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A story at Wired reports how in the ongoing Electronic Frontier Foundation lawsuit against AT&T an engineer has described how new routing infrastructure was installed in San Francisco in 2003 next to the long distance and international routers. This equipment ran to a NSA operated room with data mining hardware.

Later he was tasked to arrange for internet links to be split off and run through this room as well. In discussions with other co-workers, he knows of similar installations in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego

The EFF has asked that the documents they have filed be made public, including one titled "Study Group 3, LGX/Splitter Wiring, San Francisco" with a decision due this Thursday. AT&T have objected, claiming that these documents could enable hackers access to their hardware.

AT&T Gave Your Data to Feds

By Ryan Singel
11:15 AM Apr, 07, 2006

AT&T provided NSA 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.

On Wednesday, the EFF asked the court to issue an injunction prohibiting AT&T from continuing the alleged wiretapping, and filed a number of documents under seal, including three AT&T documents that purportedly explain how the wiretapping system works.

According to a statement released by Klein's attorney, an NSA agent showed up at the San Francisco switching center in 2002 to interview a management-level technician for a special job.In January 2003, Klein observed a new room being built adjacent to the room housing AT&T's #4ESS switching equipment, which is responsible for routing long distance and international calls.

"I learned that the person whom the NSA interviewed for the secret job was the person working to install equipment in this room," Klein wrote. "The regular technician work force was not allowed in the room."

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.

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.

Klein said he came forward because he does not believe that the Bush administration is being truthful about the extent of its extrajudicial monitoring of Americans' communications.

"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."

After asking for a preview copy of the documents last week, the government did not object to the EFF filing the paper under seal, although the EFF asked the court Wednesday to make the documents public.

One of the documents is titled "Study Group 3, LGX/Splitter Wiring, San Francisco," and is dated 2002. The others are allegedly a design document instructing technicians how to wire up the taps, and a document that describes the equipment installed in the secret room.

In a letter to the EFF, AT&T objected to the filing of the documents in any manner, saying that they contain sensitive trade secrets and could be "could be used to 'hack' into the AT&T network, compromising its integrity."

According to court rules, AT&T has until Thursday to file a motion to keep the documents sealed. The government could also step in to the case and request that the documents not be made public, or even that the entire lawsuit be barred under the seldom-used State Secrets Privilege.

AT&T spokesman Walt Sharp declined to comment on the allegations, citing a company policy of not commenting on litigation or matters of national security, but did say that "AT&T follows all laws following requests for assistance from government authorities."

Originally posted to oznick on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 02:29 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanx for posting this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Maybe people that use AT&T will be more careful of what they say...

    They shouldn't have to, but untill this blows over, I'd not, ya know, make any jokes that might piss off the wrong people...

    "I worry a great deal about the future of democracy in America"
    - President of St. Lawrence University Daniel Sullivan at Commencement 2004

    by Team Slacker on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 02:33:10 PM PDT

  •  I think you snipped a bit to much of the article (13+ / 0-)

    otherwise good diary

  •  Just a reminder... (40+ / 0-)

    When he testified before Congress, Gonzales took great pains to emphasize, over and over again, that he was ONLY talking about ONE SPECIFIC WIRETAPPING PROGRAM, and would not talk about any other wiretapping programs.
    The implication was clear: "I'm not talking about other programs... which sure as hell implies that there ARE other programs. But I'm not going to admit that..."

  •  Nah (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    macdust, sockpuppet, eru, lgmcp

    AT&T, routing signals through Ft Meade since 1955.

  •  'splitting off a portion of the light signal' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That sounds like nonsense to me.  They have to actively regenrate that signal.

    One of the benfits of fiber was that it can't be tapped easily like a copper cable.

    Not that I doubt they did this, I just don't think the methodology described sounds right.

    RULE OF LAW. That's all the reason you need to oppose Republicans.

    by nightsweat on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 02:48:10 PM PDT

    •  A manner of speaking... (13+ / 0-)

      A techie, especially one just short of retirement, could well call it 'splitting' when actually the fiber is being amplified and 'split' to feed two networks, like when you feed redundant switches from a single strand to provide backup systems. This is the only way to achieve the "five 9's" reliability required in a switch room.
      Hmmm...looks like they actually call it splitting.
      From this site:

      The simplest couplers are fiber optic splitters. These devices possess at least three ports but may have more than 32 for more complex devices.

    •  Routing is electronic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      joynow, snakelass, lazybum

      While there is research to develop fully optical routers, I don't believe there are any production fully optical routers. Routing requires that the optical signal be converted to a digital electronic signal, routed and reconverted to an optical signal.

      Thus if you were going to tap signals on a fiber optic network, a routing station would be the logical place to do it.

      george w. bush is a man of few words, he uses them constantly though.

      by beerm on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:03:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Splitting the optical signal (6+ / 0-)

      It's not so tough to split an optical signal.  It's done all the time in R&D of optical technology.  It's also done along an optical transmission line (like in an optical amplifier hut along the railways or gas pipeline routes that are typically used to route optical fibers) as a means to determine the basic strength & quality of the optical signal without having to inhibit the overall optical transmission.  Could this be done effectively to "tap" an optical line?  Sure.  You don't even need to siphon off much signal to do something like this - only a few % of the optical power would be plenty.

      The problem with that method is the optical fiber contains many thousands of potentially active traffic signals at any given time, including big data feeds and even video distribution.  So it's not at all selective still requires a whole lot of electronics to get down to the individual voice-traffic signals.

      As beerm said, the most likely place to "tap" calls is at a routing/switching station.  Traffic crossing through one of the old electronic digital toll switches (i.e., 4ESS as related in the story), through a more modern digital cross-connect, or through an ATM switch or IP router could easily be replicated to be delivered simultaneously to two or more output ports.  If I'm not mistaken, AT&T still routes nearly all of the international voice traffic over the 4ESS switches at international switching stations (the places where optical fibers come up out of the various undersea routes and into an AT&T office) in the network.

      And at those switching points in the network, the granularity is fine enough that would know which circuits contained voice traffic v. data, video or "private line" (bulk multipurpose bandwidth that many large companies purchase) traffic.  The "tapping" is all done electronically and is one-way (doesn't transmit, just receives) so you would never hear any of the olde tyme clicks and whirs of someone attaching an alligator clip to the telephone line and starting up the tape recorder.

      Then the software and magic of voice-recognition and key phrase matching kick in.  In theory, when a voice call is "scored" high enough by the monitoring system to warrant a person having a listen, the computer "listening" for discussions of interest routes the transmission to a human who speaks the right language.

      My hunch is that in reality, these guys are collecting so much crap in phone calls that the backup of recorded "calls of interest" must look like Mt. Everest to the NSA anti-terrorist language experts, bless their loyal overworked souls...  It's not their fault their president is a Constitution-trodding criminal who should be impeached.

      So, I refer back to Bob Johnson's pithy and economical summary of the situation.  Fuckers.

      "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

      by frisco on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 07:19:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fiber can, in fact, be tapped (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There are a couple of ways to do it.  One is a formal splice splitting the fiber (directly or at the point of amplification).  Another is to bend the fiber, producing enough light leak (refraction under those conditions may not be sufficient to keep all of the light in the fiber) that the signal is readable.

    •  optical taps (0+ / 0-)
      are pretty standard for such applications, and not that expensive any more.

      They work purely optical, though AFAIK the copied signal might be electrically enhanced in some variants.

