The Spy Who Came in From the Playpen

The Furby joins the list of the NSA's persona non grata

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In the world of espionage, appearances can never be trusted -- even the friendliest face can conceal a hostile agenda, and a few words spoken in an unguarded moment can have grave consequences. So it should come as no surprise that one-foot-tall individuals with enormous, pink, tufted ears have been flagged as undesirables by the National Security Agency.

That's right, comrades, the Furby has been declared a security risk. According to the Washington Post, the NSA posted an advisory to employees warning them not to bring the owl-like stuffed toys to work. Besides their fluency in an as-yet-uncracked code called Furbish, Furbys have the ability to record and repeat some of what they are told. The prospect that a Furby might be exposed to sensitive information and repeat it later in a compromised environment -- perhaps a sandbox assignation with a Russian teddy bear -- is troubling to the NSA, which also forbids any other kind of audio or video recording devices in its offices. There have been no reports of Furby defections, but people who have admitted a Furby into the NSA are advised to "contact their Staff Security Office for guidance." America can now sleep easier -- but please leave the light on, OK?