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Whoopee!
This is interesting

1. Yes, one of our greatest vulnerabilities is the use of unsecured communications to transmit sensitive information. Most long distance telephone, fax and Internet transmissions now go via communications satellite, not by land lines. From the sending location, they are beamed up to a communications satellite and then relayed back down to the receiving location.

Satellite transmissions can be monitored from the rooftops of foreign embassies and consulates (many of which have large antenna arrays for this purpose) in Washington DC, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and other locations, and by specially equipped ships off the coast. The "footprint" for receiving the satellite downlink is so broad that satellite transmissions to much of the eastern United States (including Washington, DC and New York) can even be monitored from large communications intercept sites in Cuba. It is surprisingly easy for intelligence collectors to zero in on specific phone numbers.

Related Topics: Intercepting Your Communications, Using the STU-III.