Explanation of Spy NSA Program.
While the idea of domestic wiretapping and a spy NSA agency seems like something one would find in dictatorships like the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, the National Security Agency’s wiretapping program is exists in the United States and similar ones in Europe and Canada.
The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act made essentially legalized domestic wiretapping but after Richard Nixon had abused wiretapping of Americans, the act mandated that a warrant be first obtained.
Under the George W. Bush Administration, following the September 11 attacks the government took drastic and illegal measures for “homeland security” purposes and began to wiretap every American’s phone line.
This is nothing new, however as the Echelon program has been around since the end of World War II and is a network of wiretapping agencies from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
In the seventies, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to prevent someone like Richard Nixon from playing it fast and loose with domestic wiretaps.
The Act allowed the federal government to wiretap the phones of any American suspected of working against the United States with the condition that they first obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The Act was passed, also during a paranoid time, to collect intelligence on possible foreign, specifically Soviet, spies operating inside the United States.
Following the Cold War, the law became a measure to track possible terror cells within the United States but with that kind of power comes great responsibility which the Bush administration failed in.
The Wiretap Program
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration and his neo-conservative buddies were quick to start taking away rights using the countries paranoia of more possible attacks as an excuse.
But as Benjamin Franklin said, he who is willing to sacrifice freedom for security deserves neither freedom nor security.
Even though it was fairly simple to wiretap someone’s phone through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the government did not want to be bothered with having to present proof that the person had ties to terrorism.
The Bush Administration authorized the NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Program in which the government was allowed to tap any American’s phone and listen to any international phone call.
Of course that power and responsibility were abused as a whistleblower in the National Security Agency program came forward to reveal the many times that the National Security Agency would listen in on perfectly innocent phone calls and even the most private of phone calls.
The Echelon Program
The Echelon program is the perhaps the world’s best kept secret having been created by the five members of the United Kingdom-United States Security Agreement, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, the program is used to spy on governments, businesses and individuals all around the world and within the borders of the member countries.
The Echelon program was a very important tool when collecting intelligence on the Soviet Union after World War II but since the end of the Cold War it has become a tool to use for spying on anyone in the world, including the member countries’ own residents.