Week of 2.16.07
Whistleblower Mark Klein
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Klein prepared a statement and a number of documents describing what he calls a "secret room" at the AT&T Internet and telephone hub in San Francisco which he says holds a piece of equipment capable of sifting through large volumes of Internet traffic. The material has been submitted as part of a class-action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group, against the telecom giant. In the January 2006 suit, the Foundation alleges AT&T helped the security agency invade its customers' privacy.
The papers are a combination of corporate blueprints and Klein's observations. He alleges that AT&T used "splitters" to tap into gigantic fiber-optic lines that carry Internet traffic.
"These installations enable the government to look at every individual message on the Internet and analyze exactly what people are doing."
Klein said a piece of equipment—a Narus STA 6400 - was installed in the facility at AT&T. Narus manufactures data-mining devices that allow organizations to sift through the information in Internet traffic and identify nuggets of interest in e-mail, users' Web-surfing and Internet phone calls.
The documents, which Klein gave to a number of news outlets before the court sealed them, have been made available by Wired News. It is not clear whether the documents published by Wired were the same as those at the heart of the lawsuit against AT&T. Wired acknowledged it could not say for sure, because the records were sealed after the document were first obtained by the online news outlet. Wired has said the AT&T documents "appear to be excerpted from material that was later filed in the lawsuit under seal."
"The telltale sign of an illicit government spy operation is the fact that only people with security clearance from the National Security Agency can enter this room."
For its part, AT&T told NOW in a statement that it is fully committed to protecting its customers' privacy and does not comment on matters of national security.
The full file of evidence compiled by Klein is available at Wired: Whistle-Blower's Evidence, Uncut
» Wired: Wiretap Whistle-Blower's Account
» Wired: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room
» Wired: The Ultimate Net Monitoring Tool