Spying, a lifestyle

There is a phrase that intimately links the world of intelligence with that of glamour.

Spying, a lifestyle

There is a phrase that intimately links the world of intelligence with that of glamour. The editors of the CNI website title their job offer as follows: “More than a job, a lifestyle”. They say neither way nor form. After several thumbs-ups, I suppose, they settled on style, which still sounds amazingly good despite the banal use of the word on nail shop signs, hair mousse, or real-estate ads. But it is effective, it promises a world.

The fact is that, if you are motivated by the future of Spain and you are attracted to public service, you can encourage yourself to try your luck at the CNI. For their part, they ask for loyalty, discretion, and self-sacrifice, and in return, one would expect travel and action; however, the most they guarantee is being on the “front line of national security”. With a university degree and Spanish nationality, you can aspire to one of the professions with the greatest cinematographic aura. I think of the fatal attraction that many teenagers feel for criminology, even if it ends up getting out of hand, like the color pink and Pokémon trading cards.

A little over a century has passed from the nineteenth-century operetta spies to the current artificial intelligence systems, but technology has opened up a reality that not only radically changes the performance of the job, but also forces us to rethink the concept of intimacy. Today, agents are mainly dedicated to accessing the information we provide in profiles and accounts on networks, filtering it and interpreting it according to their interests. How many times have we been surprised by the precision of the algorithm in its intrusion into our own mobiles. And that they are not, we believe, infected with Pegasus.

We live in a surveillance capitalism that monitors our lives and knows who we call or text, what we say, what we buy, how long we sleep, the steps we take each day and the calories we eat. The philosopher Éric Sadin announces in The Age of the Tyrant Individual, the end of a common world, describing a being hyperconnected and, at the same time, disconnected from the collective. Imbued with that false sense of power provided by technoliberalism, which makes us feel self-sufficient in exchange for stealing our souls. As the great Le Carré, a spy turned successful novelist, wrote, "espionage has only one moral law: it is justified by results." And, if not, ask the former spy chief, Paz Esteban.


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