Comment: A good friend of mine

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A good friend of mine

was a big part of the early development of Echelon, the project that morphed into what you're referring to.

One story he frequently told was during his private, NSA chaperoned flight to Columbia (to set up one of the thousands of secret tap-sites), they came up behind a Cessna. Suspecting it to be a drug dealer (with zero basis for that), they got withing 3 miles of the plane, turned on their suitcase equipment, tapped into the cell phone, turned on the mic and started paging through it's information while listening to every word said in the little plane. He never even knew they were tailing him.