To be fair, I feel like I would also be delighted at an opportunity for metaspying.
I also feel like you feel like that.
As it sounds so much like the stock market, with arbitrage/espionage (they even rhyme, see!) being done by computers too quickly for humans to perceive, I wonder if we can look forward to an espionage crash analogous to Black Monday - arguably caused by program trading - of 1987.
But I suppose, for all we know, this has already happened.
I suspect your ‘espionage crash’ may be named Edward Snowden.
Haven’t we always had stories about counter-espionage, double agents, double-double agents and the like? Of course it’s all done with computers these days.
Reminds me of the days of ICBMs, ABMs, and missiles to shoot down Anti-Ballistic Missiles…
It’s spies all the way down.
There’s a reason they call the spy game the “Hall Of Mirrors”. This is just one manifestation of that.
There was a Neil Gaiman comic about that… [goes to look it up] ‘Spy Story’, in Miracleman: The Golden Age
Monday. You never take the first cab that comes along. A rookie knows that. And if a rookie knows that, then the opposition knows that, too. Fine, so you never take the second cab that comes along. Which leaves the third cab or the first cab. But you never take the first cab. Which means it’s the third cab: but they’ll have thought of that. So you ignore the first three cabs. Which is what they’ll be expecting you to do. So they’ll have their man in the fourth cab. Which means… Which means…
You are reminding me of learning SQL, and it’s upsetting me…
Somehow this reminds me a lot of “Memoirs found in a bathtub” by Stanislaw Lem. The difference is that everything is done with computers. Everyone builds Byzantine mazes to confuse everyone else whilst plotting and spying on each other, trying to figure out who is really spying on whom, who are double-agents, counter-agents, double-double-agents, double-counter-agents, counter-double-agents and so on and so on.
Do the people involved actually know who they are really working for at any given moment any more? On paper you might be working for agency X, but at the same time you’re probably aware of this whole intricate game of spying on the spies who spies on other spies. So who does the information you gather really benefit in the end?
Let them keep at it and soon the intelligence agencies of the world won’t get any real work done.
Good post, as usual. I think you mean “tranche” rather then “trenche.”
I don’t think they’ve done any real work since 1962 or so …
Who watches the watchers that are watching the watchers watch?
Similar recursion is common in electronic warfare as well.
Fine with me. Keeps them from causing more damage to everyone else.
I remember hearing about FBI investigators looking for sexual predators who were posing as young girls, online chatting with suspects, only to find out that their suspects were other FBI agents, posing as sexual predators to try to get young girls about other online acquaintances, and thus track actual sexual predators. Supposedly, now they use secret codewords and names to alert each other and stop them from stalking each other. Now that’s a rabbit hole.
The Man Who was Thursday
I fell that it has the potential for more damage and innocents getting caught in the crossfire, like in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil how a fly in a typewriter ruins a man.