In a book by former NSA staff the former spies have revealed how the technology of listening into phone calls was used to widely that they often listened into peoples private lives.
Listening into private conversations, sometimes for little reason other than personal gratification:
“Hey, check this out,” Faulk says he would be told, “there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy’,” Faulk told ABC News.
Faulk said he joined in to listen, and talk about it during breaks in Back Hall’s “smoke pit,” but ended up feeling badly about his actions.
“I feel that it was something that the people should not have done. Including me,” he said.
Faulk was a linguistics specialist with the NSA.
Other staff have spoken out about how the NSA spied on NGOs, Aid agencies and the like, with out any apparent suspicion.
Staff have also reported how this spying on personal calls, e.g. journalists, was not a random act but almost routine.
Coworkers of mine were ordered to transcribe these calls… Personal calls. Well, they were ordered to transcribe everything that came through. And when one of my coworkers went to a supervisor and said “But sir, these are personal calls,” the supervisor said my orders were to transcribe everything.
While this will probably shock some people, and denied by others, it really should not. In fact it would be surprising if this did not happen.
Police and Councils have also misused their access to data on numerous occasions.
It is, sadly, human nature that people will do this. The Data Guardians are almost always likely to breach our privacy; not all of them, and not even the majority of them, but some will. And as the system is not 100% secure it is 100% guaranteed to fail.