Was A Furby Threat to National Security?

FurbyA blast from the past. CNN reported back in 1999…

Can the cute, popular toy Furby be a threat to national security? The government thinks so, and has banned it from National Security Agency premises in Maryland.

Furby is embedded with a computer chip that allows it to record words. Because of that ability, NSA officials were worried “that people would take them home and they’d start talking classified,” one Capitol Hill source told The Washington Post.

In a warning to employees, the NSA said, “Personally owned photographic, video and audio recording equipment are prohibited items. This includes toys, such as ‘Furbys,’ with built-in recorders that repeat the audio with synthesized sound to mimic the original signal.”

“We are prohibited from introducing these items into NSA spaces. Those who have should contact their Staff Security Office for guidance,” a memo said.

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  • SF2K01

    Furbies caused 9/11. If only we had known at the time we could have stopped them.

    • Ntmcmann

      make more

  • Anonymous

    Furbies caused 9/11. If only we had known at the time we could have stopped them.

  • Anon

    The really sad part about thisis the Furbies couldn’t record anything. At all. They had built in software that emulated them “learning” English. You chould speak nothing but Spanish to a Furby for months and they’d only “learn” English. The software had somewhere around 100 words that the Furby would start speaking over time. Instead of wasting their time trying to gather intelligence about the furbies they should have been gathering intelligence about bloody terrorists living next door to you and me.

    • Haystack

      No kidding. This puts a major burden on all those NSA employees that were accustomed to bringing their Furbys to work, but will now have to pay for day care. 

      • Ntmcmann

        boo nsa you stink 

        • Ntmcmann

          I love furby

    • SF2K01

      What’s sadder: The fact that furbies couldn’t really learn and just faked it, or the fact that the NSA was so incompetent it actually believed the advertising and packaging without any investigation whatsoever? And these people are in charge of looking out for terrorists? Great, I feel much safer now.

  • Anon

    The really sad part about thisis the Furbies couldn’t record anything. At all. They had built in software that emulated them “learning” English. You chould speak nothing but Spanish to a Furby for months and they’d only “learn” English. The software had somewhere around 100 words that the Furby would start speaking over time. Instead of wasting their time trying to gather intelligence about the furbies they should have been gathering intelligence about bloody terrorists living next door to you and me.

  • Haystack

    No kidding. This puts a major burden on all those NSA employees that were accustomed to bringing their Furbys to work, but will now have to pay for day care. 

  • Haystack

    No kidding. This puts a major burden on all those NSA employees that were accustomed to bringing their Furbys to work, but will now have to pay for day care. 

  • Anonymous

    What’s sadder: The fact that furbies couldn’t really learn and just faked it, or the fact that the NSA was so incompetent it actually believed the advertising and packaging without any investigation whatsoever? And these people are in charge of looking out for terrorists? Great, I feel much safer now.

  • Xplicitriding

    Ive noticed that the people working at the TSA have similar thoughts and methods as Walmart employees…just saying.

  • Xplicitriding

    Ive noticed that the people working at the TSA have similar thoughts and methods as Walmart employees…just saying.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll buy one with white hair and name him Julian….

  • GoodDoktorBad

    I’ll buy one with white hair and name him Julian….

  • Casaubon1969

    “Personally owned photographic, video and audio recording equipment are prohibited items.”

    I wonder how they deal with smartphones…oh, wait. That’s a recusive loop — Echelon hears EVERYTHING.

    Never mind.

  • Casaubon1969

    “Personally owned photographic, video and audio recording equipment are prohibited items.”

    I wonder how they deal with smartphones…oh, wait. That’s a recusive loop — Echelon hears EVERYTHING.

    Never mind.

  • Ntmcmann

    make more

  • Ntmcmann

    boo nsa you stink 

  • Ntmcmann

    I love furby

  • Ntmcmann

    I love furby

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