Lincoln Creates the First Surveillance State...

WJC

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There is none because Congress seemed to ignore the concept of electornic surveillance. The concept of electornic spying would have been knew to the people of 1860's... It is why Lincoln and Stanton got away their invasion of the electornic media...
Let's begin by getting the terminology right. The ACW-era telegraph was an electrical apparatus, not an electronic apparatus!
Congress ignored nothing: there was no problem to be 'fixed'. This whole argument is based on a wartime initiative to monitor telegraphic communication that was not then illegal! It is presentism run amok: a simple case of projecting present-day opinions on something that occurred over 150 years ago.
 

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5fish

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What kind of twisted logic is this?
Just wait...

It would be impossible to try and convict Lincoln on constitutional grounds for wiretapping charges that were not illegal at the time,
Just wait...

The ACW-era telegraph was an electrical apparatus, not an electronic apparatus!
Congress ignored nothing:
I will update on your definitions... from wiki...

The History of the Telegraph - Communication at its Best! Samuel Morse is credited with starting electronic telegraphy in 1837, but early forms of this communication have been present for centuries. Telegraphy is the process of using a form of communication known to both sender and receiver to transmit data.

It is presentism run amok:
Thanks for waiting... Yes, this is a moment of presentism... Let me make the point, First...

We all know and agree slavery was wrong at the founding of our nation and it was wrong for the courts to support slavery in the years before our Civil War... We know it was wrong for the South to fight for slavery... We know after the Civil War Slavery was made illegal and unconstitutional and these beliefs hold tale today... We do not even try to justify our Founding Fathers reasoning for allowing slavery within our national borders. They were just plain wrong...

Now, surveillance by Lincoln on the Telegraph was wrong for it was not authorized in law and/or there was no oversight by the courts, WE know that was wrong then and we know it was wrong to do, until again laws and the courts and unauthorized surveilance illagal and unconstitutional...

When a practice or act is ethically wrong. It is wrong before and after such practices or acts are deemed unconstitutional... it takes time...
 
Just wait...



Just wait...



I will update on your definitions... from wiki...

The History of the Telegraph - Communication at its Best! Samuel Morse is credited with starting electronic telegraphy in 1837, but early forms of this communication have been present for centuries. Telegraphy is the process of using a form of communication known to both sender and receiver to transmit data.



Thanks for waiting... Yes, this is a moment of presentism... Let me make the point, First...

We all know and agree slavery was wrong at the founding of our nation and it was wrong for the courts to support slavery in the years before our Civil War... We know it was wrong for the South to fight for slavery... We know after the Civil War Slavery was made illegal and unconstitutional and these beliefs hold tale today... We do not even try to justify our Founding Fathers reasoning for allowing slavery within our national borders. They were just plain wrong...

Now, surveillance by Lincoln on the Telegraph was wrong for it was not authorized in law and/or there was no oversight by the courts, WE know that was wrong then and we know it was wrong to do, until again laws and the courts and unauthorized surveilance illagal and unconstitutional...

When a practice or act is ethically wrong. It is wrong before and after such practices or acts are deemed unconstitutional... it takes time...

I disagree. Ever hear of the Unites States Office of War Information? WWII, immediately following Pearl Harbor, the USOWI was created and monitored all newspapers and radio programs and censored any war related information it deemed harmful to the United States even imprisoning violators. Approved by Congress? No, enacted through an Executive Order by FDR. Now in the case of Lincoln, please provide any SCOTUS decision(s) that ruled against Lincoln's wartime usage of the telegraph.
 

5fish

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I found this stating the military in the Civil war set up their own telegraph lines to avoid wiretapping...

https://books.google.com/books?id=7pW9CgAAQBAJ&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=Did+Lincoln+violate+the+constitution+by+wiretapping+the+telegraph+lines&source=bl&ots=miIBzPfz2P&sig=ACfU3U0_aLU_9iqHpF1eLJMxkvchSZQiSQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjnm9-pjKjjAhWFB80KHba_DoQQ6AEwDXoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Did Lincoln violate the constitution by wiretapping the telegraph lines&f=false

I found this to add to the story...link:

U.S. Military Telegraph Corps - Wikipedia

Although the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps played a prominent role in transmitting messages to and from commanders in the battlefield, it functioned independently from military control. As mentioned above, the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps employed civilian operators out on the battlefield and in the War Department. Only supervisory personnel were granted military commissions from the Quartermaster Department in order to distribute funds and property.[12] All of the orders the telegraph operators received came directly from the Secretary of War.[13] Also, because there was no government telegraph organization before the Civil War, there was no appropriation of funds by Congress to pay for the expenses of erecting poles, running cables, or the salaries of operators. As a result, the first six months that the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps was in operation Edward S. Sanford, president of the American Telegraph Company, paid for all these expenses.[14] He was later reimbursed by Congress for his generosity.

