I began publishing my monthly newsletter The Bob Livingston Letter™ (subscription required) in 1969. The following is an excerpt from the April 2000 issue. While Edward Snowden’s “revelations” of the depth and breadth of government spying on Americans surprised many, readers of The Bob Livingston Letter™ were alerted to government spying programs 14 years ago.
Clinton Budget Funds Massive Police Wiretaps: President Clinton’s proposed budget includes millions to allow government electronic snooping on civilians, and the NSA appears to be heavily involved. One of the heftiest increases, from $15 million to $240 million, will pay phone companies to rewire their networks to facilitate police wiretapping.
Half of the money ($120 million) will come from the Defense Department ‘national security’ budget, a move that alarms privacy groups. A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union said this, “thinly disguised intelligence agency money… confirms what we have suspected all along: The National Security Agency is a silent partner in the government’s campaign to make our entire telecommunications system, including the Net, wiretap ready.”
Source: Wired, Feb 7.
ECHELON Revealed! (Again)
A blockbuster report on the U.S. NSA’s super secret spy system, ECHELON, was presented to the European Parliament on Feb. 22. It confirmed that the NSA is deeply involved in the surveillance of European businesses and individuals. The report charges that all communications, including e-mail, computers, Internet, wire and cellular telephones are now spied upon by ECHELON. It also claims U.S. encryption software has been undermined by equipping nine strategic points of Internet exchanges with ECHELON detection software.