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The AT&T Whistleblower's Evidence 405

Posted by Zonk
from the what-he-knew dept.
hdtv writes "Wired News has published the details of NSA wiretap and revealed former AT&T technician Mark Klein as the main whistleblower, specifically covering the evidence he presented when he came forward." From the article: "In this recently surfaced statement, Klein details his discovery of an alleged surveillance operation in an AT&T office in San Francisco, and offers his interpretation of company documents that he believes support his case. For its part, AT&T is asking a federal judge to keep those documents out of court, and to order the EFF to return them to the company."
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The AT&T Whistleblower's Evidence

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  • Re:This Just In (Score:5, Informative)

    by IAmTheDave (746256) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {ds-evademanesab}> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:19PM (#15358803) Homepage Journal
    Actually, THIS just in - AT&Ts request for return of evidence denied [wired.com].
  • Re:Stupid article (Score:5, Informative)

    by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:52PM (#15359180)
    There is absolutely no possibility that it's something like an AT&T monitoring system to make sure that its employees are not committing fraud, hackers are not abusing the network, etc...

    Not only did he not have access to it, but he also stated: "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."

    The NSA doesn't monitor communications businesses for fraud, hacking, etc. That's not their job. Their job is signals/intelligence collection and analysis. A room in a datacenter that's off-limits to everybody but people with NSA security clearences is basically screaming "I'm a massive phone/data tap".
  • State secret? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jd (1658) <imipak @ y a h o o .com> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:58PM (#15359239) Homepage Journal
    The Government is apparently trying to get the evidence quashed independently, claiming state secrets priviledge. (The Wired article claims that this comes from UK Common Law, but UK common law comes from the Magna Carta and the Magna Carta made no such provision. Indeed, it stated clearly that nobody could be denied the right to justice, and that courts were forbidden from ruling on the basis of a single person's unsupported testimony, which is what a secrecy order without proof would be.)


    In the same way that a trade secret that becomes public ceases to be protectable as a trade secret, I would have though that this would cease to merit any protections as it is self-evidently no longer secret, whatever the state may say.


    So, on the basis that state secrets does NOT appear to be a valid piece of Common Law, and that there is no secret left to protect, I can see no justification for quashing this evidence. Furthermore, as the documents HAVE been published openly, AT&T have lost all rights to their claim of trade secrets, and so I can see no obvious justification of the evidence even being sealed. We already know what the bulk of it says, as it's online!


    The argument over who is right and who is wrong is, in this case, largely academic. The tapping has already been done, the publication has already been done. All the damage either side could possibly suffer is all past-tense. What is present-tense is what arguments either side present to justify their actions, and what evidence they are permitted to present in support of their claims.

  • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @02:20PM (#15359431)
    The worst ones are the fuckers that voted for him in the 2nd round, and now are all disappointed and disaproving.
    WTF?
    They couldn't see that the guy has no clue about terrorism, liberty and security until after all his ideas costs us thousands of lives, loss of rights, and loss of international credibility?

    I actually heard people say they're glad about security checkpoints at stadiums and other family venues.
    I lived in a communist country once, and I can tell you, in some respects this place is just as much of a big brother as the ex Yugoslavia.

    And to even think that they chose 2 guys for Commander in Chief and VP who have never actively served in a war, and went as far out of their way as they could so as not to serve, over a decorated veteran. (In a time of war, no less.)

    I'm proud to be an American, well at least I know I'm free...
    Yeah, you guys keep singing that...
  • you are a tool (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 18, 2006 @03:14PM (#15359888)
    it is Dems like you that keep my from joining after I left the GOP.

    Al Gore lost the election it was not handed to Bush by the Supreme Court

    BZZZZT, wrong! The official recount was filibustered with help from the supremes. Subsequest recounts by the media showed Gore DID have more votes in FL.
  • What? (Score:2, Informative)

    by GuloGulo2 (972355) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @03:30PM (#15360050)
    "UK common law comes from the Magna Carta"

    Hmm, that's funny, you seem to be completely wrong.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law [wikipedia.org]

    "In 1154, Henry II became the first Plantagenet king. Among many achievements, Henry institutionalised common law by creating a unified system of law "common" to the country through incorporating and elevating local custom to the national, ending local control and peculiarities, eliminating arbitrary remedies, and reinstating a jury system of citizens sworn on oath to investigate reliable criminal accusations and civil claims. The jury reached its verdict through evaluating common local knowledge, not necessarily through the presentation of evidence, a distinguishing factor from today's civil and criminal court systems."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Charta [wikipedia.org]

    "Magna Carta (Latin for "Great Charter", literally "Great Paper"), also called Magna Carta Libertatum, was an English charter originally issued in 1215. Magna Carta is the most significant early influence on the long historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today."

