This week, the world was shocked to discover that the CIA actually spies on people. After decades of assuming that the CIA is forced to gather its data from foreign newspapers and tortured detainees, the agency has been exposed by the counterintelligence group known as Wikileaks. The public has now been made aware that the CIA engages in such sordid deeds as wiretapping and computer hacking.
The US Intelligence budget is not small, but this revelation comes as a painful blow to many formerly well-paid informants who have now discovered their jobs being outsources to machines. Cyber café owners in Pakistan may find it necessary to close shop now that their customers have no need to covertly exchange USB sticks, but now only need to email each other or discuss plans in front of the television. Daring would-be James Bond types are also feeling the pinch as mechanization takes its toll against well-dressed gunslingers and other Agency staples.
In the end, data collected by spies is only as good as the person reviewing it. It should be taken for granted at this time that anything appearing on a screen, or spoken near one, can be considered public speaking. Despite the billions of dollars going into this and similar programs, crime and terror have not abated; and the CIA revelations have done far more to terrify the Americans than the Jihadists.