In East Germany, a committed freedom fighter and her husband had dealt with having her home raided while she was away, being arrested on the way to protests and all sorts of state-sponsored harassment. After the wall fell she was able to read the documents the Stasi had kept on her and found out her own husband was an undercover agent and had written many reports on her activities with a bloodless banality. All citizens were allowed to view their own files and many were shocked to find out that their own relatives were informing on them. There was even a case of a mother spying on her son, for which she was awarded East German Service Cross, given to informers who proved particularly reliable.
12NSA ANT Catalog
NSA ANT catalog is a 50-page classified document listing technology available to the NSA and other national security administrations have been in possession of, and use, for the purpose of cyber-surveillance. The document was created in 2008 and was made public in 2013. The technology in this document is incredible, and terrifying for the idea of privacy. These devices are everywhere, could be in any cable, any computer, any phone, any anything.
13Manned Orbiting Laboratory
The Manned Orbiting Laboratory was a United States Air Force project back during the Cold War. Its stated goal was to test the effectiveness of space-based reconnaissance. Its hidden agenda was to test the applications of an orbital weapons station. It would have also been used for global surveillance, including Americans. Luckily it was canceled to fund the Vietnam War.
14Business Plot of 1933
The wealthiest businessmen of America, like the names you see on banks and buildings in America today, allegedly formed a plot to overthrow President FDR and install a military leader in his place. Their choice was a U.S. Marine General named Smedley Butler, as he was a decorated leader of the highest rank. Butler, a loyal patriot, played along until they were seriously about to attempt to collapse the U.S. economy by holding the financial stability of the country hostage. He rolled on them and testified to Congress about the planned coup. No one was prosecuted.
One of the world’s best-kept secret is hiding the fact that the Allies broke the Enigma cipher, later, the Japanese “Purple” cipher, the German Lorenz cipher, and the Italian C-38 cipher. Allies had blown every code the Axis used out of the water, thanks to the work of the Polish Cipher Bureau, and the Bletchley Park mathematicians including Alan Turing, and the American Signal Intelligence Service. The collective intelligence from all these broken codes was called Ultra. But they couldn't let the axis know that their codes were broken. What do you do when your code gets broken? You make a new, harder one. The allies couldn't let that happen.
So they basically lied to their own men. If they wanted to take out an Axis supply ship after finding it through Ultra, they had a spy plane fly over where they knew the ship would be, then they sunk it. They also had to hide the broken codes from their own soldiers, lest they revealed it under careless talk. One of the few times they were forced to sink ships immediately, they covered it by sending a message in a code they knew the Germans had broken, to a spy in Naples, congratulating him of his success. The spy didn't exist, but the Germans intercepted the message and assumed everything was still good with Enigma.
They didn’t even reveal Ultra after the war. They saw to it that the Enigma machines were sold to potential enemies in the Third World, who continued to use the broken codes for years. Ultra wasn't revealed in its full extent until 1974, 29 years after the war. Never has a secret of such massive importance been so well kept for so long.
16Death of TELSTAR
USA was responsible for the death of TELSTAR, the world’s first commercial satellite. Starfish Prime was a high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States in 1962 and that blast created an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that killed TELSTAR. TELSTAR was placed in orbit a day after the test. The EMP effect of the detonation energized the Earth’s magnetic field long enough to cause the satellite to die on orbit. US government didn’t tell AT&T what had happened until around 2005 or so.
In the early ‘80s, the CIA helped facilitate the widespread sale of cocaine in poor Los Angeles neighborhoods to help finance the covert war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Gary Webb, the reporter from the San Jose Mercury News who first broke the story of CIA involvement in the cocaine trade, was found dead with “two gunshot wounds to the head.” His death, in 2004, was ruled a suicide.
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18Machine Identification Code
Machine Identification Code is a series of secret dots that certain printers leave on every piece of paper they print, giving clues to the originator and identification of the device that printed it. It was developed in the 1980s by Canon and Xerox but wasn't discovered until 2004.
It is unknown what Neil Armstrong took with him to the moon personally and the record of his personal property kit was never found. Armstrong made an unscripted visit to a crater and it is speculated he left his late daughter's bracelet there.
A group of amateur astronomers around the world hunt and track government spy satellites. Governments classify these top-secret missions, but a group of dedicated spy hunters tracks the satellites and publishes the data for fun.