The NSA announced yesterday it would significantly change the way it spies on the intimate personal details of Americans. This change is expected to save billions of dollars. Traditionally, the agency has used high-tech eavesdropping electronics to sweep through trillions of phone calls, emails and other electronic communications and store the data in enormous “data farms” in places where no one lives, like Iowa and New Mexico. That will change. Borrowing from the tried and true system developed by the Boy Scouts over a hundred years ago, the agency will now convert to the Buddy System, or “BS” for short.
The new BS system works on a voluntary basis which will be mandatory. The NSA will randomly pair United States residents with one another. Those residents in turn keep an eye on their assigned partner, or in BS parlance, “Buddy.” They read each of their buddy’s emails, text messages and listen in on telephone calls. And if they happen to be passing near their buddy’s home, they are encouraged to drop by unannounced to just say “hi,” and poke around a bit. See what’s on the bookshelf, check the medicine cabinet, or if they get a chance, the underwear drawer. And if a buddy is unwilling to share his or her passwords, they are instructed to immediately submit Form BS-99 to NSA headquarters. That will “red flag” the person, and automatically place the non-compliant buddy on the no-fly list.
“Patriotic Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of the new system,” announced Frank Eavesdorper, NSA Chief of Homeland Operations. “Citizens are willing to pay any price to keep the liberty their forefathers died to obtain. I hear it again and again: ‘I have nothing to hide! Come into my house. Search through my family’s photographs. Copy my computer’s hard drive.’ It brings a tear to my eye.”
The system isn’t perfected yet. During testing, a few glitches arose. Ricky, a 19-year-old from Newark complained to his NSA minder about having to read too many emails of his buddy, Betty, a 53-year-old from Houston, about her on-going menopausal issues, in particular, her continual hot flashes. Bob, a 63-year-old long haul trucker from Seattle, likewise complained about his buddy, Candi, a 13-year-old middle school student from Omaha. Apparently, Bob was having to sift through upwards of 100 text messages a day from Candi to her BFF Kathi, about their “dreamy” classmate Jack, and in particular, how Jack’s attention had recently been turned toward Charlene. Of great concern was the fact that Jack had already eaten lunch with Charlene three times this week. Then there was the unfortunate pairing of two Russian immigrants, one of whom, unbeknownst to the NSA, had been a bank robber back in the Ukraine (No fault to the NSA; he had “expunged” his record prior to immigrating via a wheelbarrow of rubles to a guy named Gladov at the Central Office). One thing led to the next, and before authorities caught up to them at a Hooters in New Orleans, the two had gone on a three-state robbery spree.
“The new system is a work in progress,” explained CHO Eavesdorper. “There are bound to be problems when you are stepping up to the herculean task of cataloging and storing the most private details of people’s lives. But we’ll prevail. Americans aren’t quitters. We’ll ‘getter done.’”
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