This is a lighthearted piece that occurred to me in the shower, so take it for what it's worth. With the "removal" of Osama bin Laden, it occurred to me that the CIA wasn't exactly sitting on their cans, opening Democrats mail, and trying to flush out the remainder of the geriatric Russkie commies hiding in the woodwork.
The real threat turns out to be an ideological one with a marginalized population following a stone-aged religion bent on destroying another culture that they secretly admire and secretly desire. After all, didn't the 9-11 terrorists visit a strip bar a few weeks before they committed their acts of infamy?
So what does all of this have to do with software and technology and such?
I had a eureka moment for a huge, very fun spy operation that the CIA could run on the internet. Everyone needs money, and a relatively easy way to make money is by putting ads on your website, and getting paid for clicks.
So what if the CIA went to Pakistan and set up a fake Google Adsense. It could be called PiastrePlot or something similar where jihadists, the Taliban and such would put ads for Egyptian burial robes, Suicide Sam Browns suitable for strapping on a pound of plastique or a bit of nitro, Casio watches, exploding underwear, shoe bombs, Quran quote sweatbands, and such on their websites and generate some actual cash. It would be a sting operation.
The clever bit, is that the ads would track the clicks and send back the info to the CIA. The person doing the clicks would then get an investigational visit from an overhead drone.
It's about time that Spy-vs-Spy visited cyberspace and that the CIA ran an operation like the Brits did against the Germans with a floating dead human body carrying a briefcase with fake information.
This appeals to us nerd types who spend a lot of time in front of a monitor and keyboard, but dream of James Bond type adventures in exotic locales. I would contribute to the coding effort of PiastrePlot, but only if I get to meet Pussy Galore and Her Acrobats. Spying on the internet could be such fun.