  •  HA! (In an I'm-really-freaked-out sorta way) (18+ / 0-)
    OK, this is too funny, despite. We moved into our house in August 31, 2001 (and signed up for AT&T local and long distance, btw). We all know what happened ten days later. I was, shall we say, not part of the 90% who approved of George Bush's performance post-9/11. Anyhoo, I've always gotten these strange clicks on my phone, and in those early days in the "war on terra" I'd always joke with the person on the other end, "Don't worry about the clicks. That's just John Ashcroft." Holy sh&t! I was freakin' right!

    Something's happening here today -- a show of strength with your boys' brigade. Paul Weller

    by jamfan on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 02:49:49 PM PDT

  •  nice diary (0+ / 0-)

    thanks for writing it up :)

    Help me retire to Hawaii by age 30! Pimp my site Simple Vegetarian Recipes!

    by OrangeClouds115 on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 02:51:16 PM PDT

  •  AT&T is SATAN! (0+ / 0-)

    And I've got many stories to prove it!

  •  Hmmmm....... (18+ / 0-)

    Kinda helps you understand why the FTC is allowing the AT&T monster to rise from the dead... much easier to spy on everyone when you only have to tap one line.

  •  I hope they read Kos (7+ / 0-)

    that should keep them busy including coffee breaks.

    •  Yeah they'll have to lay on extra terabytes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of storage to track all the dissenters here, let alone the ones they link out to!

      The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

      by lgmcp on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:19:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, ATT turned over 60 Tb. How many Crays? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snakelass, walkshills, lgmcp, lazybum

        Can you imagine the job of making sense of all that data?  The room for error in analysis?

        Eventually, all that data is going to have to be wiped as having been proven useless in tracking real terrorists.  

        If they don't wipe it, maybe we can FOIA our own profiles.  That'll be interesting.  We're all going to be amused to see the sort of distorted socio-political tendencies they imputed to our posts here at DKos.  I'd love to have a look at their algorithms to see just what sort of things they consider to be significant indicators of terrorist activities.

        In the end, it'll just seem like such a waste of money, except for the stockholders, of course!  

        •  60 TB (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PeteZerria, walkshills, zapmama

          That's amazing.  A full-length novel of 100,000 words is about 3-500 K (or half a megabyte) with formatting and everything.

          So one megabyte of data would take up about 600 pages of text.

          Runs calc in background

          Crunch, crunch, crunch

          Damn base two math!

          65,970,697,666,560 megabytes
          131,941,395,333,120 novels
          527,765,581,332,480 hours at 4 hours per
          21,990,232,555,520 days
          60,247,212,480 years

          If a person were to sit there and read all that data for 24 hours a day, at a reading speed of approximately 500-600 words per minute, it would take them six times the current known age of the universe to get through it all.  Even with filtering and indexing and the fastest drive spindles, cpu's, and front-side buses, a search of all that data would take days.

          Iraq has seen more corners than a two-hundred year old hooker made out of Rubik's Cubes. -- David Rees, GYWO

          by slippytoad on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:37:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I have AT&T for long distance. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snakelass, HollywoodOz, eru, leo joad

    Every week, using the exception for businesses you have a relationship with in the Do Not Call legislation, AT&T called me in an effort to become my local carrier (Verizon is my local. I have no doubt they are steeped in this shit, too)until I finally threatened to cancel my service with them if I received even one more call. They stopped calling, but this may just be the thing to push me over the edge.

    I truly hope this becomes such a huge embarrassment for AT&T and every corporate whore this adminstration has herded into spying on the calls of all Americans. If this doesn't finally bring this corrupted house of cards down, I don't know what will.

    I agree with the first poster, I recommended the diary but you may want to consider providing a link and editing out some pieces of the article so it better fits the Fair Use laws. See the FAQ on the front page for more information.

    "As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality." Leonard Cohen

    by mentaldebris on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:07:04 PM PDT

    •  VOIP (7+ / 0-)

      I use vonage over my cable modem - it's WAY cheaper and I've had no problems at all. I hate all the phone companies and avoid them at all costs, they are bunch of lying incompetent bastards. When I was a struggling college student I had a terrible experience involving double billing and an incorrect disconnection of service that resulted in me having to shell out over $200 I shouldn't have owed in order to prevent them from sending me to collections - it took almost a year to get it all straightened out (i.e. to get the over $200 they extorted from me back) - apparently someone in their billings department had set up an entire second account under my name which all the money I paid to them was filling up in, of course that second account had no actual service associated with it whereas my actual account did have service but no money went into it. Probably part of some embezzlement scam but whatever was going on totally screwed me over. I could tell some stories about the lying bastards of Sprint's cell phone division. I can't wait until wifi is everywhere and I can run a VOIP handset over it :)

      Howard Dean has a posse (buy my t-shirts so I can afford YearlyKos!)

      by Jett on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:51:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  VOIP and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tlh lib, sockpuppet

        DOIP are extra insulation . . . love 'em both.

      •  Telecoms don't like VOIP (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jett, joynow, snakelass, BigBite, RB in Pgh

        From Guardian UK

        VoIP customers around the world are discovering that their calls cannot be connected because telecom companies are blocking the movement of such traffic across the net.

        I contacted the ISP and was told it did not support third party VoIP," explains Peckler. "Vonage ran a test. It seems the ISP was blocking the cable modem when the Vonage adapter went into use. I ran a test of my own. I ran pingplotter for 10 minutes: no blockage, then I picked up my Vonage phone and placed a call: immediately there was a 100% blockage on the cable modem. This was a continuous loss as long as the phone was used."

        The Place of Dead Roads
        "The City of Louisiana has dodged the bullet with Hurricane Corrina."

        by Dr Benway on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:10:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I canceled SBC/AT&T (0+ / 0-)

        And signed up for Vonage a few months ago because of this very issue.  Now that the transfer is complete, I plan on letting AT&T know quite vocally why I will no longer do business with them.  I wonder if I should let them know I work for the legislative branch of a local government with a multimillion dollar AT&T contract?  :-D

        I'm also planning to dump Cingular--which AT&T owns, at least in part--as soon as I get my act together.  Anyone know if any of the other major cell phone companies (I live in Chicago) have good records on privacy?

  •  That's why I use VOIP & Virgin Mobile (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fuck Ma Bell!

    [ Anyone who thinks my bark is worse than my bite, has never seen me bite. ] -6.63 | -5.38

    by dj angst on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:08:13 PM PDT

    •  I use Vonage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have often wondered if that makes it easier or more difficult to tap the calls. Anyone know if VOIP is easier to tap?

      •  both (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        javelina, BigBite

        It's trivial to sniff packets but you can do encryption of VOIP easier - don't think you can rig something like that up with vonage though. Supposedly the intel people can't bug VOIP phones as easily as landlines/cells so congress had to get involved to legislate something or the other (can't recall the details).

        Howard Dean has a posse (buy my t-shirts so I can afford YearlyKos!)

        by Jett on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:53:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Zfone (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joynow, peraspera, snakelass

        From Wired, A Pretty Good Way to Foil the NSA,

        Wired News took Phil Zimmermann's newest encryption software, Zfone, for a test drive and found it's actually quite easy, even if the program is still in beta... helps prevents what is known as a man-in-the-middle attack, in which an eavesdropper sits between two callers, intercepting their cryptographic keys and then relaying the communications between them. If someone tries that with Zfone, the spoken codes won't match what the callers see on their screens.

        But make no mistake: to eavesdroppers, Zfone is anything but routine. The protocol is based on SRTP, a system that uses the 256-bit AES cipher and adds to that a 3,000-bit key exchange that produces the codes callers can read off to one another. It has been submitted to IETF for approval as an internet standard, and by most accounts is strong enough to defy even the most sophisticated code-breaking technologies, from a hacker's packet sniffer to the acres of computers beneath Ft. Meade.

