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My NSA Piñata Project

First of all, I want to say thanks to LeMoyneLlona PajariE. F. Beallreader, and Public, who gave me such awesome suggestions for my NSA Piñata. Here was my plan: to make a piñata that was covered with NSA defense propaganda, and to fill it with delicious candy (and a couple of plastic mini-bottles of booze) that were wrapped in true facts about the NSA. It was great fun to make, and a huge success at the art show!


I started with a beach ball and a balloon. Then, I covered it in a couple of layers of newspaper, and added the final layer of NSA related documents. Here’s the finished product, with a closeup. Then, I printed out lots of NSA funfacts on different color paper, cut them up, and wrapped them around candy. Examples of facts:


In March 2013, the NSA collected three billions of pieces of intelligence just from US communications networks alone.


Metadata is the call logs showing who called whom, from which location and for how long. What does your metadata say about you?


On December 31, 2012, an SSO official wrote that the NSA program ShellTrumpet had just “processed its One Trillionth metadata record”.


The decision to begin listening to someone’s phone calls or read their emails is made exclusively by NSA analysts and their “line supervisors”. There is no outside scrutiny, and certainly no Fisa court involvement.


Thanks again to Firedoglake readers who helped me come up with good stuff.


Finally, we hung the piñata at the art show. People seemed quite interested in it, but that was nothing compared to the crowd when we finally started beating it. And then it broke! Everyone picked up the candy and read the wrappings. Victory!


What a fun night. Thanks for letting me share.


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