Wednesday, January 13, 1999 Published at 10:12 GMT
Furby toy or Furby spy?
Furbies - their lips aren't sealed
Thousands of families across the United States could be harbouring potentially dangerous double agents - also known as Furbies.
Anyone at the NSA coming across a Furby, or a crack team of Furbies infiltrating the building has been asked to "contact their Staff Security Office for guidance".
Immediate and real danger
An allegedly classified NSA internal memo alerted other agents to the Furby's secret embedded computer chip which allows every Furby to utter 200 words - 100 in English and 100 in "Furbish."
Photographic, video and audio recording equipment are all prohibited items for employees at the NSA.
"This includes toys, such as 'Furbys,' with built-in recorders that repeat the audio with synthesized sound to mimic the original signal," the Furby Alert read.
Furbys have ears
A Furby can be recognised immediately by its huge pink ears separated by tufts of hair. It otherwise resembles an owl, with a beak and big, round eyes.
But the furry, cute exterior is merely a shrewd cover for more covert activities.
Thought to have come into circulation in May last year, the elusive creatures dodged thousands of weary parents over Christmas, desperately scouring shop shelves to find one to take home.
Now, the 13-cm gremlin-like operatives are wanted again, this time for spying.
The fate of any Furbys uncovered at the NSA is as yet unknown, presumed top secret.