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CIA Shows Off (Formerly) Super-Secret Spy Goodies 100

Posted by timothy
from the gov't-spy-porn->-gov't-cheese dept.
Velcroman1 writes "Last week, [the CIA] launched a revamped website with links to YouTube and Flickr containing Agency historical videos and picture galleries. 'The idea behind these improvements is to make more information about the agency available to more people, more easily,' Director Panetta said in a statement. 'The CIA wants the American people and the world to understand its mission and its vital role in keeping our country safe.' In terms of pure coolness the Flickr stream takes the cake — including never-before-seen gallery of special agent supergadgets."
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CIA Shows Off (Formerly) Super-Secret Spy Goodies

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  • by RLiegh (247921) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @03:10AM (#35288002) Homepage Journal

    Everyone whose viewed those pictures and videos is now on a watch list.
    Along with those who didn't.

    • Re:Congratulations (Score:5, Informative)

      by FriendlyLurker (50431) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @04:00AM (#35288208)

      'The CIA wants the American people and the world to understand its mission and its vital role in keeping our country safe.'

      The CIA is trying to regain some credibility/reputation which has rapidly gone downhill since the Iraq war. News and leaks from Wikileaks and other sources keeps throwing their smelly shit into the fan [washingtonpost.com] for all to see. It seems to be nearly every day now [google.com] we hear of a new scandal, or some gross misuse [heralddeparis.com] of our taxpayers funds [smh.com.au]. But never fear, they have a plan: Apart from this new "Spy goodies" for geeks section to woo us with pretty trinkets, they have also thought of the children - adding games and quizzes to their website - helping them become your all American family-friendly organization again. Further, soon there will be no more bad news thanks to the CIA teaming up with the Democrats to clean out those with faulty moral compasses [wsws.org] - so we can all live safe and ignorant again.

      • Don't forget their total miss on what just happened in Egypt. Their 'intelligence' during it seemed to be based on watching CNN.

        • Re:Congratulations (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Kokuyo (549451) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @04:25AM (#35288280) Journal

          What makes you believe that the info the CIA shares in meetings neither you nor I are invited to is the very same you and I get to see from them?

          • The CIA answers to the government, not to the people. Its business is information, true or false. If making the CIA look like abunch of bumbling idiots while it's actually full of ruthless, effective bastards is what keeps the government happy (and the CIA in business), then that's the impression the CIA will be happy to give. Why would a bunch of unaccountable unstoppables care if occasionally the finger is pointed at them?

            • The presidential thank-you notes are probably for the cool toys alone.

              Some very cool toys.

            • No, actually, the CIA answers to the US Chamber of Commerce.

              You think politicians are allowed to get in the way of profits? Grow up dude!

              The politicians answer to the CIA, ever since they got all of them in bed with someone underage, or of a different species. The internal spying by Cheney and the NSA, the Poker and Prostitutes at the Watergate Hotel, the Catholic Church -- I mean, connect a few dots. Has ANYONE with money been hurt at all by a public hearing by the Senate or Congress in the past 10 years?

      • by Phoghat (1288088)
        Totally agree. I'm calling shenanigans on this BS. It smacks too much of:

        Cue James Bond Theme:

        Do you expect me to talk? No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die! Besides, there is nothing you could possibly tell me that I don’t already know.

        Look at us, here's the stuff we're letting you see so you wonder about the stuff You Can't See

        Then there's (FTFA) that flying insect robot from the 70s and I just saw on /. and a lot of other sites this hummingbird [newscientist.com] that I wouldn't mind playing with myself. (Coming out this year before the holidays from Wowee ?)

    • monitor coffee, coffee monitor. I like a formal introduction.
  • Yes, trust us. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @03:11AM (#35288006)

    After all, we're kinder, gentler spies. /sarcasm

    • We won, so we can claim our spies were nice and didn't harm anyone!
      • by h00manist (800926)

        We won, so we can claim our spies were nice and didn't harm anyone!

        As of today, that's true. History goes on being written. Capitalism is entering crisis, too. When both socialism and capitalism are completely discredited, maybe we will have some better quality debate how to distribute labor, social decision making, and rewards/benefits.

        • some better quality debate how to distribute labor, social decision making, and rewards/benefits.

