With a more entrepreneurial focus, the NSA could easily counteract the current unpopularity of its surveillance programs and eliminate concerns over the cost of its multi-billion dollar programs.
Here are ten services the NSA could offer to make its spying more popular with Americans and offset the costs of its massive data collection:
1. Make flying easier. Since the NSA knows who the terrorists are, it can generate proceeds from “Not a Terrorist” badges which allow the wearer to bypass security screenings. For an additional fee, it will text you ahead of time if you’re booked in the middle seat between two lumberjacks.
2. Simplifying tax time. Since the NSA knows everything about our finances and credit card transactions, it will file your return with the IRS. Never be audited again.
3. Data recovery. Lose your phone? The NSA will restore your contact list. Hard drive fail? No worries, the NSA will rebuild it from the cloud.
4. Avoid annoying people. The NSA’s new mobile app will help you identify and avoid specific people. Is that chatty coworker in the restroom? Know before you go. Never run into your ex again.
5. Find your teenager. Kid out past curfew? AT&T and Verizon won’t help? Don’t guess. The NSA’s mobile app will pinpoint your teenager on a moment’s notice.
6. Private investigations. Is the guy you’re dating married? Is your spouse having an affair? There’s no need to hire a private investigator. The NSA will monitor the activities of those around you and email you if there’s anything you should know.
7. Improving relationships. Need to playback that conversation with your partner from 3 days ago where they’d agreed to cancel dinner reservations with your mom? No problem, the NSA audio cloud (built in to iOS and Android) will make it easy to retrieve.
8. Unlimited remote access to data. Out of dropbox space? Need a file from home or from your ex-boyfriend’s computer? No problem, the NSA’s cloud file store has it.
9. Access to medical records. Need to lookup an x-ray for your doctor? Want genetic testing reports on your date? The NSA mobile app has that too.
10. Truly secure email services. Using email encryption is hard, a surveillance-free email service would be super popular right now.
If you have more ideas for the NSA, tweet them with the hashtag #NSAapps.