Pitch Perfect Satire: NSA Intercepted Children's Letters To Santa

from the cookies-is-the-interception dept

That Anonymous Coward points us to what may be the most pitch perfect satire of the NSA's activities, in a write-up about how the NSA intercepted children's letters to Santa, over at the Duffel Blog. The concept is obvious from the title, but it's the attention to detail, matching almost point for point the kinds of things that have been revealed that the NSA actually does, that make the satire so perfect.
The documents describe an operation known as MILK COOKIES, based out of Fort Meade and run in conjunction with the U.S. Postal Service. COOKIES is the interception of the letters while MILK feeds them through a complex series of algorithms to spot any hidden messages.

Agency director Gen. Keith Alexander had previously testified to Congress in 2011 that the NSA would occasionally collect letters addressed to Santa, but insisted that it was totally accidental and that no one was actually reading or storing them.

The NSA is prohibited from directly monitoring American citizens under both Executive Order 12333 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, because the letters are addressed to the North Pole, which falls outside of U.S. territory, they are considered potential foreign intelligence signals which the NSA is authorized to intercept.
The article includes the history of the program, discusses the ELFCHELON data center in the North Pole, and even discusses how the NSA has "routinely hacked Santa’s Naughty and Nice List for any information on world leaders." As we head into a little break, this seems like an appropriate post to go out on...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2013 @ 8:21pm

    Sorry, were confiscating letters written for Santa its for the chil.....oh wait.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 24th, 2013 @ 8:46pm

    All those little terrorists will be out tomorrow attempting to use all those new toys to bring down civilization. We must get an early warning system up to know where to concentrate our forces to make America safe.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 24th, 2013 @ 8:48pm

    the google's conspiraxy

    Of course you know google is behind this. After all they pull the strings at the NSA as well as the North Pole. Rudolph is a double agent and Mrs. Clause ran off the Ed Snowden.

     

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

  4.  
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    Sheogorath (profile), Dec 24th, 2013 @ 8:59pm

    This is for the children

    In this age of artificial austerity, many parents won't be able to afford the flashy toys they see in adverts. Think how much their disappointment will subside when they're told, "Oh, honey. Santa did his best, but he had to guess what you wanted because the big bad government stole your letter to him."
    A bonanza for the police as well, what with all the grade-schoolers to arrest for making finger guns as they run around the playground, pretending to 'shoot the government who stole our Christmas presents'.

     

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  5.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Dec 24th, 2013 @ 9:51pm

    What more is there to say?

    Clapper + Alexander == The Grinch Who Stole Christmas! (profuse apologies to the great Dr. Seuss)

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 24th, 2013 @ 11:17pm

    Re: the google's conspiraxy

    if your gonna parody him, try harder.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 24th, 2013 @ 11:20pm

    It gets more and more frightening that we can't tell a parody from reality any longer.
    And you know somewhere out there, this link is moving through social media with people getting outraged.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    ECA (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 2:43am

    Ok, fun time, the cats away

    1. I want to find the person with the copy right on Cookies and milk..

    2. For the NSA..
    I find it humorous, looking back at WWII, that the MAJOR contributors, WORKING WITH GERMANY, were major corps in the USA..
    I wonder if the FBI and NSA monitor the corps as well as they DO the people here.

     

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  9.  
    icon
    OldGeezer (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 3:57am

    Did they find any like this?
    Dear Santa;
    I have been a good boy. Please bring me 5 pounds of C4, 6 55 gallon drums of fertilizer and fuel oil. Also please don't forget the nitro and blasting caps.
    Thank you;
    Muhammad

    What idiots! They are looking for terrorists everywhere that they are not. I thought the online gaming infiltration was ridiculous but this really shows the spooks are paranoid!

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2013 @ 4:29am

    Re:

    Frightening part is that those idiots also have their fingers on 5000 nukes pointed in every direction of our planet.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2013 @ 9:50am

    So if Santa is in the U.S. delivering gifts and there is a letter being delivered to him in the U.S. would a warrant then be required to intercept it? You know those darn children might ask for some cool [strikethrough] illegal fireworks and other explosives to light off on fourth of July or something and these things could be used for a terrorist plot by a six year old working for Al-Queda.

     

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

  12.  
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    McCrea (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 10:07am

    Santa hops like the Easter Bunny!

