The current political appeal to wiretap Americans is nothing new. The US has a long-standing tradition of restricting free speech, domestic spying, and undue government influence of the media. This website includes links and a time line, including information on the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798-1801), Espionage and Sedition Acts (1917-18), Smith Act (1940-1957), McCarran Act (1950-present) and McCarthy era, Operation Mockingbird (1948-?), COINTELPRO (1956-1971), the Patriot Act (2001-present) and Operation Talon.
A link to Operation Chaos, a secret domestic spying program by the CIA
A link to Operation Mockingbird, CIA influence in American media
Freedom of speech is also highly restricted in work environments, including government service (Garcetti v Ceballos, 2006)
Formation of the National Applications Office (NAO), using US corporations for domestic spying in the US (2007)