Or, how spies waste time.
On Tuesday Wikileaks released a massive trove of alleged CIA documents, some top secret, that lay out the intelligence agency's hacking capabilities in detail.
The lion's share of the collection, which Wikileaks is calling "Vault 7," contains information that will be of interest to anybody who cares about their digital privacy. But beyond this, it's interesting to see how spooks waste time and tax dollars. From the pages contained in Vault 7, it's clear that these folks are mostly stuck in the "bacon rules" era of normie internet memes, as evidenced by program names like "Philosoraptor." Other programs are named for Dr. Who, Fight Club, Aquaman, and Gremlins.
Basically, they're huge nerds.
The real goods are found in what appear to be the personal agency pages of CIA employees, whose names are redacted from Vault 7. This is where you'll find memes that may have been funny a decade ago, vanity projects that stop computer processes from running for trolling purposes, and the motherlode: An internal CIA repository of the best damn emoticons on the net.
The list was compiled by User #71475, whoever that is, and they called it "faces of the internet." The resource was a hit at the CIA, with one user commenting, "oh thank you, you amazing human being [ sic]." The user also requested the addition of an "'implied perverse interpretation' face," and an "'undisapproval' face [ sic]," whatever the hell either of those are.
Without further ado, here's a curated list of some CIA-approved emoticons that a real, actual CIA employee spent time putting together.
CIA note: "shot my head [sic]."
CIA note: "smoking."
(\/) (°,,°) (\/)
CIA note: "WOOPwoopwowopwoopwoopwoop [sic]!"
CIA note: "Pedobear?"
CIA note: "baby seal [Editor's note: this is actually pedobear]."
CIA note: "no thx [sic]"
CIA note: "'Come on' or 'Come here.'"
CIA note: "innocent happy [ sic]."
CIA note: "
What's clear after a review of these internal CIA emoticons is that government spies have a tenuous-at-best grasp of most memes, but a surprisingly broad understanding of how to create text-based emoticons.
And as journalists continue to pore over Vault 7's many pages, we're sure to learn more about the CIA's proficiency in more immediately concerning areas, such as the agency's ability to hack into Smart TVs.