Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Eavesdropper Who Loved Me

So the NSA has been listening in for all these years. This is really kind of creepy. Government stalking.

From Felix:

Gene Carson was an eavesdropper — not your garden-variety Peeping Tom, but one of the elite among listeners. He worked for the National Security Agency since its founding in 1952. After forty-six years of service, Carson died, leaving a retirement account worth close to one million dollars to a woman that he felt he knew and loved, but who herself didn’t even know that Carson existed.

Imogene Campbell thought there had been some kind of “computer error” when she received notification of her inheritance, but repeated contact from a Washington law firm convinced her that it was real. A month later, she and her friend Bea Stevenson were taking the long drive from Nebraska to the nation’s capital to collect the money and “assorted possessions” that been left to her by Mr. Carson.

At the law offices, Campbell was somewhat relieved to learn that most of Carson’s personal effects had been turned over to the state. There were a few notable exceptions, however, including a brand new large screen television, a cordless telephone, jewelry, and a pair of women’s shoes.

What immediately caught Campbell’s eye, however, was a large wooden footlocker full of books: meticulously kept diaries with dates ranging from 1940 to 1988. As Campbell pored over the handwriting, she was shocked to learn that although they had never met, Carson had used his position at the NSA to obsessively listen to her telephone line and record intimate details of her life for a period of twenty-six years.


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