we learn the story of a quick-on-her-feet mugging victim, who told a would-be mugger who demanded her money and phone that she was an intern for the NSA
. This allowed her to make two claims: (1) as an intern, she had no money and (2) as an NSA employee, they would be tracking the location of her phone "complete with a pink-and-blue Lilly Pulitzer case." Apparently, it worked:
"I told him that the NSA could track the phone within minutes, and it could cause possible problems for him," the victim recounted.
The NSA has been in the spotlight this year due to controversial and far-reaching intelligence-gathering programs it had kept hidden from public knowledge.
Perhaps wary of just how far the NSA would go to keep its assets safe, the assailant just "looked at me and ran away," the victim said.
I once heard a story (possibly apocryphal) of someone who knew someone who lived in a neighborhood known for semi-frequent muggings. He once got mugged, and immediately responded by just yelling "the refrigerators are coming! the refrigerators are coming!" and it apparently confused/frightened the mugger enough to send him running off as well. This is not to say that either of these techniques are recommended. While it's likely that jittery muggers may simply cut bait and run when faced with anything that leads to confusion or questioning, it is also possible that such actions could lead to a very different kind of attack as well. Still, at least in this instance, there's apparently a story of how the news about the NSA may have actually helped someone.