If you are unfamiliar with Daniel Suarez’ pair of brilliant novels: Daemon, and its sequel Freedom(tm), you really need to stop right here and go read them. They’re fascinating books and I think most folk in information security would enjoy reading them.

Possible mild spoiler alerts follow.

A major element of the two novels is a botnet, created with artificial intelligence and pathfinding elements developed by an MMO game developer, that, upon the creator’s death, begins to wreak havoc in order to affect a form of major societal change. While a botnet can autonomously do a lot electronically, such as build up funding via various forms of fraud, gather information from online systems, etc., it would be limited in what it can do in the “real world” (beyond what’s in the immediate reach of control systems).

To accomplish things outside of cyberspace the botnet recruits human operators to do various tasks, using VOIP, surveillance systems to monitor progress, and the funds it is acquiring to reward/incentivize operators. By the second book this escalates to the point that “DarkNet” operators wearing glasses that project waypoints and objectives for them to accomplish perform tasks for “DarkNet credits”, an alternative currency built around the new society being built by the system.

In short: Human nodes in a botnet. You can treat a human like a remote procedure call: arguments are task description and money, return value is measured success or failure.

Obviously this is something that Google Glass was created for. I think so, and Google appears to agree:


I don’t think they read the same books I read, but hey, maybe they did.

Honestly, I was just having a laugh at what immediately came to mind when Glass was announced. While I’d be happy to develop a nice tactical objective/waypoint control system for multiple operators using Glass, I’m not (at the moment) keen on paying $1500 and a flight to New York for the privilege.

If anyone wants human botnet software and wants to fund it, let me know.

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