Spies are supposed to operate in the shadows, not parade before the world’s media like a boy band.

If nothing else, the sight of security service heads from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand sharing a stage in California is a reminder of how radically the world has changed since the cloak-and-dagger days of the first Cold War.

The spy chiefs maintained a pitch-perfect harmony to rival BTS. Chinese industrial espionage poses an "unprecedented threat” to innovation in the countries of the Five Eyes, Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told the first public summit of the intelligence-sharing alliance at Stanford University. Ken McCallum, director-general of Britain’s MI5, told the BBC that China’s spying was on an "epic scale.” Mike Burgess, head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, accused the Chinese government of being engaged in the "most sustained, scaled and sophisticated theft of intellectual property and expertise in human history.”