UPDATED: “NSA” Allows You To Search And See If You’re A Terrorist

And just in time for the 5th anniversary of September 11th comes yet another database for hackers to play with, this time courtesy of NSA . That’s not the National Security Agency. The National Surveillance Agency, whose motto is “Extractum Quislibet Infideli.”

Suspect someone of being a no good terrorist? Just go on over to NSATT.org and type their name and state in. You will then be able to search through the NSA records to see if they are likely to be baby killing Islamic fascists. You can also find out their full address (handy!) and the first five digits of their social security number. The last four have been blocked out for the prospective terrorist’s security, leaving a mere 10,000 possible combinations to brute force your way through.

I decided to play around with it.

I tried typing in my name. Luckily, my family is not suspected of terrorism, despite numerous trips I’ve made to the Middle East. I tried Ben’s name. Surely, he’s a terrorist. But I was disappointed. I tried Gina Trapani of Lifehacker — without a doubt, the sweetest girl in the entire universe. No dice. But then I set my sights higher and tried Gawker overlord Nick Denton.


Holy crap! Now, I have no idea if this is the Nick Denton. But it certainly raises some startling questions, doesn’t it? Is The Consumerist a terrorist front? Am I, unwittingly, a member of Al Qaeda?

The answer to all these questions, of course, is no, followed by “don’t be retarded”. 8 emails and 9 phone calls over a 6 year period to people who happen to be Native Muslims does not a terrorist make, let alone make them a “high terrorist threat.”

This strikes me as a security and privacy nightmare. And, of course, there’s no link at all to remove yourself from being searched by anyone with a mind to. Of course, there is a link to report someone as a terrorist. Handy, that.

I’m not sure what’s worse: the government quantifying our terrorist threat level by phone calls and emails to Arabs, or then allowing anyone to just happily search through the results and try to hack it. But then a larger question emerges: is this site even affiliated with the government? According to the website, no. “The Agency is an independent, non-government organization and is in no way affiliated with any branch of any government or any company that provides telephone or telegraph communications services.” So how the hell are they getting their information?

Are you or a loved one a filthy terrorist, according to the NSA? Do you have any idea what’s going on here? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE: Okay, yeah, totally fake. Which actually makes it a lot more entertaining.


Edit Your Comment

  1. medalian1 says:

    Oh lovely there is someone with my same name only 200 miles from where I live and he’s an elevated terror threat, unlike the others I see which are “guarded”. I wonder if this affects me when I travel?

  2. Joe_Bagadonuts says:

    Please tell me it’s April 1st and this isn’t for real…Welcome to 1984. This is crazy.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    BTW, this can’t be real. National Surveillance Agency does not equal National Security Agency. And from their about, “The Agency is an independent, non-government organization and is in no way affiliated with any branch of any government or any company that provides telephone or telegraph communications services.”

    Call it a hoax, a art prank, a school project, whatever, but it’s not from the American government.

  4. I’ve updated my post with Ben’s cool-headed reasoning.

    D’oh. Boing Boing posted on it, and it’s fake: “From what I can tell, this looks like a bunch of white-page-oid data mashed up with bogus phone call “records,” and would appear to be a political art-prank spoof. Either that, or 63-year-old Latanya Zadie Roberts of Peach Tree, Alabama made an awful lot of lengthy phone calls to Sudan, Iran, and Libya, and should be treated as an extreme terrorist threat.”

  5. mactbone says:

    Yeah, I did a whois and it was registered on Sept. 10, 2006. I looked up NSAT&T and it seems like the most common term used for the AT&T/NSA phone records stuff.

    I wonder how much data they put in there and whether it repeats or what. My last name doesn’t show up in the database – at least not in my state. Granted it’s not that common but then, I didn’t think my mom’s new name was either but there were about 5 results. None of them were her, but it makes me curious.

  6. tj2010 says:

    I’m glad it’s fake! I was worried about them displaying the first 5 digits of your SS# when everyone else wants the last four. How hard would it be to put them together?!?

  7. Cap says:

    the ridiculous logo should have been a dead give away…

  8. Triteon says:

    Real government agencies don’t have .org web addresses.

  9. If we turn Nick Denton in, will Gawker become a headless anarchy?

    I’m all for it.

  10. rachmanut says:

    It may have been fake, but the government is no stranger to absurdly “evil” logos. Remember total information awareness? This was their logo: