Lost An Email? Just Call The NSA!

from the backup-and-disaster-recovery-for-idiots dept

Throughout all the reporting on the NSA's massive surveillance programs, both international and domestic, you'll occasionally hear an increasingly common response: let's just all troll the hell out of them. The idea, of course, is that the NSA's collection of everything ever simply sets up a massive problem of extrapolating the number and size of haystacks in which they must find the terrorism needle. Anyone pissed off about how the American government is treating them via spying on their activities might suggest that they surreptitiously insert a bunch of likely flagged words into normal communications just to make things a bit tougher on the agency. And, despite the fact that these suggestions are usually made half-seriously, often accompanied by nervous laughter and a quick review of surroundings to ensure no black vans are present, the NSA has acknowledged the problem and has said it is prepared for the trolls. This is in response to entire websites devoted to online antics and shenanigans, all designed to make the job of the NSA just a tad bit more difficult.

But not all such antics need take place online, as evidenced by my new personal hero, a man in Holland who called the NSA to retrieve and an email he said he'd accidentally deleted.
This is what brilliance looks like. The logic is as flawless as the hapless NSA receptionist is flummoxed. In case you can't see the embedded video, this wonderful man called the NSA's general number and claimed he accidentally deleted a Gmail email and that his local computer repair tech had suggested calling the federal agency, since they obviously have a copy. What follows is a lengthy conversation with a woman, who is likely just trying to do her job, that should probably be up for some kind of comedy award.

But take note, people: this doesn't work. While the NSA certainly may have your email, but they won't serve as your backup provider. Which is just as well, since that'd take a significant revenue stream away from me, personally. Thanks for not intruding everywhere, NSA.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Vic, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    And, despite the fact that these suggestions are usually made half-seriously, often accompanied by nervous laughter and a quick review of surroundings to ensure no black vans are present,

    Ahh, the good old times. That phrase describes PRECISELY how it was in the Soviet Union when I was growing up there (late 1960s to very early 1980s)!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Michael, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    I wonder what kind of trouble he is going to be in for recording the phone call?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:04pm

    Re:

    Let me be the first to welcome you home to the USA. We wouldn't want you feeling homesick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Jeff (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:07pm

    Re:

    Why?!?

    The NSA probably recorded it also!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:11pm

    Confirmed Google gives your Gmail to NSA.

    Other than that, this childish prank call laboring a joke invented months ago is... childish. And to write it up for Techdirt is... only too typical.

    Remember pirates: Google can rat you out to the MPAA!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Confirmed Google gives your Gmail to NSA.

    As is your comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Transmitte (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    " While the NSA certainly may have your email, but they won't serve as your backup provider."

    They should serve as a backup, considering how much of my f'ing tax dollars are being shit down the hole on them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    Back when Bush Lite and "Dead-Eye" Dick Cheney "lost" all those emails about outing Valerie Plame, I kept wondering if ANYONE in the press would notie publicly (so Congress wouldn't be able to ignore) the NSA undoubtedly had copies of the "lost" emails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    wto605 (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:48pm

    Re:

    Nonsense!

    The NSA has established it doesn't engage in "illegal" spying (according to the DoJs definition)... since embarrassing the sitting administration is clearly illegal (according to the DoJs definition) they probably never even saved the emails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Trevor, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 1:54pm

    Well

    Just do a FOIA request on yourself, and for the cost of a notary and 8 months of your life*, you too can access all of your lost emails, as well as every thing else you have ever done!

    *give or give 2 years, and a whole lot of red tape. This offer not valid in the lower 50 states, unless some lackey accidentally sends it to you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    OldMugwump (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 2:13pm

    Kudos to him. Both he and the nice NSA lady stayed polite and professional the whole time.

    But he's not a US citizen, so doesn't get to participate in our socialized, government-run free email backup system.

    NSA should really offer to restore his email for a small fee. It would go a (very small) way toward paying for the cost of our American Stasi.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    letherial (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Thats so funny, that poor employee...still, more people should do this

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 4:25pm

    hahaha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    Iv always wondered

    This has been in my mind for many years..

    If you want to get MJ across the border, WHY NOT spay a light amount around EVERYTHING??

    Take a small amount of stems and pieces and boil it abit of alcohol for a short time and poor a water mix, around cars Gong back and forth across the border.
    You could even sit on the Side of the main road and just Spritz Cars as they go by..

    You would saturate the area to the point that ANY/ALL dogs could smell would be MJ..

    HOw crazy could this be?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Confirmed Google gives your Gmail to NSA.

    That's just not possible. Search queries and googleapis don't prove anything.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    Video not always appearing

    The video does not show in all browsers because you omitted "http://" from the beginning of the iframe SRC tag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Iv always wondered

    This is the steganography problem. Unless you were sitting and doing this ALL THE TIME, the mere fact that it's happening at the time means that a shipment is in process. The cost of searching every car for this time probably isn't too high.

    Plus, if you're only spraying one side of the cars, and suddenly there's a car that the dogs report a positive signal on BOTH sides of the car... then that's the one to search. So you find a way to only store the drug on one side of the car, but then the cost of searching goes down, as they only have to search half the car!

    tl;dr: (counter-)security is hard

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    vic toews, Sep 3rd, 2013 @ 11:31pm

    Canada wants to have unlimited spy abilities as well

    there was a similar outcry when Canadians were told they were with the government or the child pornographers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 7:30am

    NSA

    Want to thank the NSA for the great job they're doing? Send them an email! Just send it to anyone, they'll get it.

    Want to apply to work at the NSA? Call 1-800- any number!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This