August 22, 2008 | By Hugh D'Andrade

The Secret Room: EFF Designer's Cartoon on Illegal Spying

I was asked recently to create a mural-sized political cartoon (and to paint it live!) at a show of experimental drawings and cartoons at the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco. I chose as my subject the NSA's "secret room" at AT&T's Folsom Street facility. As part of the Bush administration's massive and illegal spying program, the communications of millions of ordinary Americans are illegally intercepted and copied via fiber-optic splitter, and diverted into this secret room, which is controlled by the NSA.

What exactly goes on inside that room? Here's a time-lapse video of my fanciful answer to that question:

Privacy info. This embed will serve content from

The finished piece is available for viewing now through September 14 at the Mission Cultural Center, along with lots of other great drawings by various artists. Video shot and edited by EFF staffers Chris Contolini and Richard Esguerra, with CC-licensed music by Skandalo Publico.

Deeplinks Topics

Stay in Touch

NSA Spying

EFF is leading the fight against the NSA's illegal mass surveillance program. Learn more about what the program is, how it works, and what you can do.

Follow EFF

Censorship powers, data retention, and vague hacking crimes: Pakistan's terrible cybercrime bill has it all:

Nov 25 @ 5:11pm

While Bangladesh blocks social messaging apps, locals are turning to Tor and Twitter:

Nov 25 @ 3:50pm

You've heard recent news about Securus, the prison phone service. It's also the proud owner of a very stupid patent.

Nov 25 @ 3:09pm
JavaScript license information