i was listening to monday's planet money podcast this morning, telling the story of the founders of myspace, chris dewolfe and tom anderson. one of the things they created in their pre-myspace days was a small program that would turn your cursor into a little american flag. they sold it right after 9/11, when the surge of patriotism created a huge demand for such things. in fact, the flag program was really spyware. dewolfe and anderson took advantage of people's patriotism to spy on them.
seems like a perfect metaphor for something or other.