        See also Why VOIP needs Needs Crytpo, in Wired.

        Maybe all that time checking is not wasted.

        The Place of Dead Roads
        "The City of Louisiana has dodged the bullet with Hurricane Corrina."

        by Dr Benway on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:19:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You're still tapped. (7+ / 0-)

      Everyone's traffic eventually goes through AT&T pipes.  Do a traceroute (or tracert) to the site of your choice; chances are pretty good that AT&T will show up in the name of some of the routers.

      •  And you can't predict where you will be routed (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snakelass, HollywoodOz, walkshills, eru, lgmcp

        Network routing is dynamic and uses a selection criteria based on contracts with backbone providers, least-cost routing software systems, fastest routing, and whatever works when one or more networks are experiencing problems or capacity issues. There's just no way to guarantee you won't use their pipes.

      •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

        But to the router, the digital signal looks like web traffic. No?

        [ Anyone who thinks my bark is worse than my bite, has never seen me bite. ] -6.63 | -5.38

        by dj angst on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:39:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Packets (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peraspera, sockpuppet, snakelass

          Your traffic is actually a series of packets. The packets contain information telling the device on the other end how to reassemble the stream of packets so that an application can read the data. If it is encrypted, reading the data becomes much more difficult, but not always impossible. A simple (and free) packet sniffer can read your chat traffic and view usernames and unencrypted passwords; imagine what the Narus Semantic Traffic Analyzer can find. (This is a VERY simplified explanation.)

          •  VOIP Is Still Extremely Difficult To Tap (0+ / 0-)

            The packets all go different routes, and they are not text.  Different companies use different algorithms for the digitization of the sound.  So without cooperation and substantial infrastructure being built, it's hard for them to listen in.  

            However, the government was forcing the VOIP providers to conform to existing wiretap systems.  They put up a stink, because it is difficult to engineer that with VOIP.  But I believe it's likely that most are trying to comply with the requirement.  

            Skype is outside the U.S. though, and it is believed that they are not as compliant.  Other services could be just as difficult, but they'd have to be provided from outside the U.S. to survive.

  •  I'm going to call this weekend and drop them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leo joad

    This totally pisses me off.

  •  i've decided to end transactions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with this corporation on the basis of this information. Is there a non-complicit telecommunications company?

    you are human:
    no masters,
    no slaves

    by guidoreichstadter on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:10:24 PM PDT

  •  Narus customers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, peraspera, dynamicstand

    Narus is providing the equipment for this. Check out their customer list:

  •  It's Fascism boys and girls! (8+ / 0-)

    Yes, while the US Government is giving up dead soldiers to beef up your profits, why wouldn't you offer the most support you could for your "profit" protector. It's sick, that's what it is! This is the ultimate definition of "FASCISM" as I have ever seen.

    Fuckin' pigs!

    If they hate us for our freedom, they must really love us now! - MQAblog

    by FakeNews on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:12:30 PM PDT

  •  Time for Kos to set up HTTPS (21+ / 0-)

    A secure HTTPS server would encrypt all browser traffic to and from dKos.  Make it harder for the shitheels to eavesdrop.

    It wouldn't increase privacy, really, because the goons could always just come to the site themselves and see who's saying what.  But why make it easy for them?

    My rcommendation is for everyone to investigate how to encrypt EVERYTHING they do on the internet now.  From web surfing to email.  Why?  Because even people with nothing to hide believe that the Constitution guarantees that what we do and say is NONE OF THEIR GODDAMNED BUSINESS, that's why.

    All this bullshit has got to stop.

    A pessimist sees a glass half empty. I see a paper cup with holes punched in it.

    by Paper Cup on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:16:46 PM PDT

    •  Is it easy? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, means are the ends

      For people without tech skill ?  

      Democracy is not a spectator sport

      by Sophie Blue on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:09:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Encryption: Is it easy? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sophie Blue
        "For people without tech skill ?"

        Yes!!  It is!!  This whole diary caught me by surprise this afternoon (I rec'd it when it was way down the diary scroll, no way did I want to let this one scroll off, NOT).   So I haven't had time to put together information about "beginning encryption".    

        There are many who read at dKos who are much more knowledgeable and qualified to write a diary about online privacy and encryption issues than me.  So if I write a diary about "how to get started in encrypting emailed correspondence", it really will be a beginner's "how to."    

        I learned once, (from some masters and pioneers in this encryption field), and my steps were slow and cautious, but steady, until I could encrypt with facility.  And did.  (Still can but don't write anything to anyone anymore that I need to keep private.  I was on an early awareness curve, you could say, for the "interception and surveillance."  Not unless it's heavily encrypted.)

        After 9/11, I felt that correspondence emailed in encryption was now more of a target of interception.    The cypher community opinion on that seemed to be "encrypt everything, even your grocery lists and recipes, so that "they" would get overwhelmed with encrypted junk.  That still seems like a plan to me.

        Short answer:   email encryption is easy enough to learn and manage, if one is motivated enough to pay attention.  You gotta keep up with your pass phrases to your encryption keys, and you gotta keep those keys safe from compromise.  

        Otherwise, our most common browsers (IE and Mozilla and Safari) make encrypting email very seamlessly easy, once you have your keys generated.

        I will provide some links to sites that I recommend for getting started.     It's good that you asked the question.   Shows motivation already!

        •  thanks, (0+ / 0-)

          i appreciate your response.

          Democracy is not a spectator sport

          by Sophie Blue on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 03:05:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well... (0+ / 0-)
            since there seemed to be no interest (as usual on dKos whenever those of us in the privacy/security sector speak up here), I didn't bother to waste my time looking for and posting links.  My email is valid if you want more help with this.  I can't recommend it enough.  It's time for all of us who believe in our freedom of communication to learn to protect that freedom in cyberspace.  Way past time....
      •  It's extremely easy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sophie Blue

        Trivial for the end user.  You'd have to change your bookmark to the "https:/" address.  That's it.

        The downside for the site is that encryption would put a larger load on the CPU.  That might not be a trivial issue for a site that sees a huge amount of traffic like this one.

        A pessimist sees a glass half empty. I see a paper cup with holes punched in it.

        by Paper Cup on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 09:06:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our state house just found an internal hacker (0+ / 0-)

           NH.  I heard something that they found some cain and abel thing and then later something worse sequel/slammer.  And they traced it back to the guy at the statehouse.  I have last years Norton and firefox.  And i get a lot of intrusion alerts.  Plus i have to take it somewhere and get it hosed out so to speak as i have something in a zipped file and don't have a clue. I heard they want to ban encription, I just want to protect my privacy.  I wrote a long email yesterday and got disconnected and it disapeared.  So i'm not under any illusions about monitering.

          Democracy is not a spectator sport

          by Sophie Blue on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 03:12:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It would add one critical layer of privacy (0+ / 0-)

      Going to a secure server would keep the privacy of users, unless the users want to identify themselves publicly.

      Of course, anyone tapping traffic to/from dKos would still get a list of IP addresses of people accessing the site, and conceivably could correlate such traffic with the times posts appear.  Given enough such information, determining which IP address a given poster comes from probably wouldn't be terribly difficult.

      The only real method of foiling such analysis would be something like the TOR network of onion routers, and even that might not be enough if the entire TOR network were consistently monitored over a long period of time.

  •  I am really starting to feel sorry for all (17+ / 0-)

    those people who work at the NSA.  With 62% of Americans who think Bush is a complete dip-shit, just imagine how busy they are listening to all of our phone calls.  I know every one to any of my family members always contains at least 5 minutes of listing all of Bush's crimes against this country and what I would do to him if I could get him in a room for 5 minutes.

