NSA's Snooper Bugs?
By Robert M. Collins <>
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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