My fellow Americans,
Over the past several months, disclosures about the National Security Agency’s surveillance methods have raised serious concern. Following these disclosures, millions of emails, tweets and Internet comments have urged me to drastically reform the NSA.
Now, I want you to know: We hear you. Today we’re announcing some changes to the NSA, and I’m happy to say that many of these reforms are indeed based on your feedback.
First: We shouldn’t be spying on Americans who haven’t broken any laws. Darrell Spoonauer of Topeka, Kansas, made a lot of coherent points on this subject in an email to me. He also made a lot of coherent points when he made the same arguments in emails to his wife, to his mother-in-law, to his college buddy Drake (twice), to a parody account for the comedian Jeff Foxworthy, and to a Washington Post reporter, sent from an email address created to ensure his anonymity.
So, Darrell: We respect your privacy. And we are not going to peek into your emails anymore. You can consider this an early birthday present, which you are receiving two days before the surprise party at Red Lobster that your family has been planning via Gchat conversations for the past two weeks.
Second—and I think this is a great show of respect to our greatest global allies—we’re no longer going to tap the phones of heads-of-state we consider friendly. Angela Merkel said something very smart recently, on a call she was having with David Cameron. She said to him, “If America and Germany are such good friends, then why is there the need to listen in?” I happened to be listening in on that call, and let me tell you, I wanted to pick up the phone right then and assure her that I agreed.
Unfortunately, Madame Merkel then got a call from her physician, so we couldn’t just cut the line at that moment. But after she talked with her doctor, I called her right up. And I said, “Angela? It’s Barack Obama. First, I’m sorry to hear about the trouble you’re having with goiters. Second, we don’t want to ruin our country’s friendship over this spying thing.”
Today, I’m happy to say that America’s relationship with the Merkel government has vastly improved—much like Prime Minister Merkel’s goiters, which, from what I can understand of medical German, seem to have also improved, quite vastly.
Third—and I want to address this directly to a true patriot, Michael Bowen, and also his wife, Jennifer, who is also a patriot—the NSA will now need a warrant to intercept communications from law-abiding Americans. Michael is always joking with his wife Jennifer that she shouldn’t text him anything too risqué, since the NSA is probably reading their text messages. He likes to make that same joke, via text message and other, more subterranean messaging apps, to his longtime mistress Linda Watkins.
Now, I agree with Michael. The US government has no right to peer in on the private conversations that Michael has—whether they’re with his wife, with his mistress, with his backup mistress, or with any member of the freaky, Dracula-themed sex club he attends most Thursdays. Those texts are between Michael, his mistresses, and his fellow nymphomaniac vampyre squad.
So, to Michael, to his wife Jennifer, to his longtime, on-again off-again mistress Linda Watkins, and to each and every member of the Fang Gang of New Bedford: I apologize.
Now, those are big reforms, but we’re not just stopping there. We’ll be rolling out some other changes, too, all of them inspired by your concerns.
Rebecca Tallent, from Arkansas: You sent your boyfriend Luke a Snapchat, with the caption “For Your Eyes Only!” Whether you know it or not, that’s a valid criticism of the U.S. surveillance state. So, from now on Snapchats will not be monitored by the NSA, and will only be seen by the intended recipient—and, in the case of Luke, whomever he is in bed with at that moment.
Don Graves, from Texas: You ran a Google search for the term “Is the government storing my search queries.” Yes, we are—but not anymore. The NSA will no longer be storing any of your Google searches, Don. Now, you can feel free to run searches for laxatives, powerful laxatives, most powerful laxatives, how to reverse the effects of too-powerful laxatives, how to tell if your neighbor is a witch, whether witches can cast spells on over-the-counter laxatives, and how a layperson can gain witch powers to perform spells on military-grade stool softeners.
Finally, Dennis Maynard, from California: On the night that you proposed to your fiancé, lying in sleeping bags next to your bride-to-be at the top of Mt. Shasta, gazing up at the stars, you caressed her hand and whispered into her ear, “No one else will ever experience this. This is just you and me up here. This is our moment.” This is precisely the type of interaction that the NSA will no longer be blindly and senselessly eavesdropping on with our secretive fleet of invisible, untraceable camera-drones. Enjoy your wedding, Dennis, and good luck explaining “the situation downstairs.”
Agreeing on these reforms was a difficult process, to be sure. But with your help and honest feedback, we think the National Security Agency can keep Americans safe while also respecting their innate right to privacy.
We hope that the new, less intrusive NSA is to your liking. And if you don’t think these reforms go far enough, remember: We’re listening.
Speak up. Say something. To anybody. We’re all ears.