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AT&T Accidentally Leaks NSA Suit Information 274

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-a-big-oops dept.
op12 writes "CNET has an article describing how AT&T accidentally leaked sensitive information involving the NSA lawsuit. From the article: 'AT&T's attorneys this week filed a 25-page legal brief striped with thick black lines that were intended to obscure portions of three pages and render them unreadable. But the obscured text nevertheless can be copied and pasted inside some PDF readers, including Preview under Apple's OS X and the xpdf utility used with X11. The deleted portions of the legal brief seek to offer benign reasons why AT&T would allegedly have a secret room at its downtown San Francisco switching center that would be designed to monitor Internet and telephone traffic. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which filed the class action lawsuit in January, alleges that room is used by an unlawful National Security Agency surveillance program.""
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AT&T Accidentally Leaks NSA Suit Information

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  • by MarkByers (770551) on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:47PM (#15413206) Homepage Journal
    But the obscured text nevertheless can be copied and pasted inside some PDF readers, including Preview under Apple's OS X and the xpdf utility used with X11.

    Looks like Slashdot is informing readers how to avoid document protection mechanisms. I hope you don't get sued under the DMCA!
  • Oh crap (Score:5, Funny)

    by Intron (870560) on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:47PM (#15413210)
    Now xpdf will be banned under the DMCA.
    • heh heh - I wouldn't worry about that to much - believe it or not Acrobat 7 managed to export all the "redacted" text perfectly fine too.
  • by BrynM (217883) * on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:48PM (#15413215) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:
    Lawyers for the Justice Department have offered to fly a courier from Washington to San Francisco with classified documents that Walker could review in private--documents that, in the eyes of the government, will convince him to dismiss the lawsuit. (The Bush administration also argues that EFF lawyers should not be permitted to see the classified information.)
    I can just imagine what's in those documents... "here's a picture of your granddaughter next to one of our agents at school... here's a picture of your toothbrush - I wonder what's on it... Here's a picture of your wife sitting at home masturbating thinking she was alone (heh)... Here's a picture of you and your secretary."

    Sorry, but with this administration, it's hard not to assume some underhanded strong-armin^^^^^ persuasion.

    • by packetmon (977047) on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:57PM (#15413263) Homepage
      Cryptome [cryptome.org] has had copies of these documents for some time (about a week). You should take some time to read them. This gentleman falls in line with Michael Lynn who lost his job for disclosing Cisco's flaws. With the government wanting to monitor everything and its mother, I think it serves them right to have the truth exposed. If you'd like an interesting read, read on:

      mass surveillance of the entire population is logically plausible if NSA's domestic spying is not looking for terrorists, but looking for something else, something that is not so rare as terrorists. For example, the May 19 Fox News opinion poll of 900 registered voters found that 30% dislike the Bush administration so much they want him impeached. If NSA were monitoring email and phone calls to identify pro-impeachment people, and if the accuracy rate were .90 and the error rate were .01, then the probability that people are pro-impeachment given that NSA surveillance system identified them as such, would be p=.98, which is coming close to certainty (p_1.00). Mass surveillance by NSA of all Americans' phone calls and emails would be very effective for domestic political intelligence.

      But finding a few terrorists by mass surveillance of the phone calls and email messages of 300 million Americans is mathematically impossible, and NSA certainly knows that. The Politics of Paranoia and Intimidation [counterpunch.org]
      Anyhow, here's an unredacted excerpt:

      In January 2003, I, along with others, toured the AT&T central office on Folsom Street in San Francisco -- actually three floors of an SBC building. There I saw a new room being built adjacent to the 4ESS switch room where the public's phone calls are routed. I learned that the person whom the NSA interviewed for the secret job was the person working to install equipment in this room. The regular technician work force was not allowed in the room.
      • by Speare (84249) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:22PM (#15413383) Homepage Journal
        Here's a little "political-cartoon-style" diagram I put together a week ago on this topic: http://halley.cc/2006-05-16.hidden.agenda.jpg [halley.cc]
      • mass surveillance of the entire population is logically plausible if NSA's domestic spying is not looking for terrorists, but looking for something else, something that is not so rare as terrorists. For example, the May 19 Fox News opinion poll of 900 registered voters found that 30% dislike the Bush administration so much they want him impeached. If NSA were monitoring email and phone calls to identify pro-impeachment people, and if the accuracy rate were .90 and the error rate were .01, then the probabili
      • "But finding a few terrorists by mass surveillance of the phone calls and email messages of 300 million Americans is mathematically impossible"

