In recent leaked testimony from the closed-door meeting of the House Subcommittee on NSA and Cybersecurity it was reported that legendary search engine Bing is still in existence. “Frankly, the room went silent after this shocking revelation” remarked Committee Chairman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), “we had absolutely no idea.” Transparency advocate and ranking Democrat on the committee Jim Himes (D-CT) also added feedback, saying, “clearly the amount of surveillance conducted by the NSA was more than was authorized in the USA PATRIOT Act. Everyday Americans should not have big-brother snooping in on what search engines they are using — although until recently I had never heard of Bing.”
For those who don’t know, Bing served as a search engine similar to Ask Jeeves or Google, where you could type in a search query and related results would show up. It was rumored to have been launched by the Microsoft Corporation sometime in the mid-2000’s, but died out shortly afterward.
“Bing was sort of like the William Henry Harrison of search engines,” says Mythologist and Historian Dr. Clara Cisse, Associate Professor at Reed College and author of From Beowulf to Bing: The Development of the Modern Myth. “It was popular for month but then died off.”
When reached for comment, the Microsoft Corporation’s Bing spokeswoman Ms. Palmyra Jackson replied via email, writing “Bing continues to provide the dependability and high-quality user experience that internet users are looking for. We here at Microsoft think that Bing is such an incredible opportunity for our users that we are giving out free gift cards to our biggest users. Honestly, we are glad that the NSA was able to help bring to the forefront those brave Americans who continue to use Bing”.
As of last Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 338- 88 in favor of stopping the NSA from monitoring bulk phone calls of Americans, bringing into the question “How will this affect users of Bing?” Only time will tell.
— Mark Wilson