Snippet...

Once the Civil War was over the task of reconstructing the Confederate telegraph lines began. The U.S. government required that all of the major communication lines were to be repaired and controlled by the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps.[23] Due to the lack of funds, the Confederate telegraph lines were in bad shape when the war ended and the operators of the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps faced a mountain of work. But these men rose to the challenge and on February 27, 1865 an order by the Quartermaster General transferred the Union control of telegraph lines in the South to commercial telegraph companies under the supervision of U.S. Military Telegraph Corps Assistant Superintendents .[24]Furthermore, this order relinquished control of all lines seized by the government in the North and sold the lines constructed by the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps to private telegraph companies.[25] Once control of the telegraph lines were turned over to the telegraph companies, the operators were discharged one by one. The only office that remained was the original telegraph office in the War Department.[26]

Snippet...

The U.S. Military Telegraph Corps operators served courageously during the Civil War. But, because these men were not members of the military, they did not receive recognition or a pension for their services, even though the supervisory personnel did because of the military commissions they received.[18] As a result, the families of those men killed in action had to depend on charity to continue on. The operators of the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps were not recognized for their service until 1897, when President Cleveland approved an act directing the Secretary of War to issue certificates of honorable service to all members (including those who died) of the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps. But, this certificate of recognition did not include the pension these men passionately sought.[1
 
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WJC

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I will update on your definitions... from wiki...

The History of the Telegraph - Communication at its Best! Samuel Morse is credited with starting electronic telegraphy in 1837, but early forms of this communication have been present for centuries. Telegraphy is the process of using a form of communication known to both sender and receiver to transmit data.
Thanks for your response.
As has frequently been noted here, "Wiki" is not an authoritative source,
The first "electronic" device was Edison's use of his light bulb to monitor invented in 1883.
 

WJC

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Now, surveillance by Lincoln on the Telegraph was wrong for it was not authorized in law and/or there was no oversight by the courts, WE know that was wrong then and we know it was wrong to do, until again laws and the courts and unauthorized surveilance illagal and unconstitutional...
Thanks for your response.
So a President (or a citizen like you or me) has to wait for laws are passed authorizing hi/her actions? How does a President respond in an emergency?
Whether it was "wrong" is a moral, not a legal, judgment.
The reality is that until the California Legislature passed the first 'wiretapping' law in 1862, no authority had considered 'eavesdropping' a problem, certainly no one considered it a practice to be constrained during wartime.
<https://www.smithsonianmag.com/hist...llance-america-180968399/#OjwC2pRiPduE3RGr.99
Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv>
 

WJC

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I disagree. Ever hear of the Unites States Office of War Information? WWII, immediately following Pearl Harbor, the USOWI was created and monitored all newspapers and radio programs and censored any war related information it deemed harmful to the United States even imprisoning violators. Approved by Congress? No, enacted through an Executive Order by FDR. Now in the case of Lincoln, please provide any SCOTUS decision(s) that ruled against Lincoln's wartime usage of the telegraph.
Further, it was not until 1928 that the Supreme Court considered the practice of wiretapping. The Court affirmed the constitutionality of wiretapping by government authorities. Further, the Court stated:
The policy of protecting the secrecy of telephone messages by making them, when intercepted, inadmissible as evidence in federal criminal trials may be adopted by Congress through legislation, but it is not for the courts to adopt it by attributing an enlarged and unusual meaning to the Fourth Amendment.
<Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928). https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/277/438/ >
 

WJC

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I found this stating the military in the Civil war set up their own telegraph lines to avoid wiretapping...

https://books.google.com/books?id=7pW9CgAAQBAJ&pg=PA10&lpg=PA10&dq=Did+Lincoln+violate+the+constitution+by+wiretapping+the+telegraph+lines&source=bl&ots=miIBzPfz2P&sig=ACfU3U0_aLU_9iqHpF1eLJMxkvchSZQiSQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjnm9-pjKjjAhWFB80KHba_DoQQ6AEwDXoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Did Lincoln violate the constitution by wiretapping the telegraph lines&f=false

I found this to add to the story...link:

U.S. Military Telegraph Corps - Wikipedia

Although the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps played a prominent role in transmitting messages to and from commanders in the battlefield, it functioned independently from military control. As mentioned above, the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps employed civilian operators out on the battlefield and in the War Department. Only supervisory personnel were granted military commissions from the Quartermaster Department in order to distribute funds and property.[12] All of the orders the telegraph operators received came directly from the Secretary of War.[13] Also, because there was no government telegraph organization before the Civil War, there was no appropriation of funds by Congress to pay for the expenses of erecting poles, running cables, or the salaries of operators. As a result, the first six months that the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps was in operation Edward S. Sanford, president of the American Telegraph Company, paid for all these expenses.[14] He was later reimbursed by Congress for his generosity.

