Secret CIA spy gadgets go public: photos

Secret CIA spy gadgets go public: photos

Summary: When you think CIA, the last word likely to come to mind is "open". And yet the US spy organisation has begun to lift the lid — albeit ever so slightly — in a bid to cultivate public support. In fact, the agency recently launched a retooled website, complete with YouTube and Flickr channels.

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  • (Credit: CIA)

    Ever wonder where your tax dollars go? This image shows some of the handicraft of the CIA's Office of Advanced Technologies and Programs — in this case an "Unmanned Underwater Vehicle" fish built to study aquatic robot technology.

    Why it would want to do that is anybody's guess, but the CIA did come up with a nifty implementation of different technologies, including a communications system in the body and a propulsion system in the fish's tail. (An operator on land controlled it by a wireless line-of-sight radio handset.)

  • (Credit: CIA)

    This Dragonfly "insectothopter", invented by the CIA's Office of Research and Development in the 1970s, essentially served as a very tiny Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. One of the first-ever UAVs — long before the acronym entered the popular lexicon — this project pressed forward to test the feasibility of gathering intelligence collection by miniaturised platforms.

  • (Credit: CIA)

    During the World War II, devices like this one helped agents remove letters from their envelopes without opening the seals. After inserting the device into the unsealed gap at the top of an envelope flap, an agent could wind the letter around the pincers and remove it from the envelope without leaving a tear in the paper.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Privacy, Security

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