        I disagree - if the government finds out someone is a "terrorist" (which I think is a loaded term in this day and age, so I use quotes), they could use some pretty sophisticated machine learning algorithms to find what networks he's in if they have access to his phone records. People tend to clump in certain social networks, and phones calls are a decent way of deter
        • Wow... Six degrees of separation. Let me tell you what recently happened to me after getting a new phone number in my house... Seems the previous user of this number had credit issues up the wazoo... So let's ponder me getting a number that was used by a terrorist. Should I be labeled guilty by association. Your arguments on this are rather weak. There is no algorithm for determining which communication a terrorist is going to use. After all this same administration touts that the wily terrorists are using [usatoday.com]
        • Additionally he is infinitely more likely to make contact with enemies of the state than the average person.

          Do you really think that White House calls are in the record?

        • by bunions (970377) on Friday May 26, 2006 @09:38PM (#15413922)
          People tend to clump in certain social networks, and phones calls are a decent way of determining this.

          This is exactly what the NSA is using the records for. No one is sitting there recording 2 billion phone calls a day. They're building a large call graph and using it as an investigative aid.

          http://www.cogitoinc.com/articles/gsn.htm [cogitoinc.com]

        • Where are my mod points when I need them? The parent is the most sensible post I've seen so far on the topic. The purpose of creating such a "web" of connections is to segment the population and assign guilt by association with suspicious people. For example, there's a very real chance that if anti-terrorism funding hadn't been cut in 2001 and certain people had been on the ball we'd have stopped some percentage of the September 11th hijackers. However, without some segmentation algorithm that could div
      • But finding a few terrorists by mass surveillance of the phone calls and email messages of 300 million Americans is mathematically impossible

        That's an interesting* assertion that I see no proof of in the linked article. And of course, it rests what feeble attempts at proof on (a) complete guesswork and (b) the assumption that phonetapping is the only factor in identifying terrists. That entire article is a complete nonsequiter.

        *by 'interesting' I mean 'stupid'

    • I can just imagine what's in those documents... "here's a picture of your granddaughter next to one of our agents at school... here's a picture of your toothbrush - I wonder what's on it... Here's a picture of your wife sitting at home masturbating thinking she was alone (heh)... Here's a picture of you and your secretary." Sorry, but with this administration, it's hard not to assume some underhanded strong-armin^^^^^ persuasion.

      Excuse me, *this* administration. You lost quite a bit of credibility on t
      • Right, but not every single administration does. Thus, his statement was appropriate
      • by evilviper (135110) on Friday May 26, 2006 @10:46PM (#15414141) Journal
        Excuse me, *this* administration. You lost quite a bit of credibility on that one. *Any* administration can do such things. Read up on President John F Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy's surveilance of Martin Luther King.

        Excuse me, *Kennedy*. You lost quite a bit of credibility on that one. Read up on FISA and specifically what year it was enacted.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        What JFK did or did not is irrelevant because, at the time, wiretapping-at-will was legal. Telephone conversations were not considered private at the time (you know, with manually operated switchboards, crosstalk, reconnections, you could not reasonably expect your conversation to be private. Kinda same way as if you screw your wife in the park, then sue the city for 'violating your privacy': there is no expectation of privacy at the setting.

        NOW, since 1978, due to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act http [fas.org]
  • room 101 (Score:2, Funny)

    by robinesque (977170)
    The secret room is room 101.
    Duh.
  • by Volante3192 (953645) on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:52PM (#15413236)
    So, if there really are...
    benign reasons why AT&T would allegedly have a secret room at its downtown San Francisco switching center
    then why did...
    the Bush administration [submit] a 29-page brief that elaborates on its argument that the case should be tossed out of court because of the "state secrets" privilege?

    Seems like if they didn't do anything illegal they have nothing to fear.
    • Well, the Bush Administration submitted it because they are indirectly involved. While EFF is going after AT&T it has to do with the government and therefore they have an opinion.

      It may not have to do with anything specifically in this case, but it may be more of a general "the government can do what it wants because we're at war so you shouldn't be looking at anything that involves a government agency on the front-lines of the war against terror" type of thing.
    • Better question...

      Why hide an argument that something is benign unless you don't want people to have a chance to refute it?

      That's like claiming state security before secretly claiming you had nothing to do with something.

      If you had nothing to do with it, you should be able to say that publically.
      • "If you had nothing to do with it, you should be able to say that publically."

