Eavesdropping for fun and profit
As I said in my earlier post, private contractors with the ability to hack surveillance programs might be tempted to hack someone for personal reasons. One might be potential blackmail, but it's just as likely to be just for fun. Via Atrios, this piece from 2008 reminds us in Iraq, NSA personnel were hacking calls for amusement.
Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of "cuts" that were available on each operator's computer.People love gossip and now it's so emminently tweetable. The twitter is rife with reported snatches of conversation caught while eavesdropping in public spaces. The temptation to listen to private conversations is just as strong.
"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.
My second real job was an a telephone operator for a telecom. In those days they still used these old plug in switchboards. We had the ability to listen in. I was too much a goody two shoes to do it myself, but many of the operators listened in on the collect calls the guys at the high priced prep school were making. The guys never knew. [photo via]