clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

TL;DR

Menacing authoritarians can now download the crappy NSA-style PowerPoint template they deserve

New, 5 comments

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we've learned a lot about the dark wings of our secret government:

  • The NSA operates a vast phone data collection program that scoops up sensitive metadata about all cellphone calls placed in the United States.
  • With the help of partners around the world, the NSA taps major internet cables and collects vast amounts of "upstream" information.
  • The agency also collects a lot of "downstream" information through programs like PRISM that efficiently transfer data from major technology companies to law enforcement.
  • The NSA has secretly infiltrated the networks of tech giants like Google and Yahoo :^)
  • The US government makes the shittiest presentations in the world.

terrifying graph 2

Seriously: they're the worst. Having worked with management consultants, I used to think I knew what a bad slide deck looked like. Then, Edward Snowden opened my eyes to a world of aesthetic pain. For a time in 2013, it seemed like a new slide deck would leak every week from The Guardian or The Washington Post — each somehow more visually offensive than the last. The intelligence community's slides are the Comic Sans of presentations: universally reviled except by those blessed with the blissful ignorance of bad taste. Or maybe just people who are too busy using powerful military intelligence tools to spy on their love interests to care about slide design.

In any case, there's now an even easier way for government employees to create slide decks that document their malfeasance! Thanks to artist Julian Oliver (yes, the same Julian Oliver that created the Transparency Grenade), bureaucrats now have access to The Snowden Templates: a series of pre-sullied LibreOffice slides ready to describe any number of oblique government programs with codenames like BOUNDLESS INFORMANT and EGOTISTICAL GIRAFFE. Just plug your data into slides such as "Sinister Mission Statement" or "Terrifying Graph 1" and your national security leak will be up and running in virtually no time.