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jQuery used for NSA spying for nearly a decade

BREAKING: Recent discoveries have shown that NSA was instrumental in the development of jQuery for the purposes of spying on Interne(t) users’ browsing activities. With over half of the top one million sites on the web using jQuery, the amount of data collected by the NSA is too staggering to estimate.

The Plan

It all started back in 2005 when the NSA created super-soldier John Resig, a “22-year-old” “student” who single-handedly wrote a library of code that changed the landscape of the web completely. The project, originally codenamed SOP (Spy On People), was started in 2003 with a team of dozens of government developers. “We originally wanted to release in 2004, but we used government developers,” admitted NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett in a press conference held earlier this week. “We developed for months before we realized we were accidentally developing a covert ops CMS.” Spokesmen confirmed they were using Agile development methodology.

“That’s when we realized we had to create RESIG, and the project was wrapped up soon after,” said Ledgett. He went on to say that the unused CMS code was later adapted into Microsoft SharePoint.

How data was collected

The code was triggered whenever a developer wrote a piece of code using jQuery that could have been written just as easily in “vanilla javascript.” This was typically triggered almost immediately, and the code was then able to track the user’s movement around the page, gather information submitted through forms, and log media that was played and viewed. The AJAX methods built into the software were used to transmit the data to NSA data centers across the United States.

Expectations exceeded

The codebase was proliferated far wider than the NSA had ever hoped. Due to the immense success of jQuery, the NSA released two further surveillance products: jQuery UI and jQuery Mobile. The breadth of the data collected by this suite of libraries may never be known. “Our goal was always to protect American citizens, and we protected the shit out of them every time they triggered a slideDown.”

The surveillance exposed

The NSA’s joy ride of endlessly self-perpetuating surveillance was ended when an anonymous Ohio-based developer decided to actually view the un-minified source code of jQuery for a bit in 2014. She was quoted as saying, “I had just been including it via the Google CDN like everyone else for years. I took a look at it and thought, ‘huh.'” Unsurprisingly, the exposed nefarious intentions came as a shock to developers world-wide. Social media outlets were alight with outcry as well as smug “I-told-you-so’s” from jQuery detractors.

One of the most surprising aspects of this ordeal is that is wasn’t exposed sooner, especially considering jQuery competitor, MooTools, has been widely known to be Russian espionage software for years.