Imagine being away from your significant other for a significant period of time because you have volunteered to serve your country. Whether it be for the war or for the International Red Cross, the separation is bound to cause anxiety and heartache. The only thing close to intimacy is the occasional phone call. But a telephone conversation can't exactly be considered "intimate" when complete strangers are listening in.
Today, ABCNews's The Blotter is reporting that hundreds of US citizens across seas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home. The shocking confession comes from two military intercept operators who worked at the National Security Agency (NSA) in Fort Gordon, Georgia. The private conversations between spouses, friends, and boyfriends/girlfriends were intercepted and discussed amongst office mates. So not only were these workers listening to intimate calls, but they were also joking about them with their work buddies.
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Exactly how scandalous were the convos? Well, apparently there were a handful of phone sex/pillow talk chats that these operators gossiped about. However, intercepting these calls was part of their job description. "It was just always, that, you know, your job is not to question. Your job is to collect and pass on the information," says one of the operators. Although President Bush did say there is a "constant check to make sure that our civil liberties of our citizens are treated with respect", he failed to mention anything about invading the privacy of American citizens. The former director of the NSA and present director of the CIA wanted to narrowly focus on protecting the nation against al Qaeda and the affiliations associated with it. However, a good point that one of the interceptors makes is that, "By casting the net so wide and continuing to collect on Americans and aid organizations, it's almost like they're making the haystack bigger and it's harder to find that piece of information that might actually be useful to somebody," she said. "You're actually hurting our ability to effectively protect our national security."
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You tell us: do you feel that it was the NSA's duty to intercept intimate phone calls made by American's across seas? Or do you feel that this was unnecessary and invasive?
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