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The CIA’s dank Soviet meme stash

The CIA’s dank Soviet meme stash

For as long as it’s existed, the Central Intelligence Agency has used Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) in its hunt for information that could serve as fuel for its analysis. This often meant simply reading major foreign newspapers, and monitoring for trends. When it came to understanding foreign cultural movements, CIA took it a step further - they studied the political cartoons of foreign countries. Cartoons that were essentially memes.

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What we talk about when we talk about talking: The CIA's guide to semantics

What we talk about when we talk about talking: The CIA’s guide to semantics

We could still learn a few things from the Central Intelligence Agency’s unusually-sourced guide to semantics.

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Five times CIA read Playboy for the articles

Five times CIA read Playboy for the articles

Playboy magazine was founded just a few years after Central Intelligence Agency, and together, those two institutions left their mark on the 20th century, for better and for much, much worse. To mark Hugh Hefner’s passing, we dug up those times those two overlapped in the Agency’s declassified archives.

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Five of the strangest moments from the National Archives' cartoon collection

Five of the strangest moments from the National Archives’ cartoon collection

Amid the literally hundred of government films preserved by the US National Archives are several cartoons. Some are good, some are bad, and a select few defy all rational explanation. Here are our favorite clips from that last category.

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The CryptoKids (still) aren’t alright

The CryptoKids (still) aren’t alright

Three years after initial request, the NSA finally hands over records related to its youth outreach program - just not the ones I asked for.

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