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AT&T Puts The Screws To Surveillance Whistleblowers

Tech Search Blog | April 13 2006

As I've written before, AT&T performed "vacuum-cleaner surveillance" on its customers for the NSA. But now, AT&T is trying to put the screws to the Electronic Frontier Foundation by trying to force the EFF to turn over the incriminating documents, and demanding that the evidence be hidden from public view.

The Mercury News reports that AT&T has asked the judge in the EFF case against it to force the EFF to turn over the documents that detail AT&T's massive surveillance for the NSA.

AT&T is also asking that the judge ban the EFF from even referring to the documents in its lawsuit.

The documents are sealed at the moment, but they allegedly focus on retired AT&T technician Mark Klein's detailed description of how AT&T performed the surveillance.

How was the surveillance performed? Klein told Wired News that he met an NSA agent who was supposedly there to talk to another AT&T technician about "a special job." Then, in January 2003, Klein found out that the other AT&T technician was "installing equipment in a secret room that was built next to the room where the public's calls were routed," says the Mercury News.

Klein then found out that the public network traffic was being routed to the secret room where special hardware performed the surveillance. That hardware was capable of snooping through IP packets, e-mail, Internet phone calls, videos and digital pictures, at extremely high speeds.

AT&T doesn't want you to know any of this, of course. And it's doing it's best to keep it secret and go after the EFF. For once, let's hope that justice prevails, and the documents are made public.


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