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The AT&T Whistleblower's Evidence 405

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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  • by gentimjs ( 930934 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:13PM (#15358738) Journal
    This Just In: NSA Whistleblower's body found dead in burlap sack on side of road only hours after his identiy made public...
  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:14PM (#15358749) Journal
    Mark Klein is a great American hero and a patriot.

    Expecting the neo-con mod-down in 3...2...1..
  • Update on lawsuit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Paladin144 ( 676391 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:20PM (#15358811) Homepage
    From the summary: 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."

    Forbes has an article [] on how the EFF has won the first round by getting the judge to agree that the documents should be released. Of course, AT&T will get a chance to scrub them clean of "trade secrets", a loophole they will no doubt abuse. However, at least the judge is showing a willingness to get down into the nitty-gritty.

    • State secret? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jd ( 1658 ) <> 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.

      • I thought a trade secret that was revealed through an illegal act was still a trade secret. Somebody stealing documents and releasing them wouldn't void the trade secret status, however if the documents was lost in a public place by a person authorized transport the documents would, of course IANAL.
  • by SpaceLifeForm ( 228190 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:20PM (#15358823)
    EFF Link [].

    Documents remain sealed, but remain in evidence.

  • Pfff. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kunwon1 ( 795332 ) * <> on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:22PM (#15358837) Homepage
    Nothing will come of this.

    When the evidence surfaced, there was the usual fracas about rights and privacy and yadda yadda, and then nothing got done for a few days. Then, the contents of this so-called secret room became public knowledge (Those commercially available network monitoring devices that were mentioned in a previous slashdot article.)

    Those few days were more than enough to completely change the contents of that room. I'm not saying that that is what happened, I'm just saying that there is no way for us to know if the contents of the supposed secret room stayed the same. What would you do if you were the NSA and you were monitoring a goodly percentage of internet traffic and got found out? You'd try your damndest to hide it, because you're the NSA and that's what you do.

    Plus, if any of this gets successfully filed under 'Homeland Security' you're never going to get a judge to do anything but blow smoke.
    • Re:Pfff. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tweekster ( 949766 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:50PM (#15359153)
      Not to mention the great journalistic integrity of the mass media managed to simply say "Well no one should care because it is for catching terrorists"
      The daily show had a nice montage of the so called journalists not bothering to uncover a real story.

      I dont get journalism, their is this prestige of it that people that go into journalism for ala Woodward and Bernstein. But they end up covering "so and so turned 100 today and she has this to say" and "Your house just burned down, your family was murdered, tell us how you feel"

      Then this oppurtunity comes along and they do nothing.

      When are people gonna start making journalist jokes similar to lawyer jokes. Both professions do have "good people" in it, but many many of them are just hacks and should not be looked up to.
  • by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:27PM (#15358891) Homepage Journal
    Yes, it does []:
    Narus' product, the Semantic Traffic Analyzer, is a software application that runs on standard IBM or Dell servers using the Linux operating system.
  • In every email message mention cocaine, opium, attack the instillation, anthrax, bombs, nuclear, atomic & etc.

    wouldn't this slow down the efforts?
    • In every email message mention cocaine, opium, attack the instillation, anthrax, bombs, nuclear, atomic & etc.

      congratulations. somewhere deep in the bowels of washington DC, the NSA server monitoring this website has just received its first slashdotting.

    • A hunch (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gabesword ( 964485 )
      Call it a hunch but I believe that if not now, then definatly in a few years, words like torrent, mp3, and avi will work just as well as bomb or Jihad. Our government has been bought and paid for and today's terror monitoring is tomorrow's corporate sponsored public monitoring.
    • In every email message mention cocaine, opium, attack the instillation, anthrax, bombs, nuclear, atomic & etc. wouldn't this slow down the efforts?

      Back in the olden days perhaps, but you can bet the modern snoopboxes are programmed to look for too many occurrences of keywords too close together and perform linguistical analysis of their contextual usages in order to filter out and ignore the spookbait.
    • Addressee Unknown (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There's a story called "Addressee Unkown" by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor that might portray a more realistic outcome rather a DDOS. You've gotta remember the NSA has a lot of hardware -- they are government.