    Poor souls must be worked to death.

    Tell you what, i will make it easy for you, just ask and I will gladly tape record all my own phone calls and just send you the good stuff where I dare to speak my mind about our government.  I will even get them transcribed and sign them if you would like.  Just let me know where to send them.

    And if you want me to send the other stuff about my kids, rugby games or wood working projects, just let me know.  Who knows, maybe you really do care how my son did on his 2nd grade science fair project.

    --- Currently taking submissions for a new sig line ---

    by ETinKC on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:19:29 PM PDT

    •  My brother and I always go ballistic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when our phone conversation turns to Bush and politics, one or both of us will lose it.
      My brother thinks most of the Dems in Washington are "posers". (Republicans pretending to be democrats in order to have complete control of the government.)
      I'm sure we set off enough alarms at NSA to be monitored most of the time.  By the way, I often hear clicks too. Come to think of it, my Mom feels the same way too. - and all of my friends too.----
      Those people must be really, really busy.

      "United we stand, divided we fall"

      by Cassandra77 on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:37:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You wanna know the inside joke here? NSA doesn't (34+ / 0-)

    operate the "terrorist surveillance system". NSA's IT and computer functions were privatized in 2001 as part of Project Groundbreaker with the IT backbone, the computer systems that holds and analyzes all those domestic calls being operated by consortia of defense contractors and telecoms.

    Now, here's the punchline: corrupt GOP-linked intelligence contracting shops such as MZM (the Wade-Cunningham scandal) are doing contract intelligence analysis for the NSA and CIA.  Domestic surveillance is being operated by a bunch of Abramoff's clients, such as Lockheed Martin, ATT and Verizon -- the very companies that have bankrolled the scandalous Republican influence-peddling operations.  The GOP has been spying on Democrats, and Capitol Hill is an open book to multiple intelligence agencies, governmental and private, domestic and foreign. See,

    These scoundrels have access to the raw data and the computer intelligence from all of our communications, along with the "terrorist affinity" profiles NSA has developed on virtually all of us.

    Might there possibly be any more room for partisan abuse here?

    •  I wish I still was a drinking man (6+ / 0-)

      'Cause this is certainly a damned good excuse. I don't know about you-all, but can anyone even imagine how to stuff the demon back in the bottle? Sheesh.

    •  Yes, data security is key (14+ / 0-)

      Your point is excellent and I think the key element here, which the MSM rarely discusses, is data security.

      In other words, once this data is collected by the NSA, how do we know it doesn't secretely or overtly get misappropriated?

      Sure, the hardworking ground-level citizens at the NSA and contractors might think "we're not crooks, we're doing this to catch terrorists, etc."... but do they really know the data they are analyzing isn't ending up somewhere else, for partisan or mafia purposes?

      Most of the packets we generate on the Internet are assumed to be transient.  They go from point A to B and the space they take up on routers on the way, and even the destination, is quickly reclaimed and not recoverable.

      However, if that intensionally transient communication is PERSISTED, ON PURPOSE, by the NSA, then they have created a record which didn't previously exist, and thus is now open to abuse.

      Even if Bush were legally able to do this, he has created the perfect environment for criminal misuse of this data -- i.e. no independent oversight.

      And of course, once the NSA collects the data, it becomes possible for non-U.S. sources to get the data too.  

      It's actually AGAINST our National Security to wiretap everyone because it does the work of collecting the material for blackmail and espionage for the foriegn intelligence agencies.  

      This goes well beyond trusting the various web sites to protect your credit card info and social security number.  At least those entities usually have a financial stake in avoiding a leak.  Apparently, our executive branch has no such problem with said leaks.

      •  That outcome is the next 9/11 and it was foreseen (5+ / 0-)

        That's precisely the reason Richard Clarke asked to be transferred to the cyberterrorism watch after it became clear that the Bush-Cheney cabal would do nothing about the old-fashioned blow-em up and crash airplanes type.

        Mafia-intel incest is nothing new.  Just wait and see what they can do with all those socio-political affinity profiles and financial data.  Think of the creative destruction of whole industries and demographic groups.

        They have a lot riding on protecting the current liquidation and capital flight of U.S. markets and investments.    

  •  Why hasn't corporates gone over the edge? (16+ / 0-)

    I work for a software company and prior to that the health insurance industry. Every company has information that they would not released and are their trade secrets.
    Pending business deals, contracts, purchase orders are all done via the internet. Private and confidental business processes are now being monitored.
    WHY isn't Corporate America going NUTS?
    Did anyone wonder why the big legal action against Microsoft just got dropped and died?
    What did they have to give up or do to make it "go away"?
    Next issue, havent you always wondered how the Repugs kept all their congresscritters in line... think of the weird event of Senator George Voinovich crying on the senate floor before the vote for John Bolton... Why is it that McCain (NOT a supporter) folded like a cheep suite after the whisper campaign?
    What Sh*t do they have on the congresscritter?
    What Sh*t do they have on their wives/husbands?
    What do they have on their parents, brothers, sisters and kids?
    Whose life could be ruined?

    So if they keep them in line.... why wouldn't work on the reast of the population?

    THEN Think of this
    In the last 90 days..... what did you do via the internet that could put you at risk for identity thieft?
    Did you bank on line?
    Did you call and pay for a bill using your routing number and bank account?
    Did you fill an Prescription by phone or internet?
    Did you order something online?
    Did you donate to a politcal party?
    Do you recieve emails from Moveon, MichaelMoore, or True Majority?

    BushCo is big on oursourcing business
    Do you care that your personal information could be routed via the phone & internet to a private company who is working for NSA?
    Who controls that company?
    Just consider the recent hiring at DHS... YOU want someone like that with your information?

    This are my talking points
    When those idiots who say.... I do not care if they spy on me.... I have nothing to hide!

  •  This just came across my radar as well, it's huge (18+ / 0-)

    That Narus 6400 for example, which is a Semantic Traffic Analysis machine:

    The NARUS Analyzer Model 6400 supports up to six network interfaces and multiple hot-swappable components. Fully configured, the Model 6400 captures application-layer usage details via NARUS Semantic Traffic Analysis (STA) on up to six full-duplex 100 BaseT interfaces or two full-duplex OC-12 or Gigabit Ethernet interfaces simultaneously. With these advances, NARUS continues to offer the most scalable IBI platform in the industry. In April of this year, NARUS announced the conclusion of testing with Intel Corporation that demonstrated data collection at full OC-12 speeds with no packet loss. In May, NARUS, in conjunction with Convergys, demonstrated real-time usage collection and billing in a Voice-over-IP environment representing 50,000,000 active subscribers, and achieved a record 5,600 billing events per second -- over 400,000,000 events per day. These benchmarks prove the ability of NARUS solutions to support the largest and most demanding networks and services today.

    From another article:

    "In short, by seeing the 'semantics' of network traffic, service providers can see 'inside' the data, providing much more detailed insight about the use of the Internet and the perceived value of specific applications than existing technologies allow."

    Semantic Traffic Analysis uses network technology to consistently capture and analyze all IP data streams on heavily trafficked networks remotely and non-invasively. In addition, the semantics of the data stream are determined also, as well as the protocol used and the application taking place. A variety of other data is available as well.

    Remember semantics refers to the meaning of the data, not just the words. This machine can survey and datamine in realtime a almost incomprehensible amount of data. And from the actual EFF filing it is doing this to virtually everyone:

    "On information and belief, Defendants continue to assist the government in its secret surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans."