        Well, when it comes to national security, that's not entirely true.

        It's sort of like the old nuclear weapons on ships thing. "We will neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board this vessel." If they didn't have any, why not just say so? Because, we want to keep our enemies guessing.

        I'm not saying it's a good reason...
        • It's sort of like the old nuclear weapons on ships thing. "We will neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board this vessel." If they didn't have any, why not just say so? Because, we want to keep our enemies guessing.

          Well, yes, but in reality it's because if one could find out which ships didn't have nuclear arms, one then immediately knows which ships do...

          The funny thing about the government's actions in this case is that it seems that they are essentially admitting to breaking

    • Because lawyers will argue 69 different reasons why something should (or shouldn't) be done. If they can get the case thrown out under the state secrets privilege, the issue of whether the room exists or not will never see the (legal) light of day. It would be a big dodge for the government.
    • Seems like if they didn't do anything illegal they have nothing to fear.

      Likely true. But that still doesn't mean that you are either entitled to know what they were up to, or that you will find out.
  • Didn't we see one of these backrooms in takedown [imdb.com]?
    They went to see some fat guy who traced the calls for feds from there.
  • What's amazing is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thealsir (927362) on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:52PM (#15413239) Homepage
    That the US as a whole doesn't seem to give a shit about this. Look at the results of polls. Ranges from general aloofness to "it's good for National Security(TM)." Look at T's stock price. Huh, normally a company with such an incriminating lawsuit wielded against it would take at least somewhat of a hit in price (though the markets ARE very wierd right now). It seems that the techie crowd are the very small minority of folks who actually care that their phone calls were tracked without ANY precedent in the first place. We're not talking warrantless tracking, we're talking completely random warrantless tracking. What was the saying in Rome? Feed the masses and give them entertainment, and you can do anything to them.
    • by slashes (930844)
      I totally agree to what you're saying. Their stock has NOT taken too much of a hit admist all of this controversy. But I do think there are other people, not just us 'techies' who actually do care what's happening. What I find funny about all this is how AT&T still denies that the room had anything to do with the NSA program. I mean, honestly, who in here DOESN'T THINK they were eavesdropping? I think they knew perfectly what was going on, what was happening, and how this was illegal.
    • "That the US as a whole doesn't seem to give a shit about this."

      Well, as others have pointed out, there may be some mitigating factors here, such as people more concerned about privacy being more unwilling to participate in these polls.

      "Look at T's stock price. Huh, normally a company with such an incriminating lawsuit wielded against it would take at least somewhat of a hit in price (though the markets ARE very wierd right now)."

      On the other hand, a company that makes $$$ from the NSA to do the agency's di
    • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:31PM (#15413424)
      The population as a whole can not conceptialize the power of correlated data. They see shopping "club cards" and see that they get a better price. They watch "24", and see that the bad guys are caught cause their license plates are pulled up in 5 seconds (all bad guys drive their own vehicles, of course!).. they see stoplight cams taking pictures of license plates as making the streets safer..

      We geeks deal with data every day. We understand that patterns can be drawn from it, often very incorrect patterns based off of incomplete data.

      The non-geeks cannot comprehend that in the next very few short years, they will get a knock on the door, and the police will say, On Thursday, at 8am, you shopped at the grocery store on 10th street, bought a bunch of bannana's and some milk. 20 minutes later, you were seen driving buy at 3MPH over the speed-limit on this street, which is only 5 minutes from the grocery store. You had better account for exactly what you did during that 15 minutes, because we are placing you under arrest for a crime that was commited in that area at that time. We also see that you have called your nephew 3 times in the last month, who was served 6 months (several years ago) in jail for an assault. And you give money to the ACLU, which makes our job harder.
    • Well, I don't think the stock price is really that good an indicator. Yes, it may be illegal but I suspect the fallout would be almost purely political. Either Bush and the NSA will get it dismissed, or they can blame them. In any case I don't think it'll reflect very badly on them.
    • by rbochan (827946) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:58PM (#15413540) Homepage
      That the US as a whole doesn't seem to give a shit about this....

      The US government must think that Americans are lazy, brainless sheep who will shut out even the most obvious evidence that criminals are running the country. I mean seriously, only the most idiotic... Oh look! American Idol is on!

  • by cdavies (769941) on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:53PM (#15413244) Homepage
    I swear, I've heard about so many instances of this exact same attack, I stop feeling sorry for the idiots who are surely going to get fired for this.

