Saturday, November 10, 2007

Did AT&T give the NSA unristricted access to the entire Internet?

According to this article in the Seattle Times, a former AT&T tech named Mark Klein is going to go before Congress and testify that the NSA came to AT&T and worked out some kind of arrangement where they'd have access to all web and phone traffic.

ALL of it.

Without warrants.

Carte blanche access to everything.


"In an interview this week, he alleged that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the help of AT&T and without obtaining a court order."

Apparently they built some secret rooms in various AT&T facilities with some pretty advanced equipment:

"...Glass prisms that split signals from each network into two identical copies. One copy fed into the secret room. The other proceeded to its destination, he said.

"This splitter was sweeping up everything, vacuum-cleaner-style," he said. "The NSA is getting everything. These are major pipes that carry not just AT&T's customers but everybody's."

Check out the rest of the article. It's a very serious accusation, and if it turns out to be true, it's a huge, huge deal.

The Patriot Act is started our country down a slippery slope that has, allegedly, resulted in this. I can't help but wonder if the inherent conflicts between privacy and "national security" will result in "the Constitution hanging by a thread."

Photo courtesy of Gizmodo