    And the EFF is going big, this is going to be huge if we can get the press on it:

    1. Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 23 (a) and (b), Plaintiffs Hepting, Hicks, Jewel and Knutzen bring this action on behalf of themselves and a Nationwide Class of similarly situated persons defined as:

                      All individuals in the United States that are
                      current residential subscribers or
                      customers of Defendants’ telephone services or
                      Internet services, or that were
                      residential telephone or Internet subscribers
                      or customers at any time after September 2001.

    Let's keep this on the rec list for as long as possible, so it gets picked up by the traditional media. This could kill BushCo.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:28:46 PM PDT

    •  Consider doing a diary on NARUS for us! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, sockpuppet

      The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function -- Edward Teller.

      by lgmcp on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:32:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe later tonight, I have to go to the vet soon (5+ / 0-)

        The really scary part to me about the Narus 6400 is that the capabilities I am talking about are circa May, 2000. With the doubling of that power every 18 months, which is to be expected per Moore's Law, it would be able be able to handle four times a much data, a total of 1.6 billion events per day.

        And that's only one machine in one data center. According to the article similar machines are in at least four other cities.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

        by bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:46:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  interpretation? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, collapse

      I don't see how they can come up with anything meaninful though - to me this reads like very high-level abstractions about what kind of packets are pumping through the device. I.e. "1,000,0000 http requests to - 400,000 bittorrent transfers - 33,000,000 ntp requests to". Can they really figure out what we're all doing individually?

      the semantics of the data stream are determined also, as well as the protocol used and the application taking place. A variety of other data is available as well.

      I guess my question is what "other data is available"?
      Are they just seeing "X number of type Y connections to Z" or are they able to see "Jett's browser just submitted this data to a form on this page on dailykos"?

      Howard Dean has a posse (buy my t-shirts so I can afford YearlyKos!)

      by Jett on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:02:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They can see and put together all of that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jett, sockpuppet, collapse

        IP addresses, content, users, etc. And its going after the semantics, the meaning, not just certain words. Although it may be looking for certain words to trigger more detailed analysis.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

        by bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:08:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  can they process it? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet, collapse

          We're talking about insane amounts of data, I don't see how it can be usable! I can't imagine what kind of storage capacity they must have to be able to store the vast amounts of data collected in a single minute, let alone everything going back to 2003. It's absolutely beyond belief that this is usable in any real way - assuming they are really pulling everything that goes over AT&T wires they basically are doing a continuous real-time capture of most of the internet.

          If NSA ever gets privatized Google is going to have some SERIOUS competition!

          Howard Dean has a posse (buy my t-shirts so I can afford YearlyKos!)

          by Jett on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:15:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  More like real-time surveillance of everything (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jett, PeteZerria, sockpuppet, walkshills

            It was capable (in May, 2000) of real-time monitoring an OC-12 line, which is 622+ Mbits/second. And would just capturing the things that semantically trigger their capture.

            The Israeli who founded Narus, Ori Cohen, was a technical guy with VDONet before Narus, working on very early media streaming. He has since founded another company, CRight, that is pretty secretive but seems to be working on enforcing copyright over PtoP networks like Kazaa. Narus, founded in 1997, is still private (although it has some funding from Israeli venture capitalists) and it is hard to find out much about it. But I'm doing some digging and will put up a diary later...

            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

            by bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 06:41:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Processed in real-time, 400,000,000 per day (0+ / 0-)

            And that was one machine in 2000. Should be about four times as powerful now. Can save VOIP streams for later playback, identify application and content, IP address (which leads to the individual), all that. Damned powerful, and damned scary. I've been in IT for over 25 years, and I've never seen anything that comes close to this with the exception of the FBI's Carnivore.

            "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

            by bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 10:30:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Narus features (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jett, frisco, sockpuppet, Kira April

        I am looking forward to bewert's diary later. In the meantime, check out these two optional software suites from Narus. I thought at first they just noted source/destination and type info, but reading further, it sounds pretty comprehensive to me.

        NarusInsight™ Intercept Suite (NIS)

           * CALEA- and ETSI-compliant modules for lawful intercept featuring a robust warrant management system. Capabilities include playback of streaming media (for example, VoIP), rendering of Web pages, examination of e-mails and the ability to analyze the payload/attachments of e-mail or file transfer protocols.
           * Proprietary directed analysis monitoring and surveillance module offering seamless integration with the NSS or other DDoS, intrusion or anomaly detection systems, securely providing analysts with real-time, surgical targeting of suspect information (from flow to application to full packets).

        NarusInsight™ Discover Suite (NDS)

        NDS supports detection of the following services and protocols for the purposes of billing, quality of service (QoS), planning, reporting, provisioning as well as blocking:

           * VoIP (SIP, H.323, MGCP)
           * Skype
           * Streaming media (RTP, RTCP, RTSP)
           * Peer-to-peer (Gnutella, BitTorrent, KaZaa, eDonkey, etc.)
           * Web browsing
           * e-Mail (SMTP, POP3, IMAP)
           * Messaging (IM, MMS)
           * Push to talk

        Damn. "the ability to analyze the payload/attachments of e-mail or file transfer protocols." Damn.

        •  can they see inside though? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Recognizing protocols isn't a big deal - our Pix does it for packet prioritization - the big deal is whether they can tap into it in real time - can they see 50,000 skype calls going over the network and tap the audio in any real way? if they can't it sounds like all they are really doing is filling up a shitload of hard drives with data that's only use is consumer profiling.

          Howard Dean has a posse (buy my t-shirts so I can afford YearlyKos!)

          by Jett on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:21:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, first (maybe second) level analysis (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jett, sockpuppet

            It's clear they are seeing type and and addr data, then make a choice. But doesn't it look like they're at least looking inside for content 'triggers'? Maybe they're not doing key words, maybe they're looking for patterns? Then they can feed the data according to a known pattern to a network storage system, flagged for further analysis. That's all you need. From there you can feed the 'qualified' data streams to NSA contractors for keyword and eventually human analysis.
            It's evil, which is a shame, 'cause it sure looks like a cool box.

    •  Narus and other packet-analysing systems (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peraspera, bewert, sockpuppet, snakelass

      I've noted before that I used to work for a major telecom equipment company. We would sit around and try to figure out ways to creat billing and control systems for our customers--the telecom providers--when the world migrated to pure-IP packet infrastructure systems.
      The issue was building big-assed packet analysis boxes with enough horsepower to be able to do the analysis in realtime.
      Scanning the Narus site, it looks like they're there. I understand Cisco is also in the game, and I imagine the other carrier-level IP equipment companies, such as Juniper, are as well.
      All routers take the traffic apart and analyse it packet-by-packet in order to make decisions about where to route it. The kicker is to be able to take the packet apart and evalute it for content-based decisions. Such as:

      • Per-packet charging...this is what's up right now in the network neutrality fight, where the telecos want you to pay by the MB.
      • Provide lawful intercept functionality. Tapping.
      • Deny access to certain functions. I don't want you to use my telecom DSL line to use Skype.

      Narus says:

      Unparalleled extensibility — NarusInsight’s functionality can easily be configured to feed a particular activity or IP service such as security, lawful intercept or even Skype detection and blocking.

      So in additon to enabling real-time access to your traffic for NSA and other "lawful intercept" (tapping), these guys can provide the teleco the ability to keep you out of Skype and other services. Cute, eh?

      This is just reality, folks. It's way beyond being able to stuff back in the bottle. Many of these features were in the bids were were responding to back in 2001/2002.

  •  I now make it a point (9+ / 0-)
    in most phone calls, and especially long-distance ones, to say a great big hello to all those nice, hard-working folks at the NSA. "You have a good day, now, you hear?"

