FAQ   Search   Memberlist  
Profile    Log in to check your private messages    Register    Log in
AT&T sends your traffic to the NSA

Post new topic   Reply to topic    BLAG Forum Index -> politics
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:47 pm    Post subject: AT&T sends your traffic to the NSA Reply with quote

big surprise. I always figured that's what something like akamai was doing.


EFF Files Evidence in Motion to Stop AT&T's Dragnet Surveillance

Internal AT&T Documents Had Been Temporarily Held Back Due To Government's Concerns

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on Wednesday filed the legal briefs and evidence supporting its motion for a preliminary injunction in its class-action lawsuit against AT&T. After asking EFF to hold back the documents so that it could review them, the Department of Justice consented to EFF's filing them under seal -- a well-established procedure that prohibits public access and permits only the judge and the litigants to see the evidence. While not a party to the case, the government was concerned that even this procedure would not provide sufficient security and has represented to the Court that it is "presently considering whether and, if so, how it will participate in this case."

"The evidence that we are filing supports our claim that AT&T is diverting Internet traffic into the hands of the NSA wholesale, in violation of federal wiretapping laws and the Fourth Amendment," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "More than just threatening individuals' privacy, AT&T's apparent choice to give the government secret, direct access to millions of ordinary Americans' Internet communications is a threat to the Constitution itself. We are asking the Court to put a stop to it now."

EFF's evidence regarding AT&T's dragnet surveillance of its networks includes a declaration by Mark Klein, a retired AT&T telecommunications technician, and several internal AT&T documents. This evidence was bolstered and explained by the expert opinion of J. Scott Marcus, who served as Senior Technical Advisor for Internet Technology to the Federal Communications Commission from July 2001 until July 2005.

The internal AT&T documents and portions of the supporting declarations have been submitted to the Court under a tentative seal, a procedure that allows AT&T five court days to explain to the Court why the information should be kept from the public.

"The public deserves to know about AT&T's illegal program," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "In an abundance of caution, we are providing AT&T with an opportunity to explain itself before this material goes on the public docket, but we believe that justice will ultimately require full disclosure."

The NSA program came to light in December, when the New York Times reported that the President had authorized the agency to intercept telephone and Internet communications inside the United States without the authorization of any court. Over the ensuing weeks, it became clear that the NSA program has been intercepting and analyzing millions of Americans' communications, with the help of the country's largest phone and Internet companies, including AT&T.

"Mark Klein is a true American hero," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "He has bravely come forward with information critical for proving AT&T's involvement with the government's invasive surveillance program."

In the lawsuit, EFF is representing the class of all AT&T residential customers nationwide. Working with EFF in the lawsuit are the law firms Traber & Voorhees, Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP and the Law Office of Richard R. Wiebe.

For the notice of motion for preliminary injunction:

For the motion to lodge under temporary seal:

For more on EFF's suit:


Derek Slater
Acting Media Coordinator
Electronic Frontier Foundation

For Mark Klein:
Miles Ehrlich, Esq.
Ramsey & Ehrlich
Posted at 12:01 AM

PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Info about Naurus (the program/hardware that monitors your packets):


PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

--Mark Klein, April 6, 2006

My Background:

For 22 and 1/2 years I worked as an AT&T technician, first in New York and then in California.

What I Observed First-Hand:

In 2002, when I was working in an AT&T office in San Francisco, the site manager told me to expect a visit from a National Security Agency agent, who was to interview a management-level technician for a special job. The agent came, and by chance I met him and directed him to the appropriate people.

In January 2003, I, along with others, toured the AT&T central office on Folsom Street in San Francisco -- actually three floors of an SBC building. There I saw a new room being built adjacent to the 4ESS switch room where the public's phone calls are routed. I learned that the person whom the NSA interviewed for the secret job was the person working to install equipment in this room. The regular technician work force was not allowed in the room.

In October 2003, the company transferred me to the San Francisco building to oversee the Worldnet Internet room, which included large routers, racks of modems for customers' dial-in services, and other equipment. I was responsible for troubleshooting problems on the fiber optic circuits and installing new circuits.

While doing my job, I learned that fiber optic cables from the secret room were tapping into the Worldnet circuits by splitting off a portion of the light signal. I saw this in a design document available to me, entitled "Study Group 3, LGX/Splitter Wiring, San Francisco" dated Dec. 10, 2002. I also saw design documents dated Jan. 13, 2004 and Jan. 24, 2003, which instructed technicians on connecting some of the already in-service circuits to the "splitter" cabinet, which diverts some of the light signal to the secret room. The circuits listed were the Peering Links, which connect Worldnet with other networks and hence the whole country, as well as the rest of the world.

One of the documents listed the equipment installed in the secret room, and this list included a Narus STA 6400, which is a "Semantic Traffic Analyzer". The Narus STA technology is known to be used particularly by government intelligence agencies because of its ability to sift through large amounts of data looking for preprogrammed targets. The company's advertising boasts that its technology "captures comprehensive customer usage data ... and transforms it into actionable information.... (It) provides complete visibility for all internet applications."

