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Day 6: A copy of the Constitution for all our lawmakers
The NSA disaster seems to have taken the wind from the sails of such inadvisable legislation as another CISPA attempt and a rewritten, renamed SOPA. After all, if the NSA seemingly can spy on everyone and everything (they can't) and can share all that with anyone they want (they can't), why should we have laws on the books that allow the US government to increase its cybersecurity surveillance and communication?
Even though we've had a relatively quiet period of congressional digital legislation stupidity, don't expect that to remain true. Behind the scenes, behind the backs of American citizens, lobbyists are searching for new ways to restrict Americans' rights, reduce our access to fair use, and tie us down to rules never intended by the original founding fathers.
So, to every representative and senator, to every congressional staffer, and even to every scumball lobbyist in Washington and L.A., we gift a copy of the United States Constitution. Not only is it interesting reading (who knew these were our freedoms?), it's the law.
Day 7: The Cloak of Honesty and the Helm of Accountability for Big Internet
Oh, the challenges of being a Big Internet company. If you consume more electric power than Peoria, if you look at a river and don't think "pretty" but think about how many generators you can use with it, you know you're one of those Big Internet players. You're Facebook and Google and Microsoft and Apple and quite a few others, the companies we've long trusted with all our information, our schedules, our social graphs, and our kitten and baby pictures, not to mention the occasional presidential selfie.
Now, after all the years of building up an almost blind level of trust in your users (who act more like fans and acolytes than mere customers), the news media has seen fit to publish the Snowden documents showing that you're supposedly in cahoots with governments all over the world.
Now, we all know that if any of the Big Internets are cooperating with governments, it's either because they're running government services on their clouds (oh, if only Healthcare.gov had gone that route), or because the law requires them to turn over bits and bytes to Big Brother.
For months now, the Big Internet firms have been fighting to be allowed to disclose just what it is they're being forced to turn in to the government. To these companies, we offer the gift of transparency. As we reach deep into our bag of gifts, we shall provide to you the finest of all cloaks, the Cloak of Honesty and -- for those truly fit to serve -- the Helm of Accountability.
We recommend you put on these wonderful garments and even, perhaps, parade around the streets of Mountain View, Cupertino, and Redmond. Just stay away from people who might confuse transparency with, you know, no clothes.
Day 8: A silver platter for Snowden investigators
Poor Julian Assange. Rumor has it that he helped Edward Snowden become the household name he has become over these last months. And while Snowden parties it up in Putin's Russia, Assange is still trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy somewhere in London.
And then there's poor, confused, guilty Bradley Manning, who is living out his days in the jail cell he created for himself when he, too, stole documents from the United States government.
Manning is in jail, and Assange pretty much is, in his own way. And yet Snowden has a new job, has probably had his fill of okroshka, coulibiac, caviar, and, of course, some blini. He may yearn for a good pizza, but even so, he's in a far better place than Assange or Manning.
But we don't get gifts for criminals. We get gifts for those who are hunting down the criminals. And to those investigators, diplomats, and, yes, spies, we offer a simple thing. Simply a platter. A nice, pretty, silver platter.
We can't offer you Snowden's or Assange's head on a platter, since there are a whole host of diplomatic and political issues. But when you overcome those issues, now you've got the platter.