Friday, October 10, 2008

Be careful what you say ... NSA's listening

Posted By on Fri, Oct 10, 2008 at 11:11 AM

Two former military intercept operators have made allegations that NSA linguists routinely eavesdropped on troops' phone calls home from abroad.

Adrienne Kinne, a former U.S. Army Reserves Arab linguist, told ABC News the NSA was listening to the phone calls of U.S. military officers, journalists and aid workers overseas who were talking about "personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism."

David Murfee Faulk, a former U.S. Navy Arab linguist, said in the news report that he and his colleagues were listening to the conversations of military officers in Iraq who were talking with their spouses or girlfriends in the United States.

According to Faulk, they would often share the contents of some of the more salacious calls stored on their computers, listening to what he called "phone sex" and "pillow talk."

I don't disagree that this story is disturbing. To think that all of the phone conversations I shared with my friend while he was deployed in Iraq were being recorded is incredibly creepy. Now that I think about it, I do remember an odd clicking sound on the phone sometimes.

But it probably should be taken into consideration that calls made home from the Middle East by troops, aid workers or whomever were most likely made on military or Department of Defense phones, and these people knew they were subject to being monitored. (Remember that little thing called the terrorist surveillance program implemented by the Bush administration?)

In fact, my friend was so paranoid about our calls being listened to that once, when he needed to give me a number, he wrote it down on a piece of paper and showed it to me quickly over the web cam.

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