Comment: While the NSA was certainly

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In reply to comment: 1978, big ears, NSA drama. (see in situ)

While the NSA was certainly

While the NSA was certainly spying on international communications back in 1978 it was not at that time storing everything said in domestic phone conversations or everything transferred over what was then called the ARPANET. The technical capability didn't exist back then. I remember an IBM ad around that time for a one terabyte storage system they had developed. It filled a large room, and had multiple levels of storage (drums, disks, and magnetic strips). Today you can buy a cheap two terabyte disk drive that fits in your hand. (I'm sure the NSA has more advanced stuff.) So now the NSA can store that flood of data.