WikiLeaks Vault 7: Faces of the internet betray feelings in CIA secrets
Partners in top secret intelligence such as Australia are all OMG! ╚(•⌂•)╝
Donald Trump is surely about to tweet an angry face: ಠ益ಠ
Russia is just innocently whistling to itself: ◖♪_♪|◗
And we can guess all this, courtesy of the CIA’s own special top secret list of Japanese emojis. Yes, you read that right. And we’ve copied and pasted some favourites.
The discovery of the list by social media users is one of the lighter aspects of the dump of classified documents by WikiLeaks that appear to reveal the hacking tools developed by American spooks to snoop across the internet.
The emoji list began as a thread “Faces of the Internet” on what appears to be the chat system for developers inside the CIA, with the first version simply a collection of the clever keyboard constructions that people use to decorate messages online.
So from the perspective of gathering secret intelligence, it seems a little: ¯\_㋛_/¯
But it appears to be a system to encourage collaboration and banter is a big part of online interaction.
The thread splinters, apparently with the aim of collecting “Weird right to left faces”, “Sideways Faces”, “Multiline Faces” and “One Line Faces”, for espionage purposes that are not immediately obvious.
But the category “Japanese style faces” is a veritable treasure trove for online expressions. Most appear to be collated from various “Kaomoji” and other websites. (And yes, jump on the difference between an emoji and an emoticon.)
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who has responsibility for Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the CIA equivalent agency in Australia, is a renowned fan of emoji. She famously once carried out an interview with Buzzfeed entirely through the medium.
But given the standard government response not to comment on intelligence matters, without having asked, I’m guessing the official Australian response to this latest leak will be to keep schtum.