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August 22, 2013

New York Times warned of NSA’s growing power more than 30 years ago
By Eric Boehm

More than thirty years ago, Times reporter David Burnham filed a story about the growing power of the NSA and the concerns it raised about privacy and civil liberties. This was before the Internet, before the Patriot Act and before the War on Terror, but the groundwork for what would become the world’s largest secret electronic surveillance operation have been in place for a long time. WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS FOR A LONG TIME: The NSA has been spying on Americans for more than thirty years. New York Times writer David Burnham detailed the agency's growing power in 1983. Ominously titled “The silent power of the NSA” – actually an excerpt from a book Burnham was writing about the growth of computer technology in government – the article looks downright prophetic in hindsight.

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