    If it's not people who don't really understand how postscript works, it's people who don't realise those 4MB word files contain more than just the visible part of the document....
    • by Bogtha (906264) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:15PM (#15413353)

      Ever think that somebody was "stupid" on purpose in order to leak the information without going to jail? After all, assuming that they haven't had training in computer security and the specific software in question (after all, who is actually trained to create PDFs?), a prosecutor have a hard time proving that they should have known better.

      • I used to produce a moderate number of documents to be released as PDF for general public consumption and discovered a long time ago that you can do things like hide text behind objects (like a picture or a box) and then later on in acrobat be able to move the object to reveal the text. I was always very tempted to put easter eggs in the pdfs, but never did.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:59PM (#15413272)
    Every educated person should now know that black bars in PDF do not remove what is under them. There were several high-profile cases in the press by now.

    In addition, do these people not employ any security experts that tell them how to do this right? Making clean (text) documents is really easy: Export to ASCII, remove text, import as ASCII. But obviously this low-tech approach needs a qualified high wizard of computing today.

    Not that I mind that these amoral scum got bitten.
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:05PM (#15413301) Homepage Journal
      That destroys the formatting and makes your work look very unprofessional. There are better ways to redact information from a PDF.

      The biggest problem is that it's a paradigm shift for these people and they're not ready for it. The "Black Bars" always worked with regular documents, but when they were forced (against their will) to switch to electronic documents many people tried to find ways to make all of their old procedures work with the new format. This always happens when you force people to switch to technologies they're not comfortable with, and throughout history has been an enormous source of lost productivity and security leaks. The kind of people who are making these mistakes aren't the kind of people who read Slashdot, they're the ones that are thankful when they can finally go home every night and get away from those godforsaken computers for the rest of the day.
      • The biggest problem is that it's a paradigm shift for these people and they're not ready for it.

        I completely agree. What really anoys me is that these people think they understand what their machine does. They do not. They need expert advice. The experts need to be competent and payed well. If that is too expensive, stay the hell with non-computerized technology!

        Also why has everyting to be typeset? What is wrong with ASCII?
      • To secure an electronic document that you wish to publish while still concealing some information is a three-step process. One, you print the document to a virtual printer that renders each page as a high resolution monochrome png (lossless compression) document. Two, you go into your image editing program and open up each png file, putting black bars over all the text that you wish to secure, and then three, you import those images as pages for a PDF, performing OCR on them as nesssary to reduce the siz
        • I've seen software which does this -- Except it's a TIFF file, and the plain text is captured directly from the print file rather than OCR.

          Also, FWIW, the story is incorrect -- one can copy-paste the text using Windows Adobe Reader 7.
      • That destroys the formatting and makes your work look very unprofessional. There are better ways to redact information from a PDF.

        Since PDF is basically Postscript, when something adds bars to the PDF, couldn't any thus-obscured text glyphs be simply removed from the document? This shouldn't be rocket science.
    • by (H)elix1 (231155) <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:05PM (#15413302) Homepage Journal
      Not that I mind that these amoral scum got bitten.

      But did they? I mean, if I wanted to sow disinformation, hiding something with the intent it might be found is a great way to it.

      (/me double checks tinfoil hat... and peeks outside for black helicopters)
    • Better yet, fax it to yourself. Still, Adobe or whomever is responsible for generating these PDFs really should try to export the maximally-flat expurgated version including only what's necessary to draw what the user sees.
    • Actually, I'm willing to bet that the black bars were put in there using Word, then the whole thing was exported to PDF. Same net effect, though. As someone who blinds electronic manuscripts for peer review, I'm amazed by how many people don't get this simple concept. The method that I've found that works best is just replacing said text with a series of XXXXs. If you have any leeway with page-flow, insert random numbers of XXXXXXs in there. If you don't, then hope that others can't use the length of the XX
      • As someone who blinds electronic manuscripts for peer review, I'm amazed by how many people don't get this simple concept. The method that I've found that works best is just replacing said text with a series of XXXXs.

        Well, if somebody knowledgeable does this, it works. I have reviewed postscript papers that where anonymized by the authors. Unfortunately they forgot that some PS generation processes list the user name at the beginning of the file....

        Also the my original comment about ASCII-Expoert and re-imp
        • Good points. The reason I only do the XXXXX part is because the review system we use does PDF conversions that remove all the extraneous metadata and hidden crap. There's a whole lot of identifiable information that gets tucked away in various property tags and whatnot that people don't know about. You basically need to go through your files with strings or a hex editor to make sure none of it's been left behind.
          • You basically need to go through your files with strings or a hex editor to make sure none of it's been left behind.

