Thursday, April 13, 2006

ATT & NSA Surveillance Case Chapter 2

Wired News: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room Here's another chapter in the illegal wiretapping case of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) versus the National Security Agency (NSA) and AT&T.

The source of the information that the EFF used to sue AT&T appears to be a retired AT&T technician turned whistle blower named Mark Klein, who spirited away documents from work and presented them to EFF because he believed that AT&T was allowing wholesale and undifferentiated eavesdropping of all AT&T calls and internet traffic. That cloak and dagger surveillance action appears to split off regular phone and internet traffic and send them to a "Secret Spy Room" staffed by special AT&T employees and routed to NSA somehow.

That secret spy room is using systems designed by a company called Narus, which is described in the Wired News story like this:

"The secret room also included data-mining equipment called a Narus STA 6400, "known to be used particularly by government intelligence agencies because of its ability to sift through large amounts of data looking for preprogrammed targets," according to Klein's statement.

Narus, whose website touts AT&T as a client, sells software to help internet service providers and telecoms monitor and manage their networks, look for intrusions, and wiretap phone calls as mandated by federal law."

Narus claims that the publicity surrounding this case is hurting their business. ATT wants the documents returned that Klein accessed and provided to the EFF. The entire case is likely to simply disappear without public comment after an expected NSA challenge to the case under the State Secrets Act which has been used successfully in every case it has been applied to. It will be interesting to see if the judge in the case will allow portions of it to go forward and expose the over-reaching surveillance and highlight the illegal spying being done on US citizens.

The decision will likely turn on the political leanings of the judge and whether he supports Bush Administration and NSA domestic wiretapping and surveillance. It is possible to keep state secrets out of public view while determining the legality of the extensive AT&T and NSA hand holding - along with whatever else they do in that secret room.

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posted by RealitySEO at 9:41 AM


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