Sunday, April 09, 2006
Reach out and Touch Someone
(Some of you might have seen this news on Kos a few days ago, but I still thought it was worth mentioning.)

Mark Klein a former employee of AT&T has signed a sworn affidavit claiming he helped AT&T build a room in their San Francisco offices that ran all of their customer’s internet traffic through National Security Agency data-mining software. The affidavit also claims that AT&T gave the NSA “full access to its customers telephone calls.” One of Klein ‘s co-workers told him that similar rooms were being built in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Klein says he is coming forward because he thinks the Government is lying about the extent of domestic surveillance program. The affidavit, mixed with AG Gonzalez’s comments recently that the President can tap any domestic call, is yet another reason to be angry and scared.

Here’s the article.

Here are some excerpts:

Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room

AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.

Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit in support of the EFF's lawsuit this week. That class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco last January, alleges that AT&T violated federal and state laws by surreptitiously allowing the government to monitor phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants.


Klein's job eventually included connecting internet circuits to a splitting cabinet that led to the secret room. During the course of that work, he learned from a co-worker that similar cabinets were being installed in other cities, including Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

"While doing my job, I learned that fiber optic cables from the secret room were tapping into the Worldnet (AT&T's internet service) circuits by splitting off a portion of the light signal," Klein wrote.

The split circuits included traffic from peering links connecting to other internet backbone providers, meaning that AT&T was also diverting traffic routed from its network to or from other domestic and international providers, according to Klein's statement.

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


"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," Klein's wrote. "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."

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