My job required me to connect new circuits to the "splitter" cabinet and get them up and running. While working on a particularly difficult one with a technician back East, I learned that other such "splitter" cabinets were being installed in other cities, including Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

What is the Significance and Why Is It Important to Bring These Facts to Light?

Based on my understanding of the connections and equipment at issue, it appears the NSA is capable of conducting what amounts to vacuum-cleaner surveillance of all the data crossing the Internet -- whether that be peoples' e-mail, Web surfing or any other data.

Given the public debate about the constitutionality of the Bush administration's spying on U.S. citizens without obtaining a FISA warrant, I think it is critical that this information be brought out into the open, and that the American people be told the truth about the extent of the administration's warrantless surveillance practices, particularly as it relates to the Internet.

Despite what we are hearing, and considering the public track record of this administration, I simply do not believe their claims that the NSA's spying program is really limited to foreign communications or is otherwise consistent with the NSA's charter or with FISA. And unlike the controversy over targeted wiretaps of individuals' phone calls, this potential spying appears to be applied wholesale to all sorts of Internet communications of countless citizens.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

even though I do nothing wrong, I do not like the feeling of being watched. It starts with monitoring, next comes controlling those packets. This is going to have a real negative effect on the internet of the future :(

- grimR
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 3:46 pm    Post subject: Update Reply with quote

The U.S. government called on Friday for the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T, arguing that evidence presented in the case could harm state secrets.

The invocation of the so-called "state secrets privilege" casts doubt on the outcome of the EFF's case, which alleges that AT&T inflicted harm on its American customers by cooperating with a comprehensive surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA's surveillance program first came to light in December. In January, the government was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) over the allegedly illegal and broad spying of ordinary American citizens, now thought to be broader spying than was originally reported.

The brief filed by the Assistant Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice argues that any evidence filed in the case could harm national security. It also cautions that the brief should not be seen as an admission that the allegations stated by the EFF's court filings are true.

"The fact that the United States will assert the state secrets privilege should not be construed as a confirmation or a denial of any of Plaintiff's allegations, either about AT&T or the alleged surveillance activities," the brief stated. "When allegations are made about purported classified government activities or relationships, regardless of whether those allegations are accurate, the existence or non-existence of the activity or relationship is potentially a state secret."

The U.S. plans to file a formal assertion of state secrets privilege, a motion to intervene in the case, and a motion to dismiss by May 12.

- securityfocus.com

sounds to me like they have something to hide. I don't like where it's heading.

- grimR
PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the US govt's filing:

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 11:17 am    Post subject: Neccessary pain... Reply with quote

I think it's a good thing that the US government are doing this - Sooner or later the US electorate are going to get sick of all this nonsense and either do something about it, or stop lecturing the rest of the world on freedom and democracy, when they seem not to understand the meaning of either word.

In the meantime, I hope the US citizenry are enjoying discovering what the US government looks like to the rest of the world, and how the strange circumstance of the USA being easily the most generous nation on earth yet also the most hated and derided came about.

Sorry, I was forgetting. We foreigners all hate freedom, hence Dubya has to travel around inside a stretch tank in the middle of a giant motorcade, with helicopters circling overhead when he travels abroad, for fear of someone shouting dissent at him. He evidently understands the meaning of the word 'coward' very well...

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Neccessary pain... Reply with quote

rblee wrote:
I think it's a good thing that the US government are doing this - Sooner or later the US electorate...

Assuming their vote counts, of course. My grandmother never had "provisional ballots" in her day. Check out Diebold's actions. They once sent me a cease & desist notice...


PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Neccessary pain... Reply with quote

rblee wrote:

In the meantime, I hope the US citizenry are enjoying discovering what the US government looks like to the rest of the world, and how the strange circumstance of the USA being easily the most generous nation on earth yet also the most hated and derided came about.

Generous? In what way? The US government is certainly generous with its military aid, but it commits a smaller percentage of its GNP to humanitarian aid than other industrialized countries.

Ed LaBonte
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 12:48 pm    Post subject: @ewl Reply with quote

True, but it's still a lot more actual dosh than any other nation. Credit where it's due.
PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The latest generation is called NarusInsight, capable of monitoring 10 billion bits of data per second.

the technology is mindblowing. pity they can't use it against spam instead...

PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2006 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One company gave the finger to the NSA. Funny how you don't hear about them as much.

"Among the big telecommunications companies, only Qwest has refused to help the NSA, the sources said. According to multiple sources, Qwest declined to participate because it was uneasy about the legal implications of handing over customer information to the government without warrants. "

I'm proud to say I work for them.

Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    BLAG Forum Index -> politics
Page 1 of 1

Protected by Anti-Spam ACP