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Sunday, December 31, 2006

NSA to release 'Best of 2006' intercepted communications

Alex Terrieur
La Lune de la presse internationale


The National Security Agency announced plans on Friday to release a 'Best of 2006' edition of wiretapped terrorist conversations for public purchase. The move comes at a time where increased scrutiny may be placed on the secretive wiretapping programs, with a Democratic Congress holding oversight hearings.

Some have speculated the release could be a way to ease public misgivings about the programs, which monitor domestic calls when they have possible links to terrorists or other enemy combattants overseas. The audio files, available in mp3, podcast and downloadable formats, will be released in early January for an initial cost of $9.99, a special introductory offer. However, it stipulates membership to Republican activism groups and requires a donation of $49.99 to the Republican party.

The price may later increase if the downloads prove popular. It is thought, however, that peer-to-peer networks will soon trade the new files, and government revenue may be limited. The release of the audio files represents more of a rapprochement between the ultra-secretive agency and the greater public good.

In another overture of transparency, the NSA has provided transcripts of some of the "Best of 2006" communications exclusively to the La Rochelle Times. The full version, available for $9.99* in January, will include much more material. The brackets indicate key words as they were picked up by NSA central communications.


Terrorist 1: Hi Ted.

Terrorist 2: [Hijack]

T1: How are things there?

T2: Ah, I tell you it's like [living in a cave]. These long days at the office are [killing] me. If it weren't for the [children] I'd have quit this job a long time ago.

T1: I know what you mean. So, where are we on those [cells in Germany]? Any chance we could get those here for the transplant [operation] Wednesday?

T2: I'm trying. I'll get back to you on that as soon as I know.

T1: Sounds good. Hey did you hear about [Ahmed] in the [New York] office?

T2: No. What happened?

T1: Well, I guess he [blew up] at Gary.

T2: Really.

T1: Yeah, he was [about to go off] on John too but he checked himself.

T2: John? Isn't that the guy with that [white] girl living at his [house]?

T1: Yeah, she's [the bomb], you should meet her.

Or this juicy excerpt:


T1: So do you think it's a [good idea]?

T2: Hell yeah.

T1: But she's already slept with him before?

T2: Yeah, and he got VD.

T1: Has she tried it with Trey?

T2: What in the [world] do you think? [Trade Center] back to her place in tears.

T1: But she's had like [nine] boyfriends in like [eleven] months.

T2: Yeah, but she [changed all that] after Ben.

T1: [Ben Laden]ski?

T2: No, Ben Johnson, remember?

T1: Oh yeah, the one who [made plans] with that girl from [Arabic studies] class!

T2: That girl with the [big guns]?

T1: That's the one. She [hit] it [hard].

Further details will be made available when the NSA publishes its full "Best of 2006" audio and text index. Moreover, the conversations reveal some of the NSA's methods. For example, key words are searched and when a certain group of words triggers the wiretap, the software records the conversation. It then transcribes it into text, which is data-base searchable for the NSA teams. NSA employees could, therefore, key-search terms and cover large lists of suspects. This is a vital tool in stopping the terrorists before they act. Thus, the NSA receives little to no oversight from Congress, so that it can act in the best interests of the country.

*$9.99 special introductory price, does not include obligatory GOP donation, thirty days same as cash, no money down, financing available.


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