“You better watch out / You better not Skype / You better log out / Yeah you better not type / The NSA is coming to town…”
Those are the mildly amusing, hugely chilling lyrics to a spoof rework of the Christmas classic, penned by the American Civil Liberties Union to higlight the fact that the National Security Agency is, allegedly, all in everybody’s business.
“You’re making a list / They’re checking it twice / They’re watching almost every electronic device / The NSA is coming to town…”
Snowden’s claims against the NSA have been making front page news first in the Washington Post and then worldwide all year, with the latest leaks about the shadowy Agency’s alleged naughty-list-making mobile-monitoring stating that it routinely steals data from five billion phones every day and can crack any smartphone encryption with absolute ease. Five billion? That’s quite the list, you’ve made it onto.
The parody’s playful video sees a series of ‘secret’ Santas wandering the streets of New York City, peering over people’s shoulders to see what they’re up to on their smartphones and taking snaps of random passers-by in a not so subtle satire of how Snowden has described the Agency’s espionage antics.
Created by the ACLU to draw further attention to the NSA’s alleged activities and convince viewers to sign up to a campaign to stop the surveillance, the ultimate message delivered by the narrator is: “You wouldn’t let government agents spy on your special holiday moments in person. Why are we letting them do it in the digital world?” Indeed.
Viewed over a quarter-of-a-million times since it first popped up on YouTube on December 12th, check ACLU’s video out here now; then destroy your browsing history. And your phone.