Congress has just voted to kill a measure to reign-in domestic spying, despite outcries from all over the place, including the White House.
Before there was PRISM, there was ThinThread and before that, there was ECHELON.
There is nothing that Edward Snowden has revealed that has not been public knowledge since at least 1998, if not earlier.
ECHELON has been active since at least the mid-’70s, according to Former NSA employee, Margaret Newsham, who claims that she worked on the configuration and installation of software that makes up the ECHELON system while employed at Lockheed Martin, for whom she worked from 1974 to 1984 in Sunnyvale, California, US, and in Menwith Hill, England, UK.
Although she enjoyed the work and was proud of her programming prowess, she says she is not pleased with herself for participating in spying on ordinary people, politicians, interest groups and private companies, which is what she did for 10 years. She was ultimately fired by Lockheed when she refused to work on a particular project in 1984, which she believed was was illegal, unconstitutional and ultimately harmful to the US Government.
(See detailed, jaw-dropping 1999 interviews, below).