Snippet...

Once the Civil War was over the task of reconstructing the Confederate telegraph lines began. The U.S. government required that all of the major communication lines were to be repaired and controlled by the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps.[23] Due to the lack of funds, the Confederate telegraph lines were in bad shape when the war ended and the operators of the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps faced a mountain of work. But these men rose to the challenge and on February 27, 1865 an order by the Quartermaster General transferred the Union control of telegraph lines in the South to commercial telegraph companies under the supervision of U.S. Military Telegraph Corps Assistant Superintendents .[24]Furthermore, this order relinquished control of all lines seized by the government in the North and sold the lines constructed by the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps to private telegraph companies.[25] Once control of the telegraph lines were turned over to the telegraph companies, the operators were discharged one by one. The only office that remained was the original telegraph office in the War Department.[26]

Snippet...

The U.S. Military Telegraph Corps operators served courageously during the Civil War. But, because these men were not members of the military, they did not receive recognition or a pension for their services, even though the supervisory personnel did because of the military commissions they received.[18] As a result, the families of those men killed in action had to depend on charity to continue on. The operators of the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps were not recognized for their service until 1897, when President Cleveland approved an act directing the Secretary of War to issue certificates of honorable service to all members (including those who died) of the U.S. Military Telegraph Corps. But, this certificate of recognition did not include the pension these men passionately sought.[1
Interesting, but not relevant to our discussion of the allegation that Lincoln created "the first surveillance state".
 

5fish

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Thanks for your response.
As has frequently been noted here, "Wiki" is not an authoritative source,
The first "electronic" device was Edison's use of his light bulb to monitor invented in 1883.

I came up with this one 1835....

One of the first electronic devices was invented around 1835 by an American scientist called Joseph Henry. He developed a remote switch called a relay, which worked magnetism and currents. It was part of a telegraph and was later used in a telephone.Sep 25, 2018
 

WJC

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I came up with this one 1835....

One of the first electronic devices was invented around 1835 by an American scientist called Joseph Henry. He developed a remote switch called a relay, which worked magnetism and currents. It was part of a telegraph and was later used in a telephone.Sep 25, 2018
Thanks for your response.
A simple relay, as used in the 19th-century, is an electrically activated switch, not an electronic device. Calling it "electronic" simply shows how the meaning has been corrupted.
 

unionblue

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I suggest the title of the thread has been "tweaked" a bit from the original article in the OP to garner interest in the topic.

The thread has been interesting to a point, but after a while, insistence that a personal opinion somehow equates to a unconstitutional or illegal action by past historical figures, still remains just that.

An opinion.
 

unionblue

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Lincoln's Administration did set up a surveillance state between hijacking the telegraph lines to Pinkerton's spies and Lafayette Bakers spies and loyal reporters...
Again, from the various sources and constitutional article, I consider this view mere opinion.

You keep using such highly charged words and phrases meant to convey something unsupported by the facts presented, hence the reason I cannot take such opinion in a serious, historical, manner.
 
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I found this:

As we know: even control what information Congress received...

Before the war, amazingly, the government hadn't even possessed its own telegraph operation, instead of relying upon the same commercial telegraph offices that civilians used. But as a recent New York Times article by historian David T. Z. Mindich details, after President Abraham Lincoln appointed Edwin G. Stanton as his Secretary of War in 1862, Stanton asked for and received sweeping powers to control information in the capital. That included the telegraph lines, which Stanton seized and had rerouted into his headquarters. The move enabled Stanton to exercise censorship over what news that journalists published about the war, and what information members of Congress were able to get. Since the White House didn't have its own telegraph connection, even the President himself had to trudge next door to receive and send messages, a scene that was depicted in the recent Steven Spielberg biopic Lincoln.