          How would YOU propose distribution? I guarantee you that whatever method or means you generate will have critical flaws in it, that smart people who will game the system to exploit those flaws to gain an "unfair" advantage. It is, and always will be the case.

          Socialism fails because it assumes people will try hard(er) for no more reward, and won't work less because they are lazy. Capitalism fails because is seen

          • by ballwall (629887)

            Maybe there should be a limit to capitalism. For example, tax 100% of income over, say, $5M/year. That way you still have incentive to work hard, but you have to think long term. Screwing over a bunch of people to get $100M right now won't help you. You need to create something sustainable that will generate income over a lifetime.

            • Problem: Who decides how much is too much? Why $100M? Why not $1M? Why not $250K? How would you figure Stock bonuses and growth in stock value, say like Steve Jobs who gets payed $1 year salary, and everything else is stock options and such? How do you value that?

              It sounds great and wonderful on paper. Like the internet, artificial restrictions are viewed by the system as being "broken" and routes around it.

              • Re:Yes, trust us. (Score:4, Insightful)

                by Vitriol+Angst (458300) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:54PM (#35292460)

                How about simply saying; the maximum "earnings" someone can get, is 1,000 times minimum wage?

                So, those that get the most, have no upper limit, as long as they advocate for what the LEAST get.

                $20 an hour vs. $20,000 an hour does NOT seem like a burden on innovation to me.

                How many steaks and yachts does some asshole need? If you are making so much that you have to hire an army to defend it -- you could NOT have gotten it merely by making the world a better place -- likely, you've pillaged a few companies, you've destroyed a few lives. I always hear people lauding the greatness of the uber wealthy, but the examples of people who've gotten there, have to gloss over a lot of back-door deals and buying of politicians in most cases. I'd argue, that you CANNOT get to be the biggest bank, or military contractor, or oil company, WITHOUT doing a hell of a lot of evil.

                But, before anything like that can work -- there HAS TO BE, more transparency required of people with power. People with power and wealth have to be thought of as privileged, only BECAUSE they are of benefit to society as a whole -- and so they must give up privacy. Having video cameras in every bathroom, and firing teachers, and forcing people into serfdom with 40% fees on Credit Card debt -- well, that's only necessary to KEEP the status quo and protect the very powerful FROM RESPONSIBILITY.

                The religion of "personal responsibility", means that PEOPLE have no rights, and any corporate conglomerate has no responsibly. Obviously, our goals in such a world is to become a holding company of one, and to screw everyone else.

                • No. We need to rid ourselves of the notion that we need power. Not better power, not safer power. NO POWER. Leave all of the power in the hands of all the people, not just some handful of people GIVEN power. Once someone holds a right to power, everyone else loses their freedom. Its a scam every time its been tried, and it fails to better anyones lives outside the sphere of the powerful. Every king, every president, every potentate seat of power ever created in all of human history has come to a bloo
          • by martyros (588782)

            It is, and always will be the case.

            Wait, are you saying that distribution of labour, social decision making, and rewards / benefits have always been exactly as well made / fair / just / optimal / whatever as they are now -- from the Roman empire, the Middle Ages, Feudalism, &c until now?

            If not, and if socialism and capitalism are better than feudalism (for some definition of "better"), are you saying that current socialist and capitalist societies have come to respective local optimums, and can't be ma

          • The BIG PROBLEMS in this world, are pretty easy to solve.

            What takes all the work, is trying to create these problems, and make them seem impossible to solve. Our military, and CIA, and the Secret Services of other nations we compete with -- spend most of their time, making the world full of conflict, so the status quo of a few rich people making huge profits can be maintained.

            We could have gotten off of oil a decade ago. There is more than enough food in the world, but "fear" of crop loss and Wall Street sp

    • by Hadlock (143607)

      Oh, so you want to see how we've been spending that $80 billion a year on a disproportionately minuscule staff and lack of effectiveness in world politics? You want to actually see what benefits you've gotten for your money since the end of the cold war? Look over here! Check out these neato toys! Ignore our ridiculous budget! Please don't cut our budget! We've become too accustomed to this cushy lifestyle to change!

  • The point of this (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @03:20AM (#35288040)

    The point of this isn't to be more open. The point is to make people think about what the CIA can do with today's technology if they could do that with the technology of yesteryear. Making the enemy overestimate your power is an important principle in deterrence.

