NSA Mad Libs: Choose Your Own [Redacted]

On Wednesday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a 2011 FISA Court ruling striking down a top-secret National Security Agency online-surveillance program. The court, whose opinions are normally classified, found that the agency had accessed as many as 56,000 electronic communications (such as emails) from American citizens and foreign nationals over a three-year period by tapping into fiber-optic cables.

The ruling is 86 pages long, but don’t expect to read all of it: It’s so heavily redacted that large portions of the text look like some sort of cubist Rorschach test. As a result, much of the declassified ruling’s contents will still be unknown to the general public.

But don’t let that stop you! Below, you can take your best guess at what the redacted opinions should say with our NSA Choose-Your-Own-[Redacted] Mad Libs:













Think the results of your NSA Mad Lib looked crazy? Check out some of the actual redactions on the newly released FISA rulings:

Page 1

The black marker was definitely working on page 1. Behold, a nearly perfect square, redacting the entire opening paragraph.

 

Page 4

Page 4 informs us that something is limited to the "the targeting of non-United States persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States." And that's about it.

 

Page 12

Hoping to find the bibliography information for citation No. 11 on page 12? Fuhgeddaboudit.

 

Page 27

Page 27 might not tell you much about the new provision, but this redaction does kind of resemble an American flag. So at least it's patriotic.

 

Page 58

It appears one lucky word on page 58 was not redacted for a brief, shining moment. But eventually, the black marker won. What do you think that word was? Leave your comments below.

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

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