TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: The NSA is on the Line - All of Them

The NSA is on the Line - All of Them

Monty Solomon (
Sun, 14 May 2006 21:51:56 -0400

An intelligence expert predicts we'll soon learn that cellphone and
Internet companies also cooperated with the National Security Agency
to eavesdrop on us.

By Kim Zetter

May. 15, 2006 | When intelligence historian Matthew Aid read the USA
Today story last Thursday about how the National Security Agency was
collecting millions of phone call records from AT&T, Bell South and
Verizon for a widespread domestic surveillance program designed to
root out possible terrorist activity in the United States, he had to
wonder whether the date on the newspaper wasn't 1976 instead of 2006.

Aid, a visiting fellow at George Washington University's National
Security Archive, who has just completed the first book of a
three-volume history of the NSA, knew the nation's bicentennial marked
the year when secrets surrounding another NSA domestic surveillance
program, code-named Project Shamrock, were exposed. As fireworks
showered New York Harbor that year, the country was debating a
three-decades-long agreement between Western Union and other
telecommunications companies to surreptitiously supply the NSA, on a
daily basis, with all telegrams sent to and from the United
States. The similarity between that earlier program and the most
recent one is remarkable, with one exception -- the NSA now owns
vastly improved technology to sift through and mine massive amounts of
data it has collected in what is being described as the world's single
largest database of personal information. And, according to Aid, the
mining goes far beyond our phone lines.

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