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Global surveillance disclosures (1970–2013)

Timeline
  • December 16, 2005 (2005-12-16): After withholding its publication for a year, The New York Times released an article under the following headline: "Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts"
    On January 1, 2006, President Bush emphasized that "This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America. And I repeat, limited."
  • May 11, 2006 (2006-05-11): USA Today reported that the NSA has a "massive database of Americans' phone calls" Shortly afterwards, President Bush emphasized that the NSA's surveillance is limited and within the law
  • June 6, 2013 (2013-06-06): Britain's The Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA is "collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily"
    On June 7, 2013, President Obama emphasized the importance of government surveillance to prevent terrorist attacks

Global surveillance refers to the practice of globalized mass surveillance on entire populations across national borders. Although its existence was first revealed in the 1970s and led legislators to attempt to curb domestic spying by the National Security Agency (NSA), it did not receive sustained public attention until the existence of ECHELON was revealed in the 1980s and confirmed in the 1990s. In 2013 it gained substantial worldwide media attention due to the global surveillance disclosure by Edward Snowden.

In 1972 NSA analyst Perry Fellwock (under the pseudonym "Winslow Peck") introduced the readers of Ramparts magazine to the NSA and to the UKUSA Agreement. In 1976, a separate article in Time Out magazine revealed the existence of the GCHQ.

In 1982 James Bamford's book about the NSA, The Puzzle Palace, was first published. Bamford's second book, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, was published two decades later.

In 1988 the ECHELON network was revealed by Margaret Newsham, a Lockheed employee. Newsham told a member of the U.S. Congress that the telephone calls of Strom Thurmond, a Republican U.S. senator, were being collected by the NSA. Congressional investigators determined that "targeting of U.S. political figures would not occur by accident. but was designed into the system from the start."



  • December 16, 2005 (2005-12-16): After withholding its publication for a year, The New York Times released an article under the following headline: "Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts"
    On January 1, 2006, President Bush emphasized that "This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America. And I repeat, limited."
  • May 11, 2006 (2006-05-11): USA Today reported that the NSA has a "massive database of Americans' phone calls" Shortly afterwards, President Bush emphasized that the NSA's surveillance is limited and within the law
  • June 6, 2013 (2013-06-06): Britain's The Guardian newspaper reported that the NSA is "collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily"
    On June 7, 2013, President Obama emphasized the importance of government surveillance to prevent terrorist attacks
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Wikipedia

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