This week, Wikileaks had a huge release of alleged CIA documents relating to software and tactics employed to spy on devices connected to the internet. I know–you’re reading this article on the internet! Does this mean that the CIA is using this article to monitor you? Am I just a tool of American intelligence services, obliviously enticing you to visit CAFE so that every time you click on one of our Facebook links, an analyst is putting a tally mark next to your name on a giant whiteboard? Why am I using such a specific example?
Although Wikileaks says that it will be releasing more of the leaks soon, if you really think about it, you can probably guess other places where the CIA could be spying on you. Whenever I come across one of the following, I am always alert:
1. Garbage trucks
They are omnipresent yet invisible–the perfect spying machine. Every morning at 5:15 a.m., there is a garbage truck outside my apartment, as if they’re daring me to leave the building. Well, I know better than that. Not today, CIA!
2. Shops that only sell one product, like olive oil
Isn’t it just a little too convenient that stores that only sell one thing just happen to pop up in hubs of liberal intelligentsia, as if everyone were buying housewarming gifts for different neighbors at the same time? And isn’t it a little suspicious that these places just happen to stay in business for longer than three months? I cannot accept a world where people frequently purchase garnishes for light salads and seafood pasta without an ulterior motive, and I suspect these places are fronts, like my college deli that also sold cocaine. I recommend staying far away from such establishments and cooking with lard.
3. Costume stores
There is no way to trust anything in a place where everything is a disguise. This is both a caution about interactions in this age of surveillance and an apt metaphor for society, for at the end of the day, isn’t everyone simply playing a role for everyone else?
I expect that CIA agents are attracted to costume stores like bees to a flower wearing Groucho Marx glasses. Broadway is also risky for similar reasons, although there at least you might get to see Kevin Kline.
4. Langley, Virginia
I don’t know, there’s a feeling in this town that just gives me the sense that something is not right. Maybe it’s that Langley is so close to Washington, D.C., or maybe it’s that everyone is so friendly and I’m just not used to so many smiles.
5. My Parents’ House
Ever since I saw Spy Kids, I haven’t trusted my family. Tell your parents nothing.