[EDITORIALS]The truth comes outTo Koreans, cell phones are a necessity. And we have trusted the National Intelligence Service’s claim that eavesdropping on cell phone conversations was not done and was impossible.
With its acknowledgment yesterday that its agents had indeed listened in on cell phone conversations for six years from 1996, the intelligence body’s previous argument turned out to be false. Now, we can no longer be sure we will not be eavesdropped upon as we use our cell phones.
We warned about the possibility of the intelligence community’s illegal eavesdropping, and yesterday reported that a U.S.-based Internet site is selling equipment that could eavesdrop on cell phones based on the code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology, which is used in Korea.
However, the National Intelligence Service had been in denial until yesterday, when it said “our technology was very rudimentary and we were concerned the news of our eavesdropping would create serious disruption in the society.”
Any intelligence unit that has lost the faith of its citizens will not be a reassuring presence for the people. National security is important, but the private lives of Korean citizens, symbolized by secure cell phone communications, are just as important. The truth comes out
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