One of my best friends is doing some awesome things in the Navy. Like, awesome enough that he can’t really say what they are. My wife and I were talking about him a couple weeks ago and came to the realization that we have contacted him enough that we are well within the two or three degrees of separation required1 for NSA surveillance2.

Since then, we have included occasional messages to our “NSA angel” in our everyday communication, to see if they come true or just to give some Quantico keyboard jockey a laugh. Thus far, our NSA angel has failed to predict the Super Bowl outcome3 or chime in with the proper number of ibuprofen pills to treat inflammation.4

Anyways, I haven’t had a lot of time to write lately – just been a little busy5. And the only people that knew about my NSA angel were my wife and I, our Navy friend6, and our NSA angel (obviously). So I am making my NSA Angel letters their own category in hopes to kickstart some writing. Please feel free to write some to your own NSA angel as well. I’m sure they get bored reading about every detail of your life (some of which you probably don’t even know yourself).

  1. It’s a thing – ask the Guardian
  2. Sure, they say that they are only surveilling possible enemies of state. At this point, do you believe them
  3. I told the NSA angel to not respond if the Broncos were going to win. Classic catch-22 (because they7 obviously knew the winner in October). 
  4. It’s three, right? That was our guess. 
  5. My NSA angel knows how that goes. Amirite Frank? (Frank is his name) 
  6. No, not you. The other one. Frank knows. 
  7. By “they” I mean “math”. 

Sound off


  1. Dear Robert<a href="#fn1" rel="nofollow">1</a> (my <a href="" title="Dear NSA Angel" rel="nofollow">NSA angel</a>),

    How are the Olympics going? I am one of these new fangled “cable cutters”2 that NBC apparently hates, so I have to get all my Olympic news second hand. Has anyone skiied over a dog yet? Did Putin win any medals yet – biathlon, figure skating, dressage, etc.? Is Bob Costas going to leave Sochi with some kind of super power, a la Cyclops?
    I have to say that the Colbert Report has had my favorite3 coverage of the games so far, with the From Russia with Love – But No Gay Stuff segments. Also, how is the brightness and contrast on my TV? Can you see it OK?
    Well, it’s getting late4. I am going to go drink a beer and – well, no need to tell you5.

    I know it was Frank last time. It changes. You think just one guy works at the NSA? 
    You knew that. 
    You knew that too. 
    Did you know that? 
    Because you know. 

  2. Dear Mike (my <a href="" rel="nofollow">NSA angel</a>),

    I hear you guys got duped pretty bad by a major US telecom company. I am having trouble picking a favorite part of this situation. Too many to choose from:
    Telecoms apparently overcharge everyone, even the federal government.
    The idea of suing those telecoms to get your money back is laughable when you substitute “average consumer” for “federal government.”
    Sprint’s network was not capable of adequate surveillance, from a technical standpoint. If you are planning something that will get you surveilled and you are smart enough to use a network that is too shitty to tap, you deserve to operate in secret.
    Is anyone in the right here? It’s like corruption Inception. I know you can neither confirm or deny any of this1, but come on. We know it was you, Mike.
    I’m watching you,

    Like Steven Seagal.

  3. Dear Steven (my <a href="" title="Dear NSA Angel" rel="nofollow">NSA angel</a>),

    I understand that phone calls are kind of your thing. How does it feel, then, that someone in charge (however half-heartedly) is finally saying, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t collect all this phone data“?
    I’d be a little mad, I guess.1 I just hope that we can all be adults about it and debate the merits2 and shortcomings3 of mass surveillance. Unlike some people, who wear three-corner hats and freak out when they get tread on by Barack Hussein Obamacare and don’t understand the phrase “what goes around comes around.”
    And hey, bonus –

    Phone companies, for their part, would have to provide “technical assistance” in order to make sure that the government could easily search for and collect information…

    You have a built-in scapegoat for when things go tits up4!
    Sorry for your (non-)loss,

    I’m sure your behavior algorithms already knew that. You have those, right? Google does, so I’m sure you do by proxy. 
    I would like to see this British-ish phrase come up more in daily conversation.