The Softer Side of the NSA


How the loss of all privacy may not be a bad thing…



Thanks to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we now know that the National Security Agency is listening in on our phone calls, reading our emails, tracking us on social media  – and has been doing so for quite some time. Troubling, yes, but there is always a silver lining, if you search hard enough for it and considering the agency’s budget (which we’re sure is considerable, the exact amount of which we will no doubt ever know), let’s not forget that they are funded by our tax dollars, so why not put some of that information they’ve amassed and continue to amass, and use it for good instead of potential evil. Here are some suggestions:

Birthday Reminders

Yes, they pop up on Facebook, but are you seriously on Facebook on a daily basis anymore? Now you have no excuse to miss sending a birthday message to a parent, sibling, cousin, friend, or acquaintance. The NSA can text you a reminder?

Gift Suggestions

What husband/boyfriend/significant other ever knows the perfect gift for his/her wife/significant other? With the NSA listening in, surely that person might have dropped hints or mentioned something directly to a friend or family member. Problem solved!

Christmas/Chanukkah/Kwaanza/Insert Holiday Here

No more heartaches/disappointments when it comes to that time of year and who knows what to get for whom. Again, problem solved and think of all the time, trouble and expense we’ll all save, not to mention that returning unwanted gifts will no longer be an issue.

Call Your Mother!

It’s been how long? Just a reminder from your friends at the NSA.

Checking Up on the Kids

She said she was at the library, but the GPS/triangulated cell signals, baby.

Cheating Spouse

No need to hire a detective. See above and remember: the NSA keeps track of all credit card expenses as well.

Checking up on Elderly Parents

Mom/Dad hasn’t made a phone call, sent an email, been on the internet, or spotted on any streetcam in a while. The GPS in the car shows no activity there. The NSA knows all of this, and sends you a message to have a neighbor/nearby family member/caregiver check in. And thank you, NSA, for keeping that ever watchful eye on things.

Most importantly…

You know all of those socks that keep disappearing into the washing machine or dryer, or wherever it is that they go? With tagging and video surveillance, we may well be able to look forward to a better, more secure world where full pairs emerge each and every laundry day, in the very near future.

Some strange purchases show up on credit card bills or uncharacteristic ATM withdrawals noted? Possible gold-digger alert? Again the NSA has its suspicions, and thought they’d give you a heads up…

Grocery Shopping? Since the NSA tracks purchases (ever look at the receipt from your local sundry? Everything itemized and we’re sure that that information finds its way to the Agency, or will in short shrift). You’re texting with your spouse/significant other and trying to decide what to prepare for dinner? You don’t exactly have every cupboard memorized? The NSA no doubt does, and will text you reminders of ingredients you need to purchase to prepare the meal. Great for dieters, too! You’ve been trying to lose weight for how long? Then what are cookies and soda doing on your shopping list? Again, another gentle reminder from your friends at the NSA. And thank you for looking out for our well-being, guys. NOTE: this feature would also be handy in the cases of food recalls that you might not have heard about. Whew! NSA, you may have saved my life!

What we know about what the NSA knows about us is only the tip of the iceberg, according to all reports, so this list of handy services that the Agency might perform is just a beginning, and if you’re at all concerned about your privacy, well, that ship has sailed, so why not put all of the information to work for you?  The NSA will soon have an API available for access to your own data. There may be a nominal fee involved. We will keep you informed as more information about this program becomes available.

Photo credit: Dangerous-Freedom.com

About the author: Bonnie Halper

Bonnie Halper curates the StartupOneStop.com newsletter, which focuses on startups and entrepreneurs, and is currently being read in 50+ countries around the world.

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