Claim: The Bitstrips app is a trojan horse that gives the NSA secret access to personal user information.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, November 2013]
I recently heard that the app bit strips is an NSA Trojan horse virus, is that true?
Origins: On 9 November 2013, the Call the Cops web site published an article positing that the popular Bitstrips cartoon creation app had been revealed by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden as a trojan horse that allows the NSA to secretly access personal user information from Facebook and cell phone communications:
Bitstrips, the fun cartoon generation app growing in popularity on social media, is it turns out a Trojan horse from the NSA to tap your Facebook feed and cell phone. Edward Snowden in his most recent disclosure revealed the origin of the bitstrip program.
According to a statement from Snowden the NSA knew that someday their spying would be made public. They knew that people would respond by demanding more privacy settings. So in response the NSA set up a team to develop apps that will by pass privacy settings, in a legal way.
Shortly afterwards links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a spoof from Call the Cops, a satirical web site that bills itself as "America's 27th Most Trusted Site for Public Safety News" and notes on its "About Us" page that:
This site is a satire of the current state of Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting and Emergency Medical work. Stories posted here are not real and you should not assume them to have any basis in any real fact. Heck we tend to leave in spelling and grammer errors just to prove we is not the professional media.
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.