War & Peace
Santa — The Perfect NSA Agent… Or Target
Sees you when you’re sleeping. Knows when you’re awake. Knows if you’ve been bad or good. No, not the NSA. Santa Claus. And according to one leading Internet privacy analyst, old Saint Nick would be a perfect hire for our nation’s intelligence agencies.
“It would be a wise investment for the NSA to bring him on,” Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, told the Washington Post. “After all, Santa does need a job 11 months out of the year.”
Writes Washington Post technology reporter Brian Fung:
It makes sense. The North Pole is the perfect listening post. Santa lives in a remote, easily defensible location. He collects countless letters from children who spill their guts to him about their hopes and desires. He knows which presents the parents have already bought for their kids, meaning he has access to vast troves of data from retailers both online and off. All this data is likely stored in massive servers that, by virtue of being in the Arctic, are efficiently cooled at little to no cost.
But Chester also told Fung that the powers-that-be may also want to keep close tabs on Father Christmas.
“Clearly, somebody who knows if everyone has been bad or good, and what their interests are, and can be in so many places at once, and keeps all-observing eye on everything, is somebody to be watched,” he cautioned.
No word from Chester about whether or not that other omniscient, omnipresent old man in the sky should be placed under surveillance…
Chester’s remarks came just a day after a fresh trove of classified documents, known as the “Snowman Files,” was leaked to The Conversation by an anonymous whistleblower. They revealed that Santa’s Arctic Workshop (SAW) has deployed a “multinational panopticon surveillance program” targeting children around the world.
Called Operation Naughty or Nice, the global surveillance program is unparalleled, even by NSA standards. Santa, along with an elite cabal of elves, have collected massive amounts of behavioral data from unsuspecting children everywhere.
SAW utilizes real-time data collection, storage and processing to determine which list, Naughty or Nice, each child will be placed on. The “Snowman Files” detail shocking “data collection directly from the minds and bodies of everybody everywhere.”
According to the leaked documents:
SAW conducts real-time data collection, storage and processing directly from everyone in order to determine ‘naughty or nice’ markers. Fuzzy algorithms are then applied to the markers to determine overall moral scores used to determine whether children deserve presents, or coal.
According to SAW operative Eddie the Snowman, Operation Naughty or Nice “is a major upgrade from SAW’s previous methods.”
“This supplements self-reports at shopping centers, handwriting analysis of want lists sent to the grotto, and the use of elves to watch children when they are awake,” Snowman told The Conversation.
“In 2013, as the NSA Prism program came to light,” added Snowman, “Santa decided it was time for an upgrade. I was tasked with setting up the data center. Whereas the NSA only stores exabytes of information, we needed to store Santabytes of data.”
Santa already enjoys a close working relationship with the US government, as NORAD tracks his progress as he pilots his 8-reindeerpower sleigh around the world on Christmas Eve.