In the old days there was sometimes said that "This stuff sells itself!". Something many people would buy. Stuff that does not need much advertisment apart from word of mouth. An old need, or a new desire, fulfilled.
Of course the stuff does not sell itself, it is sold, but the metaphor police cannot be everywhere 😉
Now we have all the tracking going on on the Internet for surveillance purposes, but also for advertising, both a sort of intelligence mass collecting. Sometimes in collaboration.
The latest, but surely not the last, is the revelation that NSA is at least trying to piggyback on advertising cookies. It is not surprising at all. It is a huge problem that google is everywhere, and that their cookies insert themselves (metaphorically again) into users' software.
The setting of cookies is in itself strictly not devious or secret, but it is so common, most Web users cannot be bothered keeping them in check anymore. Many of course use adblockers, but there is so much more. In fact, using e.g. Firefox excellent addons such as No Script and RequestPolicy is illuminating, but requires effort.
I suggest a slogan for this tracking, information gathering, intelligence sucking, cookie baking, uninvited guest-visiting:
Stuff that sells yourself!
I donate it to the public domain 😛