    So, if they're targeting everyone 3 hops from a suspected terrorist, and Santa knows the location of Al Queda, then everyone who has received a present from Santa needs to be targeted. Santa is one big hop.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    So that's why I never got my Weapons Grade Plutonium...

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Time To Help (Your Turn), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Official Edward Snowden Defense Fund

    Please send cookies, milk, etc. to Edward Snowden!!!

    https://wikileaks.org/freesnowden

    $89,076 raised so far, 2,006 people have donated.

    You can send BTC to the following address for the Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund for Edward Snowden:

    1snowqQP5VmZgU47i5AWwz9fsgHQg94Fa

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    OldGeezer (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Official Edward Snowden Defense Fund

    And the NSA spooks are probably tracking every donation and adding them to the naughty list. Don't be surprised next time you want to go somewhere and find yourself on the no fly list and subject to anal searches.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    davebarnes (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 2:02pm

    The solution is

    for kids to encrypt their letters to Santa.

    WVMBE WBPZM MNWCZ NQDMA QFAED MVMQO PBVQV MBMVM TMDMV BEMTD

     

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

  17. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 25th, 2013 @ 2:24pm

    prepare your anus

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Re:

    Does this mean I'm not getting the deluxe World Trade Center playset, complete with the two toy airliners I asked Santa for this year?

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    McFortner (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 3:35pm

    Everybody laughed in 1962

    Everybody laughed at Ray Stevens and his song "Santa Claus Is Watching You" in 1962, but these lyrics are hitting close to home now:

    Well you may thing you can sneak around
    and get away with something
    But there ain't no way,
    'Cause Santa's no fool, he's really super cool.
    He's the secret head of the CIA.
    Eesh, Iish, crime don't pay
    (You can't do nothin' cause you're never alone
    He's even got a wire tap on your phone.)

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    BitCoin Donations are anonymous, Dec 25th, 2013 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Official Edward Snowden Defense Fund

    If you're worried about anonymity, donate BitCoins (BTC) anonymously. Otherwise, you can use Paypal, credit card, or wire transfers.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 7:03pm

    Re: Re:

    *ouch*
    that was dark...
    love it...

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    Re:

    *what* are moose-limbs doing writing santy claus ? ? ?

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    art guerrilla (profile), Dec 25th, 2013 @ 7:06pm

    Re:

    oh, thanks to fukishima, you're getting your plutonium, all right...
    maybe not how you expected...

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 25th, 2013 @ 9:05pm

    Oh god....

     

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

  25.  
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    PopeRatzo (profile), Dec 26th, 2013 @ 5:55am

    obligatory

    If those kids haven't done anything wrong, they've got nothing to worry about.

     

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

  26.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 26th, 2013 @ 6:51am

    So this year's Grinch is Mr Alexander...

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Dec 26th, 2013 @ 7:31am

    Re: Everybody laughed in 1962


    You'd better not shout, you'd better not cry
    You'd better not pout, I'm telling you why
    NSA is comin' to town

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 26th, 2013 @ 10:42am

    In other news...

    It has also been leaked that apparently in early December the NSA sent a NSL to the North Pole "requesting" copies of any and all information collected by Santa's Covert Elf Surveillance Network. The CESN is well known for collecting information used to determine which of Santa's two lists children end up on. According to the confidential source, the North Pole immediately sent a classified response to the NSA stating that due the tasks at hand this time of year, Santa would have to take some time to review the request, but NSA could expect to receive a response on Christmas Eve as is the strict policy for processing all requests received by the North Pole regardless of who the requesting entity is.

    Rumors are that this response was received in the form of coal that was delivered to the stockings of most of the top officials in the NSA, however this has yet to be confirmed.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 26th, 2013 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: the google's conspiraxy

    Why? He doesn't.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Dec 26th, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Re: Re: Everybody laughed in 1962

    Since this is a Pitch Perfect satire, it must be sung acapella.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2013 @ 1:41am

    But terrorists will just address their letters to santa if we don't watch!

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    Re: Re: Re: the google's conspiraxy

    blue, you wouldn't know parody if it reached up and bit you in the ass.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 27th, 2013 @ 6:32pm

    Notice to NSA

    Consider this: you intercepted private letters to Santa. You, therefore, have accepted the role of Santa. It is, therefore, up to you to fulfill the job of Santa and provide the writers with that which they wish for--AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE. Merry Festihanukahmas!

     

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


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