    • The point of this isn't to be more open. The point is to make people think about what the CIA can do with today's technology if they could do that with the technology of yesteryear. Making the enemy overestimate your power is an important principle in deterrence.

      Yea... I don't think that's true. You want the enemy to underestimate you're ability to spy on them so that you can, you know, spy on them.

      • by dave1791 (315728)

        The point of this isn't to be more open. The point is to make people think about what the CIA can do with today's technology if they could do that with the technology of yesteryear. Making the enemy overestimate your power is an important principle in deterrence.

        Yea... I don't think that's true. You want the enemy to underestimate you're ability to spy on them so that you can, you know, spy on them.

        Unless you want them to think that you can train sharks [pravda.ru] and vultures [theaustralian.com.au] as agents.

    • The point of this isn't to be more open. The point is to make people think about what the CIA can do with today's technology if they could do that with the technology of yesteryear. Making the enemy overestimate your power is an important principle in deterrence.

      Yea... I don't think that's true. The goal is to have the enemy underestimate your ability to spy on them, so you can, you know, spy on them.

      • Ugh. Nice job new slashdot. It kicked me out of my first posting and I had to re-submit this. Apparently it just took both, and then didn't prevent the duplicate.

    • by omni123 (1622083) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @05:52AM (#35288494) Homepage

      The point of this isn't to be more open. The point is to make people think about what the CIA can do with today's technology if they could do that with the technology of yesteryear. Making the enemy overestimate your power is an important principle in deterrence.

      Oh shi. I'm sure Mossad saw the revamped CIA website and were like "OH DAMN, IMAGINE WHAT THEY CAN DO NOW. THEIR WEBSITE IS TOTALLY AWESOME. RUN. HIDE YOUR CHILDREN.".

      Because foreign intelligence services don't have more reliable ways of determining technology in the field at present time then some guestimation based on 50 year old photos in a flickr album.

      • The photos are pretty bad too, from a product photography standpoint. As a photographer I think that says a lot about this release of "stuff".

        • by Jesus_666 (702802)
          Given that a god number of them aren't even interesting in what they show you get the feeling that an agent rummaged through the basement and just took photos of everything he saw. Plus the terse, dry descriptions suck the last bit of fun out of the photos.

          I stopped looking after the third page - not because spy gadgets aren't cool but because these are presented in a boring fashion and mixed in with random stuff that just happens to have some kind of connection to the CIA. Oh my god, a trowel once held b
          • I think maybe it went like this:

            (CIA Spy Meeting)

            Boss: Ok, guys, we need someone to head over to the gadget morgue and take a bunch of pictures of old stuff we used to use back in the fifties. Some muckety-muck thinks it'll make us look all family-friendly or something. Oh, and you've got to do some puzzles for kids with that nerd in IT.

            Spy 1: Oh, HELL no. I'm booked up for the whole rest of the week, I've got to kill that guy in Turkey, then I've got that thing in Italy...

            Spy 2: I'm working with Spy

      • by moortak (1273582)
        Mossad agents might be aware of the CIA's actual capabilities, the bureaucrat they are trying to flip in some other department might not.
  • Whaaaaaat? (Score:5, Funny)

    by guspasho (941623) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @03:21AM (#35288046)

    Are they crazy? Leaking this information could put lives at risk!

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Are they crazy? Leaking this information could put lives at risk!

      And we can't have any national secrets reveled either! Considering how I've seen everything on the list (they've all been mentioned before - most are WWII era and some not even our own! Enigma CIA?!?!), I find this pathetic. Old news - very old news.

      How about releasing the SR-71's real top speed? Why is that still classified?

      The best guess I've seen from aerospace guys is that they think it could hit Mach 4.

      • SR-71 top speed (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @04:53AM (#35288336) Homepage Journal

        The flight manual is online at sr-71.org, and has a chart showing what speed at what external air temperature stays within the design limit for compressor inlet temperature. (At least that's where I think I saw the chart). To keep the CIT below 427 Celsius, you'd better have a really cold day in the stratosphere to go much over Mach 3.2. The manual doesn't permit going over 3.3.

