[aklug] Article: Bamford, They Know Much More Than You Think

From: Greg Schmitz <greg@amipa.org>
Date: Fri Jul 26 2013 - 00:06:50 AKDT


"They Know Much More Than You Think"
August 15, 2013
James Bamford

"Looking back, the NSA and its predecessors have been gaining secret,
illegal access to the communications of Americans for nearly a century.
On July 1, 1920, a slim balding man in his early thirties moved into a
four-story townhouse at 141 East 37th Street in Manhattan. This was the
birth of the Black Chamber, the NSA’s earliest predecessor, and it would
be hidden in the nondescript brownstone. But its chief, Herbert O.
Yardley, had a problem. To gather intelligence for Woodrow Wilson’s
government, he needed access to the telegrams entering, leaving, and
passing through the country, but because of an early version of the
Radio Communications Act, such access was illegal. With the shake of a
hand, however, Yardley convinced Newcomb Carlton, the president of
Western Union, to grant the Black Chamber secret access on a daily basis
to the private messages passing over his wires—the Internet of the day."


Greg Schmitz
AMIPA - Alaska Moving Image and Preservation Association
v: 907.786.4983
f: 907.786-1834
e: greg@amipa.org
The Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to media preservation and education to ensure long-term access to Alaska’s moving image heritage.
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Received on Fri Jul 26 00:07:15 2013

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