Sunday, November 18, 2007

Dataming America

By Libby

Via Radley, a good piece on telecom immunity at St. Petersburg Times. It's all about keeping the lie alive.

Make no mistake, telecom immunity is about keeping a flagrantly illegal program from public scrutiny and maintaining the illusion that the president ordered a small, precision surveillance program, when the opposite is true.

As Robyn Blumner notes, we are all suspects now. This point from whistleblower Howie Klein can't be repeated enough.

In 2003, Klein was assigned to oversee AT&T Internet operations at a company facility in San Francisco. Klein says that there was a secret NSA room into which flowed a copy of all Internet traffic - vast amounts of which were purely domestic - including all e-mails, documents, pictures, Web browsing and Voice-Over-Internet phone conversations. Klein says it was he who connected the circuits carrying Internet data to optical "splitters" that made a copy of the traffic and sent it to the NSA room.

According to Klein, going through this "splitter" were AT&T's links to other Internet providers, such as Sprint, Qwest and many others, meaning that the wholesale surveillance scooped up customers of these entities as well.

In conversations with other technicians, Klein says he was told of other secret NSA rooms in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego, and he has an AT&T document that mentions Atlanta. The document also implies that there are other such rooms across the country.

I didn't realize until now that the surveillance was able to pick up data from other providers, so the big point here is that even though Qwest refused to co-operate, their data was still compromised.

I'm sure I don't need to point out to the readers here that this massive amount of data is useless in tracking down terrorists but it certainly would come in handy if someone wanted to say, declare martial law and round up the domestic 'dissidents.'

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home