Joe Turner (Robert Redford): Listen. I work for the CIA. I am not a spy. I just read books! We read everything that's published in the world. And we... we feed the plots - dirty tricks, codes - into a computer, and the computer checks against actual CIA plans and operations. I look for leaks, I look for new ideas... We read adventures and novels and journals.
In that pre-Internet era, these fictional agents served as human “search engines” engaged in a primitive form of “data mining.”
Turner learns that his analysis of a novel uncovered a secret plan to take over Middle Eastern oil fields, setting in motion the deaths of his station's members. Of course, it’s only fiction. Or should today’s conspiracy theorists be concerned that their internet searches for “forbidden knowledge” will be traced back to them, with fatal results?