SpyCast 3.7.23
Ep 577 | 3.7.23

“Espionage and the Metaverse” – with Cathy Hackl

Show Notes


Cathy Hackl (Twitter, LinkedIn) joins Andrew (TwitterLinkedIn) to discuss the potential implications of the metaverse on intelligence. Cathy has been called the “Godmother of the Metaverse.”

What You’ll Learn


  • What the metaverse is
  • Security and counterintelligence in a virtual world
  • Futurism within intelligence agencies  
  • Potential risks and consequences of the metaverse


  • How virtual spaces can affect our physical world
  • The necessity to evolve alongside technology

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

The internet changed the world in ways that were previously unimaginable. Users could be connected to information in a matter of seconds, and the introduction of social media connected people around the world. The web will continue to evolve and change with time, but what’s coming next? And how will this evolution affect the ways that intelligence organizations around the world conduct their operations?

This week on SpyCast, Cathy Hackl joins Andrew to explain what the metaverse is, what we can expect from living in this new virtual world, and how intelligence agencies can begin planning for the Web 3 future. Cathy Hackl has been dubbed the “Godmother of the Metaverse” -- A fitting title for one of the tech industry’s leading futurists. She states that the metaverse isn’t just a far-off idea, the metaverse is coming – and fast. 


A couple from the southernmost state in India, Tamil Nadu, held their Harry Potter themed wedding in the metaverse. Their wedding was capped at 100 because of covid, so they opened it up to their friends and family across the world by holding it in the metaverse. The groom had worked on blockchain, so it seemed like the perfect marriage – no pun intended – of tradition and technology. Guests left with minted NFT’s and the recently deceased father-of-the-bride appeared as an avatar. 

Quotes of the Week

“One thing that I personally try to do, because I am based in DC, is try to go to Capitol Hill and educate lawmakers and educate different parts of government on what this is and how to prepare. Because this is coming fast and furious, it's advancing. And if the internet changed anything for all of us, which it did for most of us, then the metaverse, the successor state of the mobile internet, will change things.” – Cathy Hackl.



Featured Resource

  • Into the Metaverse: The Essential Guide to the Business Opportunities of the Web3 Era, Cathy Hackl (Bloomsbury, 2023) 
  • Metaverse Marketing [Cathy’s podcast]

*Beginner Resources*



*Andrew’s Recommendation* 

  • The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything, M. Ball (Liveright, 2022)


  • Virtual Society, H. Narula (Currency, 2022)
  • Augmenting Alice, G. Ariel (Laurence King, 2017)
  • Augmenting Human, H. Papagiannis (O’Reilly, 2017)
  • Snow Crash, N. Stephenson (Random House, 2000 [1992])


*Wildcard Resource*

  • Watch the world’s first metaverse music video, Snoop Dogg’s “House I Built,” here!