            The few times I did this for one of my own papers, I looked at the PostScript file with a text editor (the header and footer are really the only critical place in dvips generated PostScript) and additionally did a ''grep'' for my name. Worked well, but is definitely experts-only,
      • The method that I've found that works best is just replacing said text with a series of XXXXs.

        You're method will not work in the general case.

        Specifically, your algorithm performs poorly if you want to remove all occurences of the phrase 'XXX' in a document.
    • Every educated person should now know that black bars in PDF do not remove what is under them.

      FTA:

      "In an ironic twist, the NSA published a 13-page paper [com.com] in January describing how redactions could be done securely."

      Maybe AT&T is trying to show that they're not just a sock puppet of the NSA. Or maybe the NSA is sneaky enough to try and hide that AT&T is merely a sock puppet.

      Damn, I'm snickering so hard that I can't find my tinfoil....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26, 2006 @06:59PM (#15413278)
    You think they would sue the ones actually responsible for making this all happen, you know, the fucking government?

      Suing AT&T really misses the point...
  • by jthill (303417) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:06PM (#15413308)
    This is a multinational corporation with its global reputation on the line, not some band of trolls that can't abide sunlight. They have very, very smart people running their response. Their bland, everything's-fine, "we're just innocent li'l good boys doing what we should" arguments aren't even remotely plausible candidates for secret filings. It's a dodge, meant to convince the people who want to trust them and divert the ones who don't.
  • You see? (Score:4, Funny)

    by cno3 (197688) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:10PM (#15413324) Homepage
    This is what happens when you outsource your redacting responsibilities to overseas contractors.
  • Amazingly Sloppy (Score:5, Informative)

    by flooey (695860) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:15PM (#15413350)
    Considering they're apparently working with the NSA, it's amazing they were this sloppy. If you've ever seen an NSA release of a classified document that's been scrubbed, it's always very clear that it's either a document that someone has physically overwritten with a black marker and then scanned (such as here [nsa.gov]), or a document that was edited on a computer, printed out, and then scanned back in again (such as here [nsa.gov]). They do that precisely so there's no traces of old information left in there. I'm surprised they didn't lend their trick to AT&T.
    • ...done poorly. Black marker over lines, missing letters. Black marker over then photocopied, resulting copy could be held to the light to read the redacted material.

      Some people are simply idiots, sloppy, or rushed.

    • Re:Amazingly Sloppy (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kaenneth (82978)
      The NSA has really strong document rules. Any kind of photographic film, electronic device, so much as a furbie isn't allowed in their work areas, they have multiple sets of telephones, to keep the secret and very secret stuff separate. along with lie detector tests, and background investigations of their employees (not just pulling a credit/criminal records, they send people to talk to employees 1st grade teachers...) very little could get through.
    • Considering they're apparently working with the NSA, it's amazing they were this sloppy.

      Hmmm... could this be taken the other way? Their sloppiness/ineptitude being "proof" (or at least consistent with) the belief that they have no connection to the NSA?

  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Friday May 26, 2006 @07:34PM (#15413435) Homepage Journal
    But now we just let them spy on us, arrest us without warrants, ship American citizens off to foreign prisons to be tortured for years without any formal charges, and turn the Constitution into confetti for their personal profit.

    That said, the NSA has never been that legal, from a constitutional view, but noone is willing to challenge their existance, most likely due to fear or threat of tag teams of government lawsuits, IRS audits, and other tricks used by those who wish America to live in Fear.
    • by Polarism (736984) on Saturday May 27, 2006 @06:47AM (#15415223)
      On the whole, the concept of the agency is great, vital to the nation.

      The problems come in when required legal processes are ignored by the powers that be.

      I feel ashamed to have worked under that agency for a couple of years. What is going on here is against the very mantra they preach to you regarding the performance of your duties. Violating the laws against collection on US Citizens used to be about on the same level as screwing a horse. Now it seems to be quite acceptable, at least by the upper echelon of management.

