back to article NSA plans to FREE YOUR DATA with range of cloud services, analytics

An earlier version of this article was published in error carrying a sub-editing note which, if taken out of context, could have implied that we had offered line by line copy approval to an individual named "Sir Iain". We'd like to clarify that this is actually a friendly nickname for one of our editorial staff and that we did …


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  1. auburnman

    Oh come on...

    ...You're not even trying. And putting HOLD DO NOT PUBLISH in the headline to make it look accidental?

    EDIT: Full marks for the 3 page level of commitment though.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Oh come on...

      Agreed, lots of effort, but I think I preferred the square eggs :)

      You could always send this to the Onion - come to think of it, what DOES the Onion publish on April 1st? I'm off for a look, always assuming I haven't looked at more than 5 pages this month :/

      1. auburnman

        Re: Oh come on...

        Do tell when you get back. I'm a bit disappointed with Google's offering this year. Automatically photobombing the Hoff into your pictures is good, but it's not up there with the multiple cursor gag of years back.

    2. Down not across

      Re: Oh come on...

      EDIT: Full marks for the 3 page level of commitment though.

      Yes. However it became increasingly obvious April Fool's the longer it went on. First page alone would've been much better. Bit like Andrew's blatantly obvious article which again decided to hammer the point, that it is April Fool's, until it was impossible to think otherwise.

      I prefer the old style April Fools articles that are just on the edge where they could almost be plausible. Of course that does require some intelligence on part of the reader, but surely that is not a bad thing?

      1. auburnman

        Re: Oh come on...

        I think with high quality spoof sites like theOnion and theDailyMash putting out top notch spoofs daily it must be hard nowadays to put out a standout gag article that, well, stands out.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Oh come on...

        "I prefer the old style April Fools articles that are just on the edge where they could almost be plausible."

        Speaking of which, does anyone know how this years spaghetti harvest went?

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I took one look at today's date...

    And thought : "Pull the other one..."

    1. Peter Simpson 1

      Re: I took one look at today's date...

      ...but's actually quite a good idea, isn't it?

      And if we only charge 1/10 of what Carbonite charges, we could balance the Federal budget in five years.

      Gee, Thanks, Obama!

    2. Ralph B

      Re: I took one look at today's date...

      I like to think the inspiration for this article came a couple of months ago. If so, thanks for picking up the ball and running with it so entertainingly, Reg.

  3. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    wasn't that for CRT screens ? So last century.

    Thumbs up for the smile, but what a missed opportunity for some clever acronyms ... (I'll have to re-read the article now to make sure I didn't miss any ;) )

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: TEMPEST ?

      No, it can be done with LCDs but the signal is weaker.

      To get rid of it you need shielding, but cheap stuff doesn't do that

      -obviously anonymous

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Suspense of disbelief

    did not last long enough

    Nice try

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Suspense of disbelief

      This has actually been done before! When the Welsh philosopher and drug dealer Howard Marks was asked how his memory was good enough after decades of dope smoking to write his autobiography, he said he just submitted a Freedom of Information request to the FBI, who gave him all the notes they had been keeping on him for years.

  5. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Good fun.

    I enjoyed that, thanks!

  6. Paul D Smyth

    Poisson Avril

    I particularly come to El Reg every 1st April for great stories like this. Keep up the good work guys!

    Mr Loof Lirpa

  7. simmondp

    Serious point

    Notwithstanding the date....

    £10000 for a backup contract vs £10 for a subject access request - no contest!

    1. Jad

      Re: Serious point :)

      1. Graham Marsden
        Thumb Up

        @Jad - Re: Serious point

        Yep, that was exactly what I was thinking of when I started reading this :-)

      2. Captain DaFt

        Re: Serious point

        It's the personal little touches that the common man cares about:

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    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Re: Wasn't this the plot for Die Hard 4.0?

        "Wait. What? There was a plot?"

        Yeah, apparently there was some kind of yard sale that was on fire and they had to put it out with a helicopter and a squirrel disguised as a Nord.

  9. A Twig

    I enjoyed it - easy to spot but cheered me up on a dull Tuesday!

    I also enjoyed this one as well on IPv5, which is a bit more subtle originally, descending further as the article goes on, yet seems to have actually fooled a lot of people!,bulletproof-trials-cloud-only-ipv5.aspx

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About bloody time

    Can they offer a password recovery service too?

  11. ADJB


    "They trawl through a load of old rubbish and say they'll come up with, I don't know, sales leads - and do they? No. 'Data Scientists', my arse."

    That's the giveaway line, no American NSA insider would ever use the word "arse".

