As far back as 11 years ago, the National Security Agency may have already been spying on its own citizens — at least, those who wanted to take in the pageantry of the Olympics.
In new details to the bombshell story by The Wall Street Journal that the NSA, the FBI and the communications company Qwest monitored emails and text messages in the Salt Lake City area during the 2002 Olympics, The Salt Lake Tribune reports that phone calls may have been recorded as well as part of the monitoring effort.
For a six-month window around the Games, the agencies monitored the content of all electronic written communication, but may also have collected detailed call records, the Tribune reports.
“This is the sort of thing that we as Americans used to see happening in the Soviet Union with the KGB, in East Germany with the Stasi secret police, where the citizens have no privacy, where their government was spying on them, keeping records on them secretly,” former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson told the Tribune. “The frightening difference is that we have the pretense in this country of constitutional protections that don’t seem to mean anything at the highest levels of our federal and apparently state government.”
Utah officials have told reporters they were not aware of the spying, and the NSA has not commented on the report.
Photo via Facebook/Rocky Anderson