[ISN] Did U.S. Spy Agency Exchange E-Mails With '60s Pop-Singer?

InfoSec News isn at c4i.org
Thu Feb 10 05:23:15 EST 2005


[I can almost see the NSA having an Eddie Izzard moment when writing
out this security policy. "No, we can't do it... Who we got?
Zingelbert Bembledack, Tringelbert Wangledack, Slut Bunwalla,
Klingybun Fistelvase, Dindlebert Zindledack, Gerry Dorsey, Engelbert
Humptyback, Zengelbert Bingledack, Engelbert Humperdinck, Vingelbert
Wingledanck No, no, go back one. Go back one. "Engelbert Humperdinck."
That's it!" :)  - WK]

By Ted Bridis 
Associated Press Writer 
Feb 10, 2005 

WASHINGTON (AP) - Is Engelbert Humperdinck, the pop-singer icon once
described in his liner notes as "kind of like James Bond, only with
more chest hair," quietly exchanging e-mails with the super-secret
National Security Agency?

America's largest and most cryptic espionage organization indicated as
much when it published new software security guidelines for federal
agencies. An illustration of an NSA employee's e-mail inbox showed two
messages that Humperdinck ostensibly forwarded in July to the spy

What could the government's top code-breakers be discussing over the
Internet with Humperdinck, 68, whose velvety voice scored hits in the
'60s and '70s with "Release Me" and "After the Lovin'" and led
hysterical female fans to throw undergarments on stage?

The NSA said it was only kidding.

"Instead of using fictitious names as we try to do, this time a
celebrity's name was used," the agency said in response to
tongue-in-cheek inquiries from The Associated Press. "There was no
harm intended. We've removed the name from the page and will
substitute it."

The NSA pulled the security guidelines off its Web site, although the
document still was circulating on other Web sites.

Humperdinck, known among friend as "Enge," did not respond over more
than two weeks to phone calls and e-mail messages from the AP to his
personal assistant, his manager or official fan club.

Humperdinck, who grew up in Britain as the son of an army officer,
picked up his unusual name in 1965 from the German opera composer best
known for "HJansel and Gretel." He's sold more than 130 million

His autobiography, "Engelbert: What's in a Name?," published last
month, recounts his turbulent celebrity life and 40-year marriage that
endured what he describes as hundreds of adulterous affairs.

There were hints even in the NSA's security document that it wasn't
really serious about exchanging e-mails with Humperdinck. It
misspelled his name "Humperdink," and another illustration showed the
spy agency received an e-mailed document from "James T. Kirk," the
fictional captain from the "Star Trek" TV series and movies.


On the Net: 

NSA: www.nsa.gov 

Humperdinck's fan site: www.engelbert.com 

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