Sunday’s Column – Just Ask The NSA
In a way, I’m beginning to feel sorry for all those people deep in the bowels of the National Security Administration.
Armed with computers and headphones and who knows what else, they’re trying to track down terrorists and drug dealers through electronic and cell phone messages.
And apparently, also everything we average Americans say, write or text. How they can manage to shift through little baby Johnny explaining in great detail to his grandparents the first time he did his business in the potty all by himself to learning the latest Al Qaeda doings is beyond my understanding. The number of take-out orders must be staggering. I hope they have comfortable chairs and aren’t really stuck in the basement.
I don’t get all the technology, but common sense would indicate the NSA is targeting people with funny sounding names or from other countries. And probably searching for key words one would associate with the terroristic or drug mind. I said common sense, but this is the government we’re talking about. 100 KILOS READY 9 P.M. PIER 47. But to be on the cautious side, it’s probably best not to say or write something that might attract the government’s attention.
I’m going to save the debate over the government’s rights to basically listen in on everything we as law abiding citizens say or write electronically without probable cause or a warrant for another time. There is that whole thing called the Constitution that one would think gets in the way. GOOGLE SEARCH FOR HOW TO MAKE A DIRTY BOMB.
It think we need to look at the bright side so to speak. Namely what can we get from all this.
You will never lose another email. Can’t find that recipe you sent to Auntie Mame, just ask the NSA. Keep forgetting your passwords? TEENS FOR AL QAEDA BIRMINGHAM CHAPTER THIS TUESDAY. Try the nifty all-in-one totally secure NSA-approved security key for all your banking, credit card and other financial institutions sites.
Here’s a better scenario. You’re driving to your friend’s house and he’s giving you directions. He’s just about to tell you about the extremely important turn you have to make, because if you miss it, you will have to go another 17 miles for the next exit. And right as he’s saying it — “call failed.” Don’t panic. Simply wait five seconds and hit “star, star, pound” on your keypad. The friendly NSA agent will let you know what your friend said before the call was dropped. METH MAKING FOR DUMMIES.
And the government has got your back when it comes to an argument you had with a significant other. GENTILES FOR ALLAH. NSA is now the ultimate “yes you did,” “no I didn’t,” referee. Not only can they play back exactly what was said, but their government dictionary can interpret what said statement actually meant. All based on scientific research, mind you.
We also have the ultimate Internet monitor for every age and gender. COLUMBIAN DRUG CARTEL. Start heading for some web site you probably should best avoid? NSA’s got your back and the diligent government drone will send you an Instant Message saying “are you sure you want to go there?”
I worry somewhat about Santa Claus. How will he fit into all this? Will the NSA continue to allow him to judge who is naughty or nice? Don’t they already know? Or maybe, just maybe, in the government’s infinite wisdom and grace, they’ll help the old guy out and give him the official NSA-approved good/bad list.
It’s not all rosy for those agents however. FERTILIZER BOMB MAKING. They know who’s going to break up with whom long before anyone else. And all those jokes. By the time they go mainstream, the NSA spies are like “dude, that’s so three days ago.”
We can take comfort in this. The government can honestly, without any hesitation, look us straight in the eyes and say, “yes, citizens, we ARE listening to you.”