A note something no one else had:

According to historian Tom Wheeler, the telegraph gave Lincoln a secret weapon that no head of state had possessed in wartime up to that point. Kings and Presidents had been forced to sit in their capitals and allow generals in the field to operate and make decisions on their own, a situation that gave the generals extraordinary power. Lincoln, in contrast, used his newfangled communications tool not just to gather information, but to give orders and "put starch in the spine of his often all-too-timid generals, and to propel his leadership vision to the front," Wheeler writes. During the battle of Gettysburg, for example, Lincoln used telegraph messages to make sure that Gen. Joseph Hooker, who wanted to seize upon the Confederate advance to strike against Richmond, hewed instead to Lincoln's strategic goal of destroying the Confederate army. "I think Lee's army, and not Richmond, is your true objective point," Lincoln reminded his general, in an exchange of messages whose rapid-fire speed conveyed as much authority as if Lincoln actually had been in Hooker's tent.

Lincoln was his own spy and spy on his own government...police state?

But Lincoln, who visited the telegraph office several times a day, didn't just read messages from his commanders. Instead, as Bates wrote in his memoir, Lincoln would open the drawer containing copies of all the telegrams received since his previous visit, and scan through them all, regardless of whom they were addressed to. That gave Lincoln a chance to find out what information other officials in his government were getting--a useful bit of intelligence that helped him to manage the "team of rivals" in his cabinet.

Lincoln also relied upon his telegraph operators as cryptographers, employing them to decipher intercepted written messages from the Confederates. We'll get into that in another installment.


Link to the story... https://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2013/11/15/lincolns-secret-weapon-telegraph
 
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Lincoln Code breakers...

In a previous post, we looked at how Abraham Lincoln utilized the telegraph during the Civil War to supervise his generals in the field and gather intelligence--sometimes by scanning telegrams intended for other Washington recipients. But in addition to working closely with Lincoln, the War Department's team of telegraph operators--who were based at the present-day location of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next door to the White House--also were pressed into service to perform another critical function in the war effort. They also worked as cryptographers, encoding sensitive communications for the Union side, and as codebreakers, deciphering intercepted letters sent by Confederate officials and spies.

Here:

"The characteristics of each Morse operator's sending are just as pronounced and as easily recognized as those of ordinary handwriting," Bates wrote. But this pattern didn't match any of the operators on the Union side, so they quickly realized that a Confederate spy had tapped the wire. In order to thwart him, Bates and his operators sent Burnside's headquarters a number of messages full of bogus information; the general or his operator, recognizing that something was up, in turn "sent us in reply a lot of balderdash."

Here: Union had its own code system...

Fortunately, they had a code system devised by a cryptographer named Anson Stager, which was so inscrutable that the Confederates never were able to crack it. Lincoln's message--"If I should be in boat off Aquia Creek at dark to-morrow evening, could you, with inconvenience, meet me and pass an hour or two?"--was transformed into gobbledy-gook (A sample: "Can Inn ale me with 2 oarour Ann pas Ann me flesh ends N.V.")

Link to the story: https://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2013/11/19/lincolns-codebreakers
 
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Here an interesting sidebar ... The first wiretapping case... This proves my case THE STATE knew they were doing wrong...

During the Civil War, generals used telegraphs to communicate with each other. But they also intercepted morse code messages sent by rivals, or sent out morse code signals with disinformation meant to deceive the enemy. Some private individuals figured out how to do this, too. In 1864, a stockbroker named D.C. Williams became the first person convicted of wiretapping after he intercepted corporate messages and sold them to stock traders.


Telegraph in the 1876 election...

This is what happened during the contested 1876 presidential election between Democrat Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. Early results favored Tilden, but in an effort to prevent Hayes from conceding, Western Union (which was pro-Hayes) decided to leak a telegram to the New York Times (also pro-Hayes). The telegram revealed that Democrats weren’t yet certain they had won. The New York Times shared this information with the GOP, which decided to keep pushing for a Hayes victory, writes Tim Wu in his book, The Master Switch.

In the end, Hayes lost the popular vote and won the electoral college by only one vote. But the results were contested for several months, and led Congress to subpoena Western Union telegrams from both parties—an early instance of the federal government asking a private communications company to turn over multiple records.

Link:https://www.history.com/news/communications-companies-have-been-spying-on-you-since-the-19th-century
 
Here an interesting sidebar ... The first wiretapping case... This proves my case THE STATE knew they were doing wrong...

During the Civil War, generals used telegraphs to communicate with each other. But they also intercepted morse code messages sent by rivals, or sent out morse code signals with disinformation meant to deceive the enemy. Some private individuals figured out how to do this, too. In 1864, a stockbroker named D.C. Williams became the first person convicted of wiretapping after he intercepted corporate messages and sold them to stock traders.
I didn't realize that the stockbroker D.C. Williams, had war powers to operate under. That's what I love about CWT; you learn something new here almost every day.
 



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