    The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:29:03 PM PDT

  •  Has the Atlantic Monthly 'Big Brother' (8+ / 0-)

    April 2006 article been mentioned?

    Sorry, most is not online unless you're a subscriber, but they totally document how the big communication companies route EVERYTHING through the NSA's computers.

    And for a borderline wingnut publication (OK, it's not that bad, but it's hard on Bill O'Reilly's Far Left Fringe), that's  quite revealing

  •  Lately I've had all kinds of people complaining (0+ / 0-)

    They have a hard time hearing me when I'm talking to them on the phone.


    "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?"-- Micah 6:8

    by Mad Mom on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 03:42:20 PM PDT

  •  If you are into this: (6+ / 0-)

    Letter Senators Feingold and Kennedy sent to
    AT&T, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon about
    NSA participation (PDF file):

    A survey of telecommunications and Internet firms
    about NSA participation:


    •  The list of companies surveyed and their response (11+ / 0-)

      CNET asked telecommunications and Internet companies about cooperation with the Bush administration's domestic eavesdropping scheme. We asked them: "Have you turned over information or opened up your networks to the NSA without being compelled by law?"

      Company Response
      Adelphia Communications Declined comment
      AOL Time Warner No [1]
      AT&T Declined comment
      BellSouth Communications No
      Cable & Wireless* No response
      Cablevision Systems No
      CenturyTel No
      Charter Communications No [1]
      Cingular Wireless No [2]
      Citizens Communications No response
      Cogent Communications* No [1]
      Comcast No
      Cox Communications No

      EarthLink No

      Global Crossing* Inconclusive
      Google Declined comment
      Level 3* No response
      Microsoft No [3]
      NTT Communications* Inconclusive [4]
      Qwest Communications No [2]
      SAVVIS Communications* No response
      Sprint Nextel No [2]
      T-Mobile USA No [2]
      United Online No response
      Verizon Communications Inconclusive [5]
      XO Communications* No [1]
      Yahoo Declined comment

      • = Not a company contacted by Rep. John Conyers.

      [1] The answer did not explicitly address NSA but said that compliance happens only if required by law.
      [2] Provided by a source with knowledge of what this company is telling Conyers. In the case of Sprint Nextel, the source was familiar with Nextel's operations.
      [3] As part of an answer to a closely related question for a different survey.
      [4] The response was "NTT Communications respects the privacy rights of our customers and complies fully with law enforcement requests as permitted and required by law."
      [5] The response was "Verizon complies with applicable laws and does not comment on law enforcement or national security matters."

      Note that, as CNET put it:

      Companies that are backbone providers, or which operate undersea cables spanning the ocean, were among the least likely to respond.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:00:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What about Working Assets? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. - Thomas Paine

        by javelina on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:05:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Probably They Just Resell, Also What About MCI? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet, snakelass

          someone else's wholesale services or backbone.  You'd want to know whose services they resell.  I don't believe that they are a real telecom company, just a remarketing company.

          That likely applies to many other companies as well.  Some may reply no, but if they are reselling AT&T's backbone or wholesale services, then your info might still end up being a part of the NSA program.  

          By the way, what about MCI?

          It's interesting that Sprint Nextel did NOT cooperate in warrantless searches.  Sprint took a LOT of criticism for their privacy policy a few months ago, because they would NOT divulge info without a warrant:

          I'm still glad at least one major telecom company has been firm.  I hope that they stay that way.

        •  I have Working Assets as well... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          they use Sprint.

          "Watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, fanatical, criminal..."-7.75, -7.28

          by solesse413 on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 06:28:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fascist Police State Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

    Abu Gonzales is a piece of dogshit with legs.  The whole lot of them are totalitarian scumbags.

    "We are so small between the stars, so large against the sky . . . and lost amidst the subway crowds, I try to catch your eye." (L. Cohen)

    by proudtinfoilhat on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:00:49 PM PDT

  •  I paid to be wiretapped (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    AT&T used to sneak charges onto my SBC long-distance bill, which I would have removed, and finally got the account locked, but now SBC and AT&T are one.
    My phone lines are very old, and failed 6 times in 2005. Six times, with outages lasting days to weeks. I got each of the really nice repair guys to sign and date their business cards as they swore it was all fixed. And I got a cell phone, which beeps.
    I'd bet the NSA via the FBI dusted off names from the files of the 60's and 70's as a starting place to tap people.
    Hey people, let's all write postcards, and let NSA look at pictures while figuring out if "Wish you were here" is a coded message.

  •  Fuckers (16+ / 0-)

    Fuck Bush.  Fucking criminal motherfucker.

    Interecept this, you assholes.

    Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

    by Bob Johnson on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:18:48 PM PDT

    •  Omg - I don't know why (0+ / 0-)

      But I laughed so hard reading this I have tears in my eyes.


      Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

      by Kira April on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:08:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you took the words right out of my mouth Bob (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Johnson, sockpuppet

      I been swearing up a storm all day, even worse when the TV is on, and I hear all the lying justifications for all the shit going down.

      Who really knows exactly how much spying these guys are doing because they've already said they can do anything they want, FISA and warrants be damned.

      I just cant believe that Americans are going along with this shit, WTF WTF WTF    

      •  I'll tell you, mick... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, walkshills

        I want to see Bush's approval number in the single digits.  Maybe that's what it will take for ALL of our elected Democrats to gather the courage to call these criminals out and start talking impeachment.

        Hell, I'd be happy if they all just suddenly rose up and backed censure.



        Stop these criminals.

        Visit Satiric Mutt -- my contribution to the written cholesterol now clogging the arteries of the Internet.

        by Bob Johnson on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:38:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  AT&T = SBC = Cingular = Monopoly (0+ / 0-)

    Many people whill have a hard time switching services if they don't like what AT&T is about.  That's a shame.

    AT&T is also currently hoping to choke the Internet and squeeze more dollars out of it.  Congress recently chose NOT to ensure fair and equal access to the Internet.  So Congress is still feeding at the corporate trough.

    I know that all the major phone companies participated to some degree with the NSA spying. One wonders if AT&T was the worst.  I do recall that Sprint created a big stink a few months about by refusing to give out customer information to law enforcement.  So one wonders if other companies learned from this, or if they are all the same.

    This is truly outrageous.  I hope people understand it well enough to comprehend what this indicates about the NSA spying program.  So far, I'm not seeing any coverage on the mainstream media.  On the other hand, the coverage of Bush right now is, overall, so negative - that maybe it doesn't matter for now.  But if the story is lost in the white noise, no matter who gets in, this won't be corrected.

    •  Sprint Nextel did NOT participate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At least according to this posting:

      Also, see this story regarding Sprint privacy policy:

      Sprint took a lot of heat for being too careful with customer data after the above story.  I'm very happy about their respect for privacy though.  I hope they didn't give it all up.

      Does anyone know about MCI?

    •  So Congress is still feeding at the corporate tro (0+ / 0-)

      So Congress is still feeding at the corporate trough.

      And so are people who won't give up AT&T and other services. I own a business and refuse to get a cell phone and my business is fine without it. I have NO long distance service on my phone. If I need to make a long distance call I get a card or dial 10 10 321. People seem to think that they have to have a cell phone. That's like thinking you have to have cable t.v.  As long as we feed the machine they will get bigger and screw us. It's corporate America now and that is why we have all these problems. Bush is simply the dumb ass pawn.

