Monday, May 22, 2006

Stripping civil liberties one packet sniffer at a time

Speaking of Donklephant, they've got a nice analysis of Wired magazine's release of documents from the privacy lawsuit against AT&T. The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed the suit in response to the NSA phone database revelations.

What makes this whole thing especially alarming though, is that by tapping into AT&T, the NSA actually has access to much more than just AT&T customers’s data. Qwest was apparently the only major US telecom company that refused to work with the NSA on this program. So let’s say you’re a Qwest customer. You instant message a friend of yours who, unfortunately, is an AT&T customer. Because of the nature of IP routing, your traffic may very well have been routed through the NSA’s no longer very secret room even though you have no relationship with AT&T at all. According to Wired, ConXion, Verio, XO, Genuity, Qwest, PAIX, Allegiance, AboveNet, Global Crossing, C&W, UUNET, Level 3, Sprint, Telia, PSINet and Mae West were all compromised as a result of the fiber optic splitters that were installed at AT&T. The claim that this is targetted surveillance is growing much harder to believe,


More at the links. Check 'em out.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Dyre42 said...

The company I work for subcontracted a job from AT&T and we all had to take a 3 week long AT&T training course and here's an interesting fact I learned that explains why those other Companies were compromised:

AT&T owns more actual telephone wires than any other company in America. As a result many smaller carriers and ISPs lease their lines from AT&T.But its still AT&Ts equipment doing the work so AT&T has records as well.

5/22/2006 10:00 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

This didn't really surprise me, since I knew AT&T owns some of the backbone lines that carry much of our phone and Internet traffic. But it's a good reminder of how interconnected everything is.

5/23/2006 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a slightly different take on the eavesdropping debate. Firstly , I think ,as many people do, every tool should be used in finding sleeper cells. That said , not tools like torture that basically means giving up the high moral ground.
With the stance of the Bush administration after 9/11, I think no one should find it surprising they have all these different eavesdropping programs run by various agencies.
What is surprising and downright insulting to the many many sane and sensible people of this country is that the legislature did not have any oversight on this.
the power of the purse lies with the congress, and does congress not know that money was being spent in federal contracts for phone records?. that is hard to believe.
certain number of senators were briefed about the programs, what was the basis of selection ? red state republican sentors( Pat Roberts?),red state democratic senators with presidential ambitions (Jay Rockefeller) ?
The common thread that I see in the pattern of behavior of this administration and the conservative republicans politicians in general is that they feel that they have the high moral ground and they cannot do anything wrong.
Despite being a country, it is still a union of states , and the social contract that has been fashioned over years and years of debate has resulted in the most democractic country in the history of the world. And all this came by intense debate and transparency.and certainly not by a group of people sititing in the white house and deciding what best is for the country. that is done in states like china .
the people of this country have a say in what is best for the country. such decision making might be good for redneck cowboys, but certainly not good for,say, libertarian vermont. and the fact of the matter is that all this makes them(vermonters) feel powerless.
Karl Rove talks about permanent reblican majority,I think they lost it. actually they never had a thought of doing it right in the days of 80% approval ratings.
they dismissed all the people who disagreed with them and I must say they are reaping what they sowed
Gopal

5/23/2006 3:23 PM  

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