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The AT&T Whistleblower's Evidence

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-he-knew dept.

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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This Just In (5, Funny)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358738)

This Just In: NSA Whistleblower's body found dead in burlap sack on side of road only hours after his identiy made public...

Re:This Just In (5, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358755)

Police have ruled it a suicide. News at 11.

Re:This Just In (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358809)

According to police reports the victim had a total of 14 bullet wounds in the chest and head.

"In all my years on the force, this is the worst suicide I've ever seen," said Office Malone.

Mod up, not down (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359006)

What moron modded this troll? It's hilarious! If you're too slow to catch the joke then you shouldn't be allowed to connect to the Internet, let alone moderate.

Re:Mod up, not down (1)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359187)

Yes, and sadly they can still reproduce. Strike the can, they will reproduce.

Re:This Just In (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358893)

The police officer a the scene commented : "The victim died from seven stabbing wounds to the back. Each of the wounds led to instant death. It is a typical case of suicide. The suicide is further confirmed by a farewell letter printed on a laser printer."

Re:This Just In (0, Redundant)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359040)

You missed: "His body had 11 gunshot wounds to the chest, blunt trauma to the head, and 45 stab wounds in the back and spine....Police have ruled it a suicide." :D

Re:This Just In (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358758)

This usually happens before an identity becomes public. And it never becomes public after that.

Re:This Just In (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359115)

There are exceptions [wikipedia.org] though, when it doesn't happen the "usual way".

Re:This Just In (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359250)

May be he liked something more than his life (kids, e.g.) and given a choice by the interested party he chose to die.

Re:This Just In (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359205)

In this case doing that would be "taking care" of thousand of employees. I guess that explains why one of them survived.

Re:This Just In (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15358777)

This Just In: NSA Whistleblower's body found dead in burlap sack on side of road only hours after his identiy made public...


More like Guantanamo... with trumpt up charges of being a terrorist.

Re:This Just In (5, Insightful)

Salty Moran (974208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359035)

Some supporters of the Bush Administration have actually seriously suggested that blowing the whistle on this out of concerns of illegality SHOULD result in serious prosecution and detention.

In fact, I monitor Little Green Footballs from time to time, and I thought to check the LGF spin on the matter, and one of the first things they did with the NSA phone database story was focus on the fact that it was a leak, not the concerns of the apparent illegality of the program.

Re:This Just In (5, Informative)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358803)

Actually, THIS just in - AT&Ts request for return of evidence denied [wired.com] .

Re:This Just In (5, Funny)

fusto99 (939313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358955)

From the article:
A federal judge Wednesday shot down telecom giant AT&T...
So does that mean AT&T was found dead on the side of the road?

Re:This Just In (2, Funny)

draggy (30660) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359096)

in 5 bags of ascending length. raising the bar!

Re:This Just In (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359171)

The guy is a technician in a central office. What did the man do, aside from plug in equipment, to qualify him to know what "secret equipment" was installed in the central office? Oh yeah, I forgot, AT&T provides all field technicians advanced electronics training allowing them to figure out what is and is not "top secret" equipment.

I bet the training AT&T provided was "Green lights are good, yellow lights are yucky, and red lights mean lunch."

The technician's document looks like it was prepared by an attorney, not a technician from ITT. C'mon now, how many technicians use words like "behest" or "notorious" or "flagrant"? I'd believe it came from the tech if he used words like "wurk", "'lectricity" or "outhouse".

And how many technicians, much less anybody, reads the NYT and believes even a word of it? Please! What the media should really focus on is the Flying Spaghetti Monster. As all slashdot readers know, the FSM is behind the NSA.

Paranoid neo-con opinion notwithstanding... (4, Insightful)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358749)

Mark Klein is a great American hero and a patriot.

Expecting the neo-con mod-down in 3...2...1..

Re:Paranoid neo-con opinion notwithstanding... (1, Insightful)

nuzak (959558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358798)

> Expecting the neo-con mod-down in 3...2...1..

Expect "insightful" mod-ups for your content-free post before I finish typing this. The only thing worse than asshat moderators are people who think themselves martyrs to the moderation system.

