President Obama today said unspecified terror attacks may have been thwarted by a recently-revealed NSA program to track every photographic self-portrait by Americans shot with a handheld camera phone and uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or elsewhere on the internet.
The existence of the secret NSA-HDSD (Homeland Defense Selfie Database) emerged over the weekend, and the trove is said to contain hundreds of billions of arm’s-length shots, bathroom mirror shots, and even “inadvertent selfies” snapped by people trying to take pictures through car windows.
NSA officials would not comment on the program, nor confirm reports from an unnamed leaker that even ephemeral SnapChat pictures are swept up in its dragnet.
“Terrorists are at their core, narcissists,” Obama said. “They want to make a big name for themselves posthumously, and many of them can’t resist snapping a selfie standing in front of their intended targets…you know, throwing a gang sign or making the classic kissy face or pouty face.”
The White House assured the American public that the program is reviewed every 90 days by a FISA Court judge, and that selfies by innocent non-combatants are “disposed of in a timely manner for the most part.”