      •  True, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Who is 10 10 321 and who are the real providers of their services and the services of your calling card?  I believe 10 10 321 is Telecom USA, which is owned by MCI - which like AT&T and apparently Sprint as well, may have participated in the NSA program.  Almost all the dial around services are just cheaper brands of the major phone companies.  Remember Lucky Dog, they used to do those under dog, scrappy, small company ads.  They were totally different than those big companies.  I believe they were AT&T, all along.  When it came out, they stopped advertising where I am.  It's the same with micro-brewed beers.  The majors took out the real micro-brewed beers very early, and then marketed these brands as a way to capture more market share.

        Many "alternative" products are just hand puppets for someone to soak up cash from people who won't buy from them under some other corporate guise.  Sometimes, the product is actually different, and that might be enough.  But often, it's mostly or entirely the same product - just different packaging or priciing.

        It's highly likely that the real providers of most calling cards most of us use are the big US phone companies also.  Those services may be sold by some fly-by-night company the card might even be in a different language, but usually they are just remarketers.  It's almost impossible to not be connected to them.  Right now you are likely connected to them on the Internet through some means.  My provider says that they have not participated in the NSA program and they have not been named.  But who knows.  I use diferent phones and communication modes for different purposes.  If one is busy, it's hard not to have many tools for communications.  But the fact is, the government has to set appropriate and constitutional rules and live by them.  And when it doesn't, we can't live outside of the world, we have to insist that appropriate laws be passed and wrongdoers be punished.

        Internet based phones may be one solution, at least in the short-term.  They are relatively new, and supposedly, until recently, internet phones were said to be technically difficult to tap.  However, there is no guarantee on that.  There are some providers, like Skype, that are outside the U.S., and may possibly continue to be difficult to tap, but even that is no guarantee.  It is said that if your phone call travels along any cable, it is likely tapped anyway.  I think this new NSA tapping is about the way in which communications were getting more complex.  It's possible they have been doing stuff like this for much longer, but new technologies were running around existing systems.

    Recommended by:

    Fuck you, you fucking bastards.  Get your asses to North Korea already.  

  •  Revolution! Revolution! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm pounding the pavement checking on the guvment...papa's in the basement mixing up the sacrement

    Coming to your town soon! The Social Security Adminstartion Electric and Power Company. "Omen Tuffy" 1918-1992

    by generic on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:57:59 PM PDT

  •  Write to Major Telecom CEO's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Geotpf, sockpuppet

    This letter  from Senators Kennedy and Feingold to the major telecom companies is useful.  Someone else linked to it below, so forgive me for relinking it.

    My purpose for relinking it is to provide the addresses for the CEO's of the companies the two Senators wrote to:

    Edward E. Whitacre, Jr.
    Chairman and CEO
    AT&T Inc.
    175 E. Houston, Room 1308
    San Antonio, TX 78205

    Gary D. Forsee
    President and CEO
    Sprint Nextel Corp.
    2001 Edmund Halley Drive
    Reston, VA 20191

    Ivan G. Seidenberg
    Chairman and CEO
    Verizon Communications Inc.
    140 West Street, Floor 29
    New York, NY 10007

    Check out the letter from the Senators. You can probably crib some good language from that to draft a quick letter.  Maybe someone has emails, but I think writing directly to the CEOs is probably most likely to get noticed.

    •  Whenever an issue raises my concerns.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Geotpf, joynow, sockpuppet, Esjaydee

      I seem to look, and find Feingold there.

      I may have to marry that guy.

      Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

      by Kira April on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:14:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did you see him call Roberts on that 2nd report? (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hornito, Geotpf, sockpuppet, hoolia, Kira April

        Late yesterday afternoon, he came to the floor to have a Point of Order filed on getting that second report on the CIA out, the one that Reid closed down the Senate over last fall. Roberts had to come to the floor to defend himself and ended up promising it would be out within 30 days. Feingold was really holding his feet to the fire on it.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

        by bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:56:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh I missed that dadgummit! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Geotpf, hoolia

          Thanks for recapping.  I swear, if there was a 'Russell Watch' website somewhere (I don't mean stalker-gawker type) - I'd be over it like white on rice.  He's an exciting voice in politics: intelligence, integrity and conviction.

          I've been to his progressive patriots site, donated, and signed up for his newsletter awhile back. But if there's an indy site, pass me the link!

          Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

          by Kira April on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 07:12:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Has ATT received any unusual favors or (0+ / 0-)

    rulings from Fed regulators since then?

  •  Is this why AT&T is allowed (0+ / 0-)

    to charge us all ridiculous fees and taxes up the ying-yang? Government rewarding them back for their cooperation?

    As long as people believe in absurbities they will continue to commit atrocities.Voltaire

    by Esjaydee on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:32:33 PM PDT

  •  he knows of similar installations in Seattle, San (0+ / 0-)

    .....he knows of similar installations in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

    Don't forget about New Jersey, Washington DC, Littleton Colorado, Houston Texas, Herndon and Reston Virginia.

    Friggin Trolls!

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 05:59:31 PM PDT

  •  And..... (0+ / 0-)

    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.

    Hmmm... who is VERINT?
    What do they make?

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 06:04:59 PM PDT

  •  May the co-conspirators be forced to.... (0+ / 0-)

    flogg themselves repeatedly with network cable until they bloody themselves.

    BushCo Policy... If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention. -3.25 -2.26

    by Habanero on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 06:07:12 PM PDT

  •  Appreciate all the tech talk, but..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a simple consumer concerned about this matter, below are the points I consider important or that I question.

    1.  Did illegal tapping and surveillance also include AT&T Wireless service?
    1.  I do believe a class action lawsuit is appropriate at this point - can anyone say "plaintiffs unite"?
    1.  I wonder if this action/program is what Russell Tice (the NSA illegal wiretap source) was speaking of when he said the "known" NSA wiretap program was only the tip of the iceberg.  Some of you will recall that he is prohibited from speaking with any of the House or Senate oversight committees (it's in the declassified NSA correspondence to him).
    1.  I bet ANYTHING that all of the telecom's - especially those consolidated since 2003 - are involved in allowing NSA (or other agencies) to have unfettered access to phone calls and data for the purpose of wiretapping, surveillance, and data-mining.

    This is huge, thanks for the diary.

    "Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status." --LJ Peter (-8.25/-7.18)

    by Hells Bells on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 06:12:49 PM PDT

  •  The only way to fight fire is with FIRE ! (0+ / 0-)

    Was there any expectation of privacy for your phone calls and email and internet sites visited ?

    HELL YES !

    I guess the only way to drive the point home about a citizen's need for privacy and respect for the 4th Amendment is to emulate the current state of diminished privacy we have and transfer that to our overlords and corporate toadies.

    What do you think would happen if half a million silent stealthy BLOGARAZZI'S started to publish names, addresses, photos and personal information about these thieves of our God given liberty ?

    Rich people make money using other peoples money... Republicans start wars using other peoples children.

    by fedupinca on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 06:47:42 PM PDT

  •  Donated to EFF. If you're angry - do the same! (3+ / 0-)

    They are a small, nonprofit group that is only as good as what they can afford, and have done immeasurable good towards protecting our privacy.

    Anger talks...but money walks and prosecutes.

    Help EFF

    EFF Victories

    EFF Cases

    I hope you'll join me and support them. I had no idea of what they've done for 16 years, and I'm ashamed that I let them fight alone.

    Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

    by Kira April on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 06:58:38 PM PDT

  •  Are we all under surveilance? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mary, frisco, sockpuppet, hoolia, walkshills

    Back in 2001 (pre 9/11) and into 2002, I was working on a large data-mining project for a financial institution. We needed to buy very large supercomputers for this system that cost $1M apiece. We only needed 3 of them but we were having trouble obtaining them on schedule because the NSA, using the same top-of-the-line machines, was at the same time exponentially growing their Echelon system large enough to theoretically monitor ALL calls and internet activity that they could get their hands on. Echelon has the most advanced voice recognition system anywhere and each of these big computers could, I think, handle hundreds of simultaneous calls, filing away the words said on the phone call, likely in all known languages and dialects. These records would be stored in a database and data-mined for whatever keywords, phrases, patterns, etc. If something suspicious comes up somewhere, the system looks at all other calls of that person and all people they communicate with, looking for patterns and the association tree grows... It's really scary stuff in the wrong hands, to say the least.

    By the way, the data-mining project I was working on was for all customer transaction data and we had started before 9/11 as a compliance measure for us to detect if any of our customers were using us for illegal money laundering and other transactions for which the company could be liable. After the Patriot act passed, ALL financial institutions were required to build the same kind of system and allow the various regulatory bodies (and the NSA) access to ALL of the data for their own pattern matching work. I don't know if the public is quite aware of that, but it's happening. It had a friendly name in the Patriot act called the "know your customer" provisions.

    When I was going to school many years ago, a professor suggested that, with all the modern computer technology and the advent of credit cards, ATMs, electronic banking transactions, etc.  that the Soviet Union's KGB would have been in heaven if they had all of that operational in their country and did away with cash. They would have a clear view into the most important areas of  their citizen subjects' lives. He also warned that if our government ever got hold of all this data on us and misused it... Tyranny.

    I haven't seen the movie, but I read in James Reisen's recent book "State of War" - EXCELLENT book by the way, he mentioned the movie "Enemy of the State" starring Will Smith (1999) was about the NSA being misused for the hunting down of a lawyer who learned about a corrupt politician's politically motivated crime using data mining technologies like these. It made the public very uncomfortable to think that the government might have that kind of capability. They actually weren't that far along yet, but it was quietly being developed at NSA and DARPA . Once Bush came in, it was dramatically accelerated. Remember Poindexter and his Total Information Awareness  (TIA) program? It didn’t get killed, like we were told. It just moved to the NSA. They now do have these capabilities, thanks to 9/11 and our collective fear.

    Just because there is not a camera pointed at you doesn’t mean that you might not be under some very close surveillance. You are. You may not worry personally, because your life isn’t that interesting and you aren’t doing anything illegal... Imagine what it must be like for a journalist or politician if this were turned loose on them without any sane oversight by a court.

    Wikipedia has a reasonable description of the Echelon system -

  •  I wonder if MCI (0+ / 0-)

    is in on it too

    Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge

    by Cat4everrr on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 07:18:07 PM PDT

    •  They all are (0+ / 0-)

      All of the communications companies share so much infrastructure in order to interact with each other that once you get into the networks at certain key parts of the country, you are effectively into all of them.

  •  So how much longer until (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They have the technology to view us through our t.v.'s like in Orwell's  'big-brother' story? Will the cable industry help our government too?

    I lead a very ordinary life with nothing to hide and yet this subject makes my blood boil. Leave my civil rights the fuck alone.

    As long as people believe in absurbities they will continue to commit atrocities.Voltaire

    by Esjaydee on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 07:22:32 PM PDT

  •  How Convenient (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Illegally eavesdropping just in time for the 2004 elections.

    ...and they passed in thought out to regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness.

    by rlharry on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 07:51:47 PM PDT

  •  It's Time for a Boycott (0+ / 0-)

    This is Something We can do about this nonsense.

    •  It's not just AT&T (0+ / 0-)

      Forget boycotts because it's not just AT&T. They are the ones named in this suit. ALL carriers share so much infrastructure that they are ALL involved. No escaping it. Besides, how do you think any of them made money during the price wars? It wasn't just from our piddly phone bills. They were all getting hush money from the NSA and looking the other way while all of it got set up. Yup.

  •  George Carlin, true then... (0+ / 0-)

    and truer now:

    ...A guy who used to be in Washington, knew that his phone was tapped, used to answer, Fuck Hoover, yes, go ahead...

    I love him.

  •  Be a pity if AT&T stock collapsed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ari Mistral

    Asa  result of betrayed customers 'acting out' in response to being search and perused without a warrant, and getting to pay for it.

    Better Still

    It sure would be a pity if a flurry of several thousand lawsuits hit the books.

    Somebody out there would suddenly miss class-action suits, I suspect.

    We're all Helens now. :)

    by cskendrick on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 08:17:45 PM PDT

  •  Narus Allies (0+ / 0-)

    Here's a link to the 2005 Identity Management Conference and Technology Showcase put together by Harris Miller.

    Interesting group of government and IT heavies. Speakers for this conference subtitled, "Creating a Trusted Identity," include:

    -- William Crowell, a director of Narus
    -- Gurvais Grigg, Unit Chief, Counterterrorism Division, Terrorist Financing Operations Section, Proactive Data Exploitation Unit, FBI
    -- Congressman Tom Davis, former Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, 1998-2002
    -- Jim Flyzik, Chairman, ITAA Homeland Security Committee, former Senior Advisor to Tom Ridge in the Office of Homeland Security, with 15 years in the IT management with the Secret Service
    -- Keynote speaker, Scott Charbo, Chief Information Officer, Department of Homeland Security

    There are many speakers with fairly detailed bios and potentially interesting relationships.

  •  Compromised integrity (0+ / 0-)

    "could be used to 'hack' into the AT&T network, compromising its integrity."

    They should have thought of that before they allowed the NSA to 'hack' into the AT&T network, compromising its integrity.

    Democracyfest July 14 - 16, 2006: The toolkit for taking back our democracy, disguised as a fun-filled weekend.

    by mataliandy on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 09:22:34 PM PDT

  •  sadly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's becoming more and more like the Hotel California.  You can check out, but you can never leave.  Sure, drop AT&T as your phone provider, and just cut off your phone all together but you would need to drop all your internets too. And the cell phone, the blackberry, the online gaming.

    It makes me wish for the pony express again.  

  •  Centrifuge. (0+ / 0-)

    Magazine permanganate Tegucigalpa Karachi nutrient opium Derry glock encryption Mt. Weather. Maraghela.

    A Senator YOU can afford
    $1 contributions only.
    Masel for Senate
    1214 E. Mifflin St.
    Madison, WI 53703

    by ben masel on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 04:29:10 AM PDT

    •  Blackwatch Plaid (0+ / 0-)
      Reducto: Every conversation is scanned for key words. Here, give me your phone, I'll show you.
      Harvey: Umm...
      Reducto: Hello. Mail bomb.
      Harvey: Uh, heh... um...
      Reducto: Assassination.
      Harvey: Hey, can I have that back? I just remembered...
      Reducto: Fertilizer.
      Harvey: ...I'm almost out of minutes.
      Reducto: Same-sex marriages. Patagonia. Nader for President.
      Harvey: See, nothing happened. Nobody's monitoring these things!
      Phil: [overlooking them] Huh, I always took Reducto for a libertarian.
      The inimitable Harvey Birdman. I hate it when my paranoia laffs are based in reality.
  •  Boy (0+ / 0-)
     a lot of people around here seem to be okay with this. Took a nip of the kookoolaid?

    Umm, if AT&T - SBC is your phone/ internet carrier, are your civil rights worth keeping their service?

    Maybe you should consider switching. I am NOT saying that AT&T is the only one - I am in the "all of them are doing it" camp. However, boycotts and service switches might have some kind of impact - especially among shareholders. And it might force AT&T to leak  the fact that everyone's doing it.

    See you in the gulag!

    by joojooluv on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 05:18:14 AM PDT

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