Big Brother loses his sense of humor: NSA orders satirical T-shirt maker to cease and desist
- The clever shirts were inspired by the Edward Snowden revelations about the NSA's domestic spying
- The spy agency quickly sent him a cease and desist letter, on grounds of intellectual property infringement
- Dan McCann is fighting back, suing the spooks for violating his First Amendment rights
21:39 GMT, 4 November 2013
00:27 GMT, 5 November 2013
A Minnesota gnraphic designer who made fun of the NSA has found himself in a legal battle with the agency which is trying to ban his creation.
inspiration from the revelations made this year by Edward Snowden, Dan
McCall, 38, of Sauk Rapids, created a humorous T-shirt poking fun at the
agency’s domestic spying programs, causing the spooks to send him a
cease and desist letter.
I got finished I thought, this is pretty good – I thought it was fun,’
the NSA disagreed, forcing the shirts off the market – now Mr McCall is
fighting back, according to WCCO.
'Peeping while you're sleeping': This T-shirt drew the ire of NSA lawyers, who called it copyright infringement
Pick a size, any size: The shirts are a classic parody, McCall argues
The funnyman first took the circular NSA logo and emblazoned ‘peeping while you’re sleeping’ across the bottom half.
then put the phrase ‘The only part of government that actually listens’
directly under the parodied seal and started making T-shirts.
The spy agency soon caught wind of the shirts and brought an end to the fun.
it a violation of their intellectual property rights, the NSA’s cease
and desist letter ordered him to immediately stop selling the shirts.
It's a classic parody: Dan McCall, the graphic
artist behind the shirt, says he is parodying the government - which is
protected under the First Amendment
Can you hear me now?: Spooks aren't fond of Mr McCall's spoofing of their spying
Fighting bacl: Mr McCall is suing the spy agency for infringing on his right to freedom of speech
Mr McCall disagrees.
when you’re pointing straight at an organization or making fun at it,
turning it on itself, that is classic parody,’ he told told the station.
that he doesn’t want his children to grow up in a country where you
can’t poke fun at the government, Mr McCall told WCCO that his First
Amendment rights are being violated.
has teamed up with Public Citizen, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy
group, to sue the NSA for the right to sell his shirts.
bad enough that these agencies have us under constant surveillance;
forbidding citizens from criticizing them is beyond the pale,' lawyer
Paul Alan Levy said in an online statement.
vital ‘that we clarify whether or not these types of laws are
consistent with the rights as Americans under the First Amendment,’ he
told the station.
A message left for comment with Public Citizen has not yet been returned.