you can bet that when they sit in on a conference call between the FBI and Scotland yard, they don't run to Pastebin to brag about it afterward.