What toy was banned at a number of U.S. military bases in 1999? – 2017

What toy was banned at a number of U.S. military bases in 1999?

Furby

The NSA once banned Furbies as a threat to national security. The fluffy, bug-eyed toy was banned because its ability to record and reply speech made it a potential security risk. The National Security Agency feared that they would listen in on classified conversations.


In 1999, the NSA issued a memo banning them from its offices in Fort Meade. Because the commercials advertised Furbies as “learning” English over time, the folks in charge believed that Furbies contained an internal recording device, and they feared the toys would spill secrets in their cutesy voices. According to a 1999 BBC News article, anyone who came across a Furby on NSA premises was instructed to “contact their Staff Security Office for guidance.”

 

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