How Has Technology Made The Spy Game Easier?

The Fifth Estate, StillDreamWorks

Julian Assange brought the world of espionage to its knees with a new brand of spying. Whereas in the early days of James Bond you needed a truckload of fancy gadgets, now the cloud is the ultimate tool of the spy trade. Assange only needs a few taps on a keyboard to do more work than 007 could do in a week with any fast car or silenced pistol. This all means that being a spy is probably loads easier nowadays thanks to all the cool technology we have lying around. You don’t even have to go anywhere, or do any of that tough secret agent stuff like fighting other spies or sneaking around in vents. So what fictional spies’ jobs would be easier if they took place in 2013?

Get Smart
Maxwell Smart, the bungling secret agent behind the original Get Smart television series, used to use the incredibly unwieldy communication device known as the shoe phone in order to communicate secret messages. But it’s a long time since the swinging ’60s and these days, an agent probably has about 12 different micro-communication devices hidden all across his person, none of which involve lifting their shoe to your their to use.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
In Tinker, Talor, Soldier, Spy, George Smiley is tasked with finding a double agent buried deep within the senior management of MI6. While this took forever back in George Smiley’s era, nowadays, whoever the mole turned out to be would have definitely slipped up and posted some sort of incriminating evidence on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, or any other one of the innumerable social networks we use to blast our secrets across the World Wide Web.

The Lives of Others
In 1980s East Germany, Gerd Wiesler is tasked with spying on a playwright and his wife, so he bugs his apartment with numerous microphones and other surveillance equipment before hiding away in an attic to observe their lives. But if the Berlin Wall never fell, and this story happened today, there would be no need to bug the apartment because everyone is completely surrounded by cameras at every waking moment. Our cell phones, laptops, tablets, and other gadgets make government spying amazingly easy.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Brad and Angelina would have figured out each other’s secret lives as secret agents a lot quicker if Facebook was widely used back in 2005. Think of how many relationships were destroyed thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s social media network. That movie would have ended a lot sooner.