Spy vs. Spy toys

Photo via Paul van de Velde/Flickr (CC-BY)

The CIA has been busy … creating a huge list of dank emoticons

The CIA has been hard at work.


David Britton

Internet Culture

Posted on Mar 11, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 9:07 pm CDT

What dark secrets lurk behind the locked doors, both real and virtual, of the CIA? Blueprints for high tech advanced weaponry? Proof of alien life? The only VHS copy of Dan Quayle’s failed attempt at standup? Possibly the largest collection of text-based emoticons ever assembled by a government agency?

Thanks to WikiLeaks we can now confirm at least the last thing, unless of course the Department of Agriculture has a bunch of emoticows they’re not tellings us about.

WikiLeaks’s latest data dump, dubbed Vault 7, contains more than 8,000 files, and while the focus for many concerned citizens seems to be the CIA’s legally questionable possession of tools that can be used to hack into our smartphones, somewhere in that swamp of information exists a stash of text-based emoticons the length and breadth of which will leave taxpayers wondering what exactly the CIA is doing with their money. Its creator named it (codenamed it?) Faces of the Internet and it’s … weird.

Of course you have your standards, like these various shrugging men. Perfect for explaining how your drone ended up bombing a school instead of that ISIS base.

¯(º o)/¯

But others seem more complex and specific. Like what exactly does this guy symbolize?

̿ ̿̿’̿’̵͇̿̿=(•̪●)=/̵͇̿̿/’̿̿ ̿ ̿ ̿

He’s so sad about his black eye that he pulls out both guns and starts shooting in opposite directions? This is not comforting, CIA.

Perhaps these emoticons have been developed so that agents can quickly communicate important and sensitive information like:

“Negotiations not going well. Putin got pissed and flipped a table.”

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

“Experimental drugs working better than expected. These gophers are blitzed, dude!”


“Was I supposed to kill the guy with glasses or without glasses? Can I just do both?”

?⨂_⨂  ✖_✖?

The important thing is that the CIA is hard at work protecting us/spying on us/wasting our money.

H/T Motherboard

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*First Published: Mar 11, 2017, 9:16 am CST