Here is a great historic read from Julian Assange, mostly quoting the co-author of the 1983 book about the NSA Puzzle Palace. Not from the past years, but from 1996, where he already raises the alarm in a mailing list. Insightful to see in his note that the solution hasn’t changed:
What can be done? – you say. There is a solution. Encryption.
Many other points deserve attention such as:
Puzzle Palace co-author Wayne Madsen, in an article written for the June
1995 issue of Computer Fraud & Security Bulletin (Elsevier Advanced
Technology Publications), wrote that “according to well-placed sources
within the Federal Government and the Internet service provider industry,
the National Security Agency (NSA) is actively sniffing several key
Internet router and gateway hosts.”
The NSA has deals with Microsoft, Lotus, and Netscape to
prevent anonymous email.
What’s interesting here, is to see that right from the very beginning of the commercial internet, the NSA was on top of it. I had the (wrong) feeling that their investigations began a bit later, post 2001. Apparently not.