Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The NSA Line Eater

Some old, old conspiracies turn out to be a real thing:
With all the excitement at the moment about the NSA watching your internet traffic, I can't resist adding a bit of folklore from the early days of the internet.

Back in the good old days before web pages, the standard system of community chatter were newsgroups.  In fact newsgroups still exist.  The newsgroup for mystery novels for example is rec.arts.mystery.

There was a bug in the original newsgroup system, so that sometimes one or two lines from a posting might randomly disappear.

This instantly gave rise to the belief that a creature lived inside the internet, and that it survived by eating random lines of text.  The creature was dubbed the Line Eater.  People even added what was called Line Eater Food into their posts to make sure the creature had enough to eat.
RTWT for the geeky Internet history and the connection to the NSA.  Back in the day, we would all giggle.  It'd not so funny now.

1 comment:

That Guy said...

You just brought back memories of the insanity that was rec.guns.

It was... epic