Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Secret Spies: Flies Like Us

In Like Fly
True Flies
Hunt for Red Fly
Flies Like Us

Ok, I've just read something scary. Be afraid of the fly on your wall. Be very afraid. "Robobugs," "insectohopters," and "ornihopters" are a few of the innovations in the spy world.

An article by Rick Weiss in today's Washington Post tells of those who have seen suspect insects at political events; the hovering drones appear to be the size of wasps. Weiss reports that the CIA developed such simple surveillance tools in the 1970s. While the Defense Department claims no knowledge of such current ongoings, and the FBI says they don't have any, other government (and non-government) organizations admit they are "trying" to utilize the counterfeit bugs. Still other agencies decline to discuss such topics.

Equally disturbing - in the area of living beings - is the development of cyborg bugs. According to the article, "Some federally funded teams are even growing live insects with computer chips in them, with the goal of mounting spyware on their bodies and controlling their flight muscles remotely." ugh. Even animals aren't safe. Surely human "spyborgs" are coming soon to a reality near you.

Which reminds me: some years back I read about government attempts to use cats as spies; a cat was surgically altered and transmitters fitted to it. Unfortunately, the test cat Acoustic Kitty (I kid you not!) was run over by a taxi. This sorry case of attempted innovations in the spy world was a project of The Directorate of Science and Technology.

I'm waiting for a Gary Larsen cartoon of spies in trees gleefully manipulating remote controlled bees. Oh, the stings.

To read about "cyborg moths," computer-chipped beetles, and other non-human photo-bugs - and to see photos of robotic insects and birds past and present - click on this link. To read the Acoustic Kitty government memorandum in the George Washington University National Security Archive, click on this link.

Say a prayer.

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