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Giveaway

      That's the giveaway line, no American NSA insider would ever use the word "arse".

      That's what they want you to think.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Raises another point....

    Thanks for the big laugh, nice working out of the joke.

    Raises another question for me, though.

    Who do I trust more?

    The Government or Facebook? At least I can vote for the government.

    If they did offer a free service....Sounds a bit sinister in some ways, but you never know.


    1. Hans 1

      Re: Raises another point....

      > At least I can vote for the government.

      True, but what good is that if you cannot vote against it!

  13. Chris Tierney


    I suspect though given the NSA's narrow definition of an ordinary citizen that we can all expect our data to be de-duped to say about 1 pB worth of mince with the remaining non-conformists offered another NSA service that finds them & brings them in for a face to face meeting.You won't find me signing up for love nor money!

    --------------------------I'm glad those fools are trying to be seen to do something to improve their image. :)

  14. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Knock, Knock ...... Is Anyone Coming Out to Play?

    "It's completely turn-key in nature - we can start as soon as you ask us. In fact we'll probably know you're going to ask us, certainly if you mention it to anyone using any form of electronic communications, and you'll find we've already started before you get in touch.

    "In fact, hey, there's no need to contact us at all. Just tell someone you're thinking of giving us a try - and we'll call you.

    Quite brilliant, if it works properly, John Lewis. Let’s give it a try, NSA/GCHQ/MuI7, for it is something that I’ve been thinking about for not an inconsiderable length of time. And obviously would have all necessary contact information, for it is not as if anything is secret, is it.

    Ding-a-ling-a-ling-dong-bell. Is there anyone with future intelligence out there and in there too. Y’all could certainly be doing with especial help, and one doesn’t need to be Einsteinian to realise and virtualise that pretty obvious fact.

    And what an ab fab fabless opportunity for someone to make IT work, if it doesn’t work as floated above, which is sort of semi-autonomously/para-militarily.

  15. Ian 56

    "Exclusive [... blah ...]"

    Ha! Nice one.

  16. All names Taken

    10 out of 10

    100% Sirrah!

    The trouble is it could be a proper money earner if the price was right.

    Have a beer dudes!

  17. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Too obvious.

    Please try harder next April 1st.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too obvious.

      Not to me .. I was just on the point of signing up for this when I saw the comments. The thinking being that -

      a. I trust GCHQ and the NSA with my data a bit, actually a lot, more than Facebook, Google, Linkedin, and hotmail.

      b. since they are going to store it anyway why not let me have access to a copy.

  18. Peter Simpson 1
    Black Helicopters

    So that guy on the phone last night...

    ...warning me about my Windows system being infected?

    He was from NSA?

    // that must be where Santa gets the Naughty and Nice lists from...even HE outsources!

  19. John Tappin

    This service is indeed being offered (but the brands have been tuned)






    1. Nym

      Re: This service is indeed being offered (but the brands have been tuned)

      Well, you're right...they prefer it pre-sorted, preferably by the users. On Facebook we're usually careful to organize for them...they should pay us.

  20. John Savard

    Of Course

    this is an April Fools' Day article. But it certainly is amusing.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double bluff?

    Just because it's April 1st doesn't necessarily make it untrue...

    (NSAaaS™ - I nearly wet myself!)

  22. Gil Grissum

    If the NSA can give us free cloud services, then why can't Obama give us free health care instead of helping his Insurance company buddies wallet r8pe us? Maybe Obamacare is secretly funding that NSA Cloud? Don't know, but I decline participation in both.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NO WAY should anyone give the NSA any of their data!!!!

    You'd have to be completely thick not to see that they will be monitoring EVERYTHING you give them!

  24. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. McHack

    Freak out visitors with Danasoft signs

    Go here, grab free code, use on your site. They're such an oldie, people stopped mentioning them.

    But for those worried about NSA and spyware, seeing those little graphics with their IP, ISP, browser, OS, and perhaps their town or one nearby, really makes them wonder how much they need better security.

    Are you trying to get a user or relative to upgrade security, or at least start using it? Show them these signs, let the paranoia set in.

  26. Stevie


    Well played, sir. Well played.

  27. Herby

    You are being watched.....

    Look, my opinion: Why not. They have everything anyway, why not make use of it and earn some money. It would make the whole thing "self sustaining", and then the government wouldn't need tax $$$'s to "make it so". Aren't there lots of "CIA Fronts" lying around, why not a nice "NSA Front". OH, wait, maybe there already is one (or two).

    Nice touch anyway.

  28. Benjol

    You joke, but it could happen one day:

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