- The NSA's Snooper Bugs
- Last October, 1999, one of my sources found a small black
stubby device attached to the phone lines going to his computer at work:
He also found one of these devices attached to the phone lines on the outside
of his father's house in Albuquerque. Since my source has excellent connections
to people in the state of New Mexico he was able to verify the identity
of two NSA people who had moved into an apartment down the street from
his father's house. As soon as those NSA people knew they had been identified
they "flew the coop" as they say. Source's own NSA people have
look at at these stubby devices and said they were made by NSA. The devices
are short ~ 2 inches long and black with a small antenna, having two lady
size wristwatch batteries and two wires with alligator clips to attach
to a phone line (see figure at bottom): The device transmits in a frequency
range of 1.4 to 4 MHz and has a range of one mile where the signal is received
by a local receiving station. The obvious question would be why NSA et
al go through all the trouble of planting phone bugs when there are so
many other ways to intercept email or phone calls: The answer I was given
is that it's much easier to have a dedicated "tap" rather than
try and sort through thousands of emails or phone calls to find yours and
then to formally request that information. The dedicated "tap"
goes right to the people who want the information. Please see NSA Phone
Tap for the time in 1998 when we traced the "tap" on the home
phone line in Tucson, Az all the way back to NSA at Ft Meade.
- **For a recent article on the NSA computer failure and
why they might require dedicated taps please see "The Sound Of Silence
- Does NSA have the authority to do such things ?
- Well, reading the NSA statutes (Title 50 USC) it only
gives NSA the authority to collect electronic transmissions outside the
territory limits of the United States except in a war time situation when
they can collect electronic transmissions inside the US. For a history
of NSA please see NSA History.
- A former NSA analyst (Jeffrey W) writes on August 24th,
1999: "Dear Mr. Collins, I am a former analyst. I read some interesting
information on your web site about NSA tapping into you phone system. Believe
me, they do it. However, NSA only is a service agency. It does not operate
on its own. Another government agency would have to have requested information
on you before NSA could initiate the required operation to collect information
from your phone. Just some information I thought you'd like to know.
- © Robert M.Collins, 2000
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