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| || |Mobile networks in all countries have a built in system for government agencies to tap calls, it's called Lawful Interception. As the name implies, it's legal (so long as the request is granted by the government). | |
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Wiretapping is nothing new at all. The US actually has good legal process for wiring tapping. It is like a search warrant, and a requires a judge to approve.. These are typically used for gathering evidence that will be used prosecuting cases. I don't think this prevents law enforcement from eavesdropping without a warrant. They just won't be able to use what is collected in court.
The real power of the NSA technology is not in listening to real time conversations, its in the storage of the conversations. Some whistleblowers claim 80% of calls are stored. What this means is that the NSA can conduct focused searches of archive phone calls a person or group of people have made way in the past, scrub through its content, identify people's associations, and piece together forensic information about people, situations and events.
Yeah, if you have something to hide or have committed a crime, this NSA capability may haunt you in the future. So just be good and you'll be just fine.