        If the air going into the compressor is over 427 C, by the time you burn fuel in it you're hitting the design limits of the turbine blades.

        It's possible that nobody ever found out what the top speed was. After McNamara ordered the tooling destroyed, the planes were irreplaceable.

      • by Sulphur (1548251)

        Mach 4 is a razor blade.

        --

        Is that CIA hat yours?
        Of course, I bought and paid for it.

      • by sootman (158191)

        > And we can't have any national secrets reveled either!

        Agreed. I hope I live long enough to learn what really happened to JFK.

    • They clearly were trying to preempt Wikileaks.

    • by hannson (1369413)
      I thought the robot fish was pretty clever. Here's a video [youtube.com] of one that was caught by a fisherman.
    • by Syberz (1170343)

      Bah, Wikileaks was going to put it on their site anyways, so the CIA figured that they might as well do it first.

    • Honestly, some of the national security nutcases just go ape about releasing anything to the public. In the 1990's there was a review of top secret documents to see which could be declassifies. They found battle plans concocted by General Pershing for a battle in WW!! That was a 75 year old document that was still considered top secret. In Britain, they have (had) a policy of releasing any top secret document to the public 25 years after the fact. That is how the Enigma secret was made known to the wor

  • ... devices to secretly extract letters from envelopes ...

    I, too, would like to extract my monthly pay from the envelope and claim it never arrived.

  • THIS IS COOL STUFF!!!
  • So my tax dollars are paying for a museum I can't even visit....

  • Spy Museum (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sir Holo (531007) on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @05:27AM (#35288422)
    This all looks like stuff from the "Spy Museum" in Washington DC. Very cool gadgetry there, and much more of it than this paltry slideshow has. Better-written commentary, too.

    Go there!
    • by sootman (158191)

      I agree that it looks awesome and I'd love to go there, but it's hard to pay $18 per person when there are so many great free things to do in D.C. (I'm not trying to sound snarky here--they're a private group and of course have to charge--I just literally mean that there is so much else to do that's great, that when it comes down to free or not free, free wins. The Air & Space museum is pretty awesome too.)

  • Please, someone who has seen all these, tell me, did they really create a Ghetto Blaster?

    James Bond, "The Living Daylights"

  • The Seismic Intruder Detection Device [flickr.com] has a striking resemblance with some toys you can find at a sex shop, even under a similar name...

    • When I was a kid (about 30-35 years ago), an electronics surplus outfit in Mass., named John Meshna used to sell this thing (along with a lot of other military hardware)... It basically looked like a turd, about 3 inches long. If you scraped off enough of the plastic outer coating, you'd find a few transitors, a coil, some kind of microswitch, and a button battery.

      It was basically a crude radio transmitter that would sound off if it got stepped on, or if there was enough vibration to activate it (such as ta

  • by bedouin (248624)

    I don't see any torture devices here.

  • I posted a link to this stuff along with my dragonfly story and it was edited out. Now it comes along as a separate story.

    http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=19121146 [slashdot.org]

    Is slashdot trying to milk the most out of each submission? Then just be honest about it, we'll understand.

  • I like the OSS pin [flickr.com].

  • I guess the CIA is suffering from a shortage of workers so they need to spice up their image to get some fresh blood. There are CIA recruiting commercials and I guess showing off what has been done in the past is meant to make you want to take part in the modern continuation of that trend.

  • ... the REAL purpose of this website of super cool stuff for the CIA is to capture the attention of all those people who respond to their ads on the Cartoon Network.

    Seriously, right after watching "Naruto" -- which I was, um, pre-screening for my kids -- I saw an ad for the "exciting world of espionage." There was a scene in a cafe with a hot looking blonde, drinking and swaying her legs sexily, with another well-dressed good looking man. It was kind of vague, so you could imagine that you were that dude, h

  • by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Wednesday February 23, 2011 @02:55PM (#35292468) Homepage Journal
    The "seismic detector", actually a camo vehicle and troop movement detector, went on to the military surplus market at one point. So, you could buy a plastic poop with a radio transmitter in it via mail-order. This must have been about 30 years ago.

    The D-21 drone is in the Research Hangar at the Air Force Museum. You can get a bus trip to that hangar from the museum and walk around for about 50 minutes, but there are ID requirements.

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