      In the story, two friends correspond: one who left nazi germany for the states and one who stayed. The one who stayed started justifying the nazis, which pissed off his buddy who was a Jew. For retaliation, he started writing back dropping Jewish references. The guy in Germany started freaking out asking
  • by rxmd ( 205533 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @01:35PM (#15358980) Homepage
    T&T technician Mark Klein as the main whistleblower
    Wild guess: was it a 2600 Hz whistle?
  • Note the inferences from internal documents that such rooms were built not just in San Francisco, but in Seattle and other cities.

    Also note that this is literally vacuuming up all the message traffic which bounces thru all these locations, even if it's US to US.

    Theoretically, they could then disregard traffic that is US to US, but the tendency among intel agencies is to always build it so that you can inspect the raw flow when you want to.

    Another easy thing they could do is just "backup" the call logs from
  • by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @02:01PM (#15359270)
    This goes back to an argument my someone I know and I have had over this. She's mostly pro-Bush, I... voted for Badnarik because of Bush. I support law and order... real law and order. I think that national security is never a justification for attacking due process of law. Even if we have to have secret trials by jury because the evidence is so dangerous, I don't think things should be hidden from the courts.

    Like a lot of Bush supporters, she cites the leaks of information as reasons to not take this to court, but I say just prosecute people who leak information that needs to be confidential and that the public really doesn't need to know about. However, national security is never grounds to hide from judicial review attacks on the Constitution. People who bring evidence of criminal or unconstitutional actions need to be protected by the courts.

    Something has to be done to protect these people. If I were governor, I would give him a state police protection detail and make it be known that any federal agent who tries to arrest him will be charged with felony kidnapping in a state court. The states need to stand up and protect their citizens. My state, VA, has an obligation to me to protect me from unconstitutional federal abuse because if the feds act outside of the enumerated powers, it's state jurisdiction and any federal coercion in that respect is criminal conduct. Federal agents who abuse, injur or kill people, especially outside of the Constitution's limits on their jurisdictions are criminals, not law enforcement agents and ought to be prosecuted by the the states accordingly.
  • BUSTED! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @02:04PM (#15359293) Homepage Journal
    got 'em dead to rights as I read it. now, if this was authorized under the telecom act, no issues. if not, the class-action lawsuit and the pending FCC investigation should bankrupt the long-haul companies that implemented the spytaps.
  • by harshmanrob ( 955287 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @02:05PM (#15359305) Journal
    Mark Klein and all others who expose these attacks against American's civil liberties are true heros to the Republic. These neocon scumbugs know their days are number and will have to go all out on police state in order to continue against the American people, who are the REAL suspect and criminals behind 911, not some fantasy outfit called al Qaeda/make believe war on terror.
  • Missing the obvious (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tiber ( 613512 )

    Folks, the Big Thing everyone is missing here is that any clown with a packet sniffer can see just about anything.

    Chances of this turning into some giant impeachment proceeding? Nil. Why? Because similar to the pen registers (which are also warrantless), there is no assumption of privacy on the internet. Everything sent in plaintext is plain to see. Now, should the NSA be required to get a
    • Now, should the NSA be required to get a warrant to break the encryption on encrypted data? Yes, there is an assumption of privacy. Can they log it without breaking it? Absolutely. Having your encrypted data in still encrypted format does not violate your privacy.

      Do you really that the NSA is just archiving all this data to tape, hoping that if they need to decrypt it at some unknown future date that they would first go get a court order? If you do then I have a bridge in New York that I'd like to sell you
    • "Folks, the Big Thing everyone is missing here is that any clown with a packet sniffer can see just about anything."

      That's not true. You can only see what's going on on your local network. OTOH, this government program is reviewing practically all internet traffic. Do you see the difference there? I can probably sniff what my neighbor is reading on my cable link, but I won't be able to sniff what Joe Nobody is doing clear on the other side of the country (unless I hack into routers/machines on his network
  • Wireless (Score:2, Interesting)

    by soapee01 ( 698313 )
    Does anyone know if cell phone records are lumped in? I was considering a switch to Cingular. I may just wait and see how this plays out.
  • How-to (Score:5, Funny)

    by Delusional ( 574271 ) on Thursday May 18, 2006 @03:01PM (#15359775)
    Just a note to our current administration - Orwell did not intend 1984 to be a how-to.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"