Sights Never Seen: The NSA Marquee Chronicles

As a top-secret spy facility collecting private data from the public at large, the NSA’s Utah Data Center has neither time or need to interact openly with said public. However, most folks don’t know that the center’s welcome sign is actually a marquee that provides a rare glimpse into the mystery-shrouded world of national security. Unfortunately, you don’t have clearance for me to explain how the following images were obtained, but if you’re thinking hacked surveillance cameras, that’s fine by me. All’s fair in war and fun.

When the center was inaugurated, the welcome sign was a cautionary message to the world in general, neither original nor subtle, using negative sentence structure to emphasize the terms “hide” and “fear”:


This was later considered overly informative and the censors were called in to remove all elements that might affect national security without losing the essence of the message:


After some center employees complained this message made them have unsecured thoughts, the agency decided that a more pro-active declaration of principles was in order. Despite all good intentions, the resulting message did not work out as expected:


After this fiasco, damage control measures were rapidly deployed to save face and convey an image of professional committment and tireless effort:


On occasion of the center’s “welcoming day” for the freshman class, the marquee made sure nobody missed out on key events:


During the recent IRS hearings the agency used the marquee to nip all speculation in the bud:


One short-lived but controversial sign seemed to imply the center was discriminating against persons with learning disabilities…


A recent shot is from the 4th of July, a day for which the Agency chose a special message to all citizens celebrating independence:


Well, time to go! This marquee-watching business is great and all but I got a sudden urge to move to a cabin in the hills and hunker down with an oil lamp and a shotgun. Here’s one last pic. Hope y’all got the message!



Disclaimer: my lawyer wants everyone to understand the above piece is all a big funny, see? Especially those who didn’t get it the first time around… like my lawyer.

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