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Supposing you want the NSA to see something, what does one have to do to guarantee it. This means in their normal data collection it will be swept up, not in a targeted probe of an individual or with (or without) a subpoena. The restrictions are as follows:

  • No use of government resources (can't email to spam@nsa.gov, etc)
  • No public publishing of information (e.g. twitter, facebook, blog, etc)
  • Nothing illegal

My thoughts are the following ways that it might be possible in an increasing order of difficulty, but I'm hoping to eliminate my speculation:

  • Save an item to a gmail drafts folder. Does using http vs. https matter?
  • Send an email from a gmail account to itself.
  • Send an email from a gmail account to a non-existent European email account.
  • Send an email to an existing European email account.

I'm sure there are others that I haven't thought of.

I'm not looking for speculation, I'm hoping the release of NSA documents that describe their data collection practices will provide an answer.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Noordung, Iszi, NULLZ, Terry Chia, Gilles Sep 11 '13 at 12:11

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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The easiest? Be someone that matters. ;) –  Noordung Sep 11 '13 at 4:12
3  
what does one have to do to guarantee it Send an email to the NSA. –  rath Sep 11 '13 at 5:58
    
I think that if you rephrase this question a little bit you could get it reopened. something like, "I want to know so that I can stay off the NSA's Radar" you would probably get better answers as well. –  Malachi Sep 11 '13 at 18:04
2  
Write it in Arabic. –  Michael Hampton Nov 30 '13 at 5:08

1 Answer 1

Wanting to be noticed by the Fingermen - an odd inversion of the usual desire :-)

There are ways, but I'd refrain from some of them unless you are never going to visit the USA*

  • Use religious phrases or the names of certain fanatics in your correspondence. End and start each conversation with "Allahu Akbar", "Ayman al-Zawahiri" or "Ibrahim al-Asiri"
  • Set up a numbers station with a short wave radio.
  • Sprinkle a letter soup of "CIA", "NSA", "DIA", "INR", "ISR", "NSB", "INSCOM", "DOEOIC","OIA", "DEA", "NGA", "NGO", "ONI", "ODNI" plus "Homeland Security" throughout your correspondence. Include "GCHQ", "DSD", "CSEC", "GCSB" if you want improve traffic capture in the wider Five Eyes communication watershed.
  • Shuffle large blocks of cryptocurrency in a fashion that looks suspiciously like money laundering.
  • Email (public) aerial or satellite images of places with restricted airspace. Bonus points if a red crosshair is painted on one or more buildings in the image.
  • Wear a Guy Fawkes mask for every video call you make or video blog you upload to Youtube.

* or love Abu Ghraib-style probes while wearing a orange jumpsuit.

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3  
Turns out that TV Tropes link for Secret Police has more entries in the Real Life section than all the fictional entries combined... –  LateralFractal Sep 11 '13 at 5:22
    
It would really help if you got the letter translated to Arabic or Persian. Say something about a bomb and a plane. –  rath Sep 11 '13 at 5:57

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