  • Anybody thinks that this stuff was ruled over? It's very heavy underlining I tell you. Ok, it is so heavy, it covered the text, but it did its task and got it onto /.
  • this news won't make any sort of news outside the internet.... what a sad state of affairs...
  • Stupid EFF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jhylkema (545853)
    Knowing their history [theregister.co.uk], we will probably have it soon enshrined in our caselaw that the President may spy on any American anytime he wants for any reason or no reason.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 26, 2006 @09:53PM (#15413983)
    For those who cannot read the redacted pdf brief [politechbot.com] online, here are the parts in bold italics that the lawyers did not want you to read.
    Plaintiffs contend that the Klein Declaration is itself sufficient to make out a prima facie case on their statutory claims. But even if one focused only on the two claims as to which plaintiffs make any argument, the Court could not determine the validity of those claims without first evaluating information covered by the government's state secrets assertion. Plaintiffs' suggestion that they need only show that certain communications have been split off into a "secret room" strips multiple elements from the statutes on which their claims are based and glosses over numerous issues that would have to be explored if their claims were ever to be fully litigated.

    AT&T cannot confirm or deny any of the facts on which plaintiffs' complaint is based. But it is certain that the Klein Declaration and its associated exhibits are insufficient to demonstrate any illegal conduct by AT&T. Plaintiffs offer no evidence regarding what, if anything, actually happens to any data once it allegedly enters the alleged "secret room." Plaintiffs' purported expert provides merely "suggestive" configurations between unknown equipment in an AT&T facility. See Declaration of J. Scott Marcus In Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. 32) 74. His strongest opinion, explicitly based "in terms of media claims" is conditioned entirely on a supposition: "if the government is in fact in communication with this infrastructure." Id. 39. Plaintiff's purported expert, of course, has no knowledge whether this is true or not.

    Even accepting their allegations as true, plaintiffs' declarations fail to establish their claims. Key factual issues that bear directly on the viability of their legal claims and AT&T's defenses are subject to the Government's state secrets assertion and are unavailable. Without either confirming or denying the plaintiffs' assertions, AT&T notes that the facts recited by plaintiffs are entirely consistent with any number of legitimate Internet monitoring systems, such as those used to detect viruses and stop hackers. Although the plaintiffs ominously refer to the equipment as the "Surveillance Configuration," the same physical equipment could be utilized exclusively for other surveillance in full compliance with the terms of FISA - which even the plaintiffs themselves would not contend is unlawful. See id. 40 ("The SG3 Configurations could be used for a number of legitimate purposes."). The mere existence of these so-called configurations, even if plaintiffs' allegations were accurate, would not by itself be prima facie evidence of what - if any - information is intercepted or divulged or by whom. And it certainly is not prima facie evidence of any illegality. Plaintiffs fail to establish even a prima facie case that there has been an "interception" of "contents" within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 2510(4) & (8), whether there has been "electronic surveillance" within the meaning of 50 U.S.C. 1801(f), and whether particular statutory exemptions do not apply, see, e.g., 18 U.S.C. 2702(c). Certainly nothing compels the inference that the contents of communications of "millions of ordinary Americans," (Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Dkt. 30) at 11), have been divulged to the government, in contradiction of the government's statement that communications are intercepted only if the government has "a reasonable basis to conclude that one party to the communication is a member of al Qaeda," or otherwise affiliated with al Qaeda. Press Briefing by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and General Michael Hayden, Plaintiffs' Request for Judicial Notice (Attachment 2) (Dkt. 20).
  • by Analogy Man (601298) on Friday May 26, 2006 @10:32PM (#15414107)
    From the decoded text the following here are the contents of this and other secret rooms:

    • A massive stockpile of red Swingline staplers
    • Jimmy Hoffa (NSA got to the horse ranch first...oh how they'll laugh at the Christmas party)
    • Massive stash of Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft "home movies" from Frisco area bath house during W's coke days
    • Osama and 72 virgins
    • Geraldo Rivera
  • Call me paranoid, and I'm sure some will jump at the opportunity faster than a "Slashdot First-post"-er, but haven't we noticed a relatively recent trend in communications companies merging? The Bells coming back together in spite of the original, successful and effective purpose for separating them? Internet and wireless companies all converging?

    At first, I believed it was all only the "pro-big-business" leanings of the current administration. Now I'm beginning to believe it's quite a bit more. Conside
  • by Transcendent (204992) on Friday May 26, 2006 @11:57PM (#15414358)
    But the obscured text nevertheless can be copied and pasted inside some PDF readers, including Preview under Apple's OS X and the xpdf utility used with X11.

    Also works with the normal Adobe Acrobat Reader 7.0 for Windows. No DMCA mumbo-jumbo... whoever did it just had no idea what they were doing.

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.

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