Verizon’s Exciting New Phone Service: The Friends and Family and Government Plan

Innovation, the Internet, gadgets, and more.
June 6 2013 2:16 PM

The Friends and Family and Government Plan

Sign up today for Verizon’s exciting new phone service.

A man walks by a Verizon Wireless retail store August 1, 2006 in San Francisco.
Can you hear us now?

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Dear Justin Peters,

As a loyal, longtime customer, you know that we at Verizon Wireless are committed to leading the industry in high-quality service, technical support, and compliance with unconstitutional NSA directives. Today, we’re happy to announce our latest innovation: the friends and family and government plan. Now, it’s easier than ever to connect with the people you love the best, and with the government analysts who are interested in knowing exactly how and why you love them.

The new friends and family and government plan is tailored to your needs. It offers free roaming, which will come in handy when you’re “going up to Ithaca,” which you are planning to do this Friday, around 4 p.m. It also includes unlimited nighttime minutes, so you can call your friends as often as you like to let them know you’re “at that bar with the big backyard, at the table in the corner.” We’re also pleased to offer high-speed data access, so you can always connect to those porn sites you haven’t told your wife about—and that we certainly won’t tell your wife about, unless there’s a court order, which there probably is. And all this on our industry-leading, crystal-clear network so that you and many, many others will always be able to hear your calls.


Justin Peters, as a professional writer, you’ll be happy to know that the friends and family and government plan also includes unlimited text messages! So don’t be shy about asking your roommate, Joshua N. Young, if he might “wanna get dinner?” And as an added bonus, if you sign up now, our government partners will be happy to review every outgoing text message for spelling, and for content—and it’s all absolutely free!

As you know, Justin Peters, the right cellphone plan can also provide peace of mind. Remember back on Aug. 28, 2011, at 9:02 p.m., when you got lost in Livermore, Calif., and your sister, Mary “Molly” Peters, couldn’t be bothered to give you directions because she was “really drunk right now”? With the friends and family and government plan, the NSA agents monitoring your calls are always available to direct you back to the highway and also ask you why, exactly, you’re driving around by yourself so close to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Justin Peters, our records indicate that you are “worried about making ends meet.” So we’re happy to announce that, if you sign up now, you’ll also receive a brand-new state-of-the-art smartphone absolutely free! This phone, offered exclusively to friends and family and government plan members, includes: advanced GPS technology, so that you and other interested parties will always know exactly where you are; unlimited access to our cloud storage service, so that every call will be recorded for posterity, just in case; and a suite of high-tech, nonoptional apps that will run silently in the background as they collect data on your personal preferences—all to help us serve you better!

But hurry! This is a limited-time offer, so take advantage now, before you head out on that road trip you and your wife have been planning. Agents are standing by to sign you up and to ask you a few questions about those vaguely unpatriotic statements you made in passing last night. So act now!

Participation is mandatory.

Watch Verizon's lost "Can you hear me now?" NSA ad:

Justin Peters is a writer for Slate. He is working on a book about Aaron Swartz, copyright, and the rise of “free culture.” Email him at


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