    So, even though common law existed before the Magna Carta, it was...based...on...the...Magna Carta...?

  • Re:This Just In (Score:3, Informative)

    by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:12PM (#15360370)
    I'm reminded of a certain politician from when I was in high school in Kenya. He was found dismembered, burned, shot, and in bag in the river.

    Official verdict: Suicide. "It could happen to anyone," was the judge's quote. (I think he was thinking it could happen to him.)
  • by abb3w (696381) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @04:41PM (#15360664) Journal
    I am also curious where in the Document you find such a power granted to the states

    In the very fine print. Article I, section five [cornell.edu]: "Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings".

    Section 603 (in sec. LIII) of Jeffereson's Rules [gpo.gov] of the House of Representatives (omitting crossreferences, emphasis added):

    [...]there are various methods of setting an impeachment in motion: by charges made on the floor on the responsibility of a Member or Delegate; by charges preferred by a memorial, which is usually referred to a committee for examination; or by a resolution dropped in the hopper by a Member and referred to a committee; by a message from the President; by charges transmitted from the legislature of a State or Territory or from a grand jury; or from facts developed and reported by an investigating committee of the House.

    I don't know where the GP post got two states from; as far as I can see, it only takes one state legislature filing charges to start a bill of impeachment. Not that such means the House has to pass the bill if the charges show up; and the Senate doesn't get (legally) involved unless the House passes the bill. But charges sent by a state legislature are enough to start the process. Of course, a lot of bills of impeachment have been introduced in our history; most have been killed quickly, one was aborted by a resignation, and two went to trial in the Senate. It's not until either of the latter looks likely that things get interesting.

  • How old are you? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cagle_.25 (715952) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @05:08PM (#15360917) Journal
    You have a different version of the 70's in your head than I do.

    Impeachments aren't waiting in the wings, held back by some action from an administration. They are brought to the person in question based on actions, lying to grand juries, etc (ask the last president)

    Actually, if two states file for impeachment, the Congress has to start proceedings.

    It's this thing called the Constitution: learn it, love it.

    We have to remember the last Presidency to fall for this was for just using tape recorders to tap just one phone, which then revealed taped conversations in only one room (the Oval Office) - the information in those tapes was what resulted in the hearings.

    Oh, and there was some issue of a quagmire of a war that we didn't need to fight that was bankrupting the nation for no reason. no historical correlation to today, of course ...

    Nixon resigned because of the Watergate scandal which climaxed with the the Watergate tapes, uncovered by Mssrs. Woodward and Bernstein.

    But he wasn't impeached. He would have been, of course; articles of impeachment were already being planned. However, he wasn't, so the last President to "fall for this" would have to be Andrew Johnson.

    More importantly, Nixon's troubles had very little to do with his role in Vietnam. The country had been unhappy about Vietnam, and they were unhappy with the incident at Kent State (which led to the CSN song about "four dead in Ohio"), but the nation didn't blame Nixon for the war per se.

    For one thing, our involvement in Vietnam ramped up under Kennedy and Johnson. For another, Nixon was the one who brought the troops home. Here's a timeline for ya: here [uiuc.edu].

    Nixon did make a couple of unpopular Vietnam decisions, such as the Cambodia and Laos actions, but by '74 when he resigned, the nation understood that the troops were coming home.

  • by abb3w (696381) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @11:16PM (#15362965) Journal
    The small committee briefed on these NSA programs is prohibited from discussing the programs anywhere outside the briefings. So what is a committee member to do if they have concerns?

    If sufficiently concerned over the issue, raise the issue on the floor of the house in question, before the entire house in secret session. While there are potentially serious repercussions to such a move, up to censure or expulsion from that house (subject to the internal rules), that's the most that can happen. Congresscritters have a constitutional immunity from prosecution by any other body for anything they say there. (Article I, section 6: "for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place" [cornell.edu].)

    If done in the Senate, one need merely find an amenable party member willing to trustingly second a Rule 21 [senate.gov] motion to raise the issue with some deference to secrecy, which may help prevent expulsion. In the House of Representatives, secret sessions are governed by Rule XVII, clause 9 [gpo.gov], and it looks like you don't even need a second to close the House. Technically, I suppose a sufficiently pissed member need not even close their house to secret session before starting the debate... but that likely would make the consequences under internal rules much more serious.

    Of course, while outright expulsion would be unlikely for a closed session debate (takes too many votes, and is too likely to make an instant political martyr), there's a real risk of losing the committee seat, along with any others held; it's also not exactly the sort of thing that engenders future interbranch co-operation, or comprehensive briefings to the oversight committee. The current White House would throw a howling excretory tantrum. However, I would hope that my elected officials would know when to start making a stink. This needed a stink a long time ago (or, less preferably, a change in the law before the laws got broken).

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