– so don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your Uncle Sam to see.

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Mark Klein, the former AT&T technician, who happened to also be the one to blow the whistle on the NSA, and its overarching interest in the online habits of everyone in the nation, seems to have some other things to say.

The story was first reported in Wired magazine, in April 2006, and detailed how the technician received a visit from an NSA representative, and how later he watched, from a distance, the installation of the eavesdropping equipment that has caused such a brouhaha.

from Crooks and Liars website

If you have any reservations about Congress granting immunity to telecommunications companies like AT&T for illegally spying on Americans, this segment from last night’s Countdown should leave little room for doubt — they have, and continue to betray us and should be held accountable for their crimes.

Likening himself to a character from Orwell’s 1984, retired AT&T technician and whistle blower, Mark Klein, tells Keith Olbermann about his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during which he pleaded with them not to grant immunity to the telcom companies. Klein contends that his former employer is lying to the American people and that they were not only spying on overseas communications, but virtually ALL domestic internet and phone traffic — and they have been doing it for years.

Olbermann: “In talking to Congress today what did you hear? Did you get the sense that anybody is ready to go after not just the telecom execs, but the government officials who ordered this?”

Klein: “I couldn’t tell, I’m not a politician and they play their cards close to the vest. All I can do is emphasize again, that they’re copying everything, this is a violation of the Constitution, it’s domestic traffic, it’s phone calls as well as e-mail and something should be done to stop it and Congress should not kill the judicial process.”

Update:  In yesterday’s New York Times, Senator Russ Feingold  points out the obvious:  “Telecom companies that cooperate with a government wiretap request are already immune from lawsuits, as long as they get a court order or a certification from the attorney general that the wiretap follows all applicable statutes.”

 

link to the Windows Media video here

from DailyTech website

Referring to the equipment itself, Klein states, “the splitter device has no selective capability, it just copies everything. We’re talking about domestic traffic, as well as international traffic, and that’s what got me upset to begin with.”

It’s important to note that what actually went on inside secure room 641A — what was actually being done with the data that it was fed — has yet to be discovered. However, the room contained several racks of equipment fine-tuned for data mining, including a Narus STA 6400, a device designed specifically for analyzing Internet communications “at very high speeds.”

Forged amongst the dust settled after 9/11, President Bush signed an order allowing U.S. intelligence agencies to monitor international phone calls and e-mail messages of thousands of people inside the United States without a warrant. This program was uncovered in December 2005, when the New York Times printed an article that would eventually push Klein to disclose his experiences, and sign an affidavit testifying in a January 2006 class action lawsuit filed by the EFF.

According to Klein, an NSA agent appeared at AT&T’s San Francisco switching center, interviewing management-level technicians for a “special job.” Shortly afterwords, Klein observed the construction of secure room 641A, which was housed adjacent to AT&T’s international- and long-distance call-routing #4ESS equipment. Eventually, said Klien, he ended up tasked with patching in optical splitters from the secret room and into AT&T’s production, backbone switching equipment.

 

If you watch the news, and don’t read newspapers, it is entirely possible that the small details of this might have escaped you, as many times the worst problems are glossed over, in an attempt to mollify the public, while still maintaining the ability to claim transparency.

[tags] NSA electronic surveillance, NSA wiretapping, AT&T cooperation, San Francisco location, Narus STA 6400, Mark Klein [/tags]