A veritable mountain of emails has been collecting in inboxes over the last week as companies from around the world rush to implement the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), with many struggling to achieve compliance with the new, and quite rigid, policy over how data can be shared between users and companies. The NSA, however, handled the challenge with the practiced ease of an organization with little to no accountability.
"We're updating the way we handle your personal data," the NSA email said. "We know privacy is an important illusion for society, and we want you to know that we take great pride in maintaining that fantasy."
The use of data has become a hot-button issue for data privacy advocates; companies all over the world took steps to increase their transparency regarding how exactly their customers' personal data will be used, and the NSA was no exception. According to the email, the NSA had a seventy-point roadmap on how personal data would be used. Unfortunately, the entire document was classified as TOP SECRET. The mass-distributed email, however, answered most questions.
"Here's a quick summary of the changes we have made in an effort to comply with the changing data privacy landscape," the email continued, followed by a large space labeled "this space intentionally left blank."
"We will be using cookies," the NSA email said.
Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, NSA director, said that the changes have received positive feedback.
"The world of data is an ever-changing landscape," Nakasone said. "It's important that the NSA, as the world's leader in data mining, be at the leading edge of ignoring regulatory and compliance developments. We hope that the billions of individuals who have mindlessly accepted every end user license agreement they've ever seen will mistake our empty, disingenuous communication as a gesture of goodwill."
At the bottom of the email, in accordance with the opt-in requirements of the GDPR, the NSA email presented two buttons: "I consent to the release of all of my private information," and "I do not consent to the release of all my private information, but understand it will happen anyway."
"You do not need to take any action to receive the benefits of these non-changes," the NSA email assured the curious public. "In fact, taking any action will be considered aiding and abetting terrorism. Tangentially, did you know the Hellfire missile fired from a MQ-1 Predator has a 50-foot blast radius?"
The email did not contain an unsubscribe button.