Just missed it (0, Offtopic)

GuloGulo2 (972355) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358844)

It actually took a few minutes.

MOD ME UP, YOU MODDERATOR BICCHES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359326)

"he only thing worse than asshat moderators are people who think themselves martyrs to the moderation system."

And the ones that actively antagonize the moderators to squander their points to downmod a troll are even more worse!

Re:Paranoid neo-con opinion notwithstanding... (4, Insightful)

surefooted1 (838360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358840)

Yep, that is what it is all about. People have long since forgot what being a true hero and patriot really meant. You don't have to grab a gun an form a milita to do your part. Well, you may if you wait long enough.

More people need to stand up and expose governments ( Not just the U.S. [slashdot.org] ) for what they really are. Fight back people.

10 bucks on... (was:Paranoid neo-con opinion...) (3, Insightful)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359069)

Ten bucks on Mr. Klein soon to be sued by AT&T, and pursued by district attorney for thieft of AT&T company property (namely the said documents.)

Re:10 bucks on... (was:Paranoid neo-con opinion... (1)

Trigun (685027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359235)

and pursued by district attorney for thieft of AT&T company property

Hopefully he only made copies, then it would be a case of copyright infringement, and we could settle this *AA thing once and for all.

Re:Paranoid neo-con opinion notwithstanding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359281)

God forbid we wait until the facts acutally surface.

No, instead, we'll assume that we know what's going on, and make a vacuous, meaningless comment touting patriotism and avoiding any real discussion.

Shouldn't you be running the country Mr. President?

Re-education (1)

bohemian72 (898284) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358781)

I guess we know who's next.

Re:Re-education (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358808)

Nature boy.

We ALLs next!

redupe (0)

glens (6413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358795)

Same article as posted here from earlier. His name is the updated part.

Do you follow this site at all, Zonk?

Re:redupe (1)

glens (6413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358848)

My bad. Must've been a link provided in a reply to another take on the topic.

Update on lawsuit (4, Interesting)

Paladin144 (676391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358811)

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 [forbes.com] 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? (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359239)

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.

Court ruled yesterday (4, Interesting)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358823)

EFF Link [eff.org] .

Documents remain sealed, but remain in evidence.

Re:Court ruled yesterday (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359068)

Why weren't these docs put up on the net before a judge had time to order them sealed? I'm calling for full disclosure.

Interesting (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358830)

Well, having read the article, this Mark Klein guy is probably telling the truth, as far as he knows. He editorialises in a rather overtly conspiratorial tone, but from his description of the <A HREF="http://froogle.google.com/froogle?client=ope ra&rls=en&q=juniper%20m160&sourceid=opera&oe=UTF-8 &ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wf">equipment involved</A>, one can see he's not fooling around.

I'm sure that if they have a few of those $100k routers in that mystery room they can wrangle more than enough data for the government's needs.

Re:Interesting (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358890)

Or, conversely, I could actually allow Slashdot to format the HTML... equipment involved [google.com] Use the Preview Button! Check those URLs!

In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (1, Flamebait)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358833)

The bush presidency is like a dam with a crack in it. At present, the crack is fairly small, but water is leaking out and the crack is widening. The question is, when will the dam finally burst? When will we see headlines talking about impeachment? When will people finally wake the fuck up and say enough is enough? Will there ever be an end to the war on terra? Will we ever see a terror level below yellow? Does anyone believe the bushit?

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (1, Offtopic)

IAmTheDave (746256) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358930)

Does anyone believe the bushit?

Well, yeah. Which is why the damn _hasn't_ burst, talk of impeachment _hasn't_ surfaced, etc. etc.

I'm with you. It's amazing to me that so many people so willingly allow themselves to be utterly snowed.

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (3, Funny)

ignorant_newbie (104175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358965)

>When will we see headlines talking about impeachment?

don't be silly, impeachments are about sex, not abuses of power. Noone is giving the pres a blowjob in the oval office, ergo, no impeachment.

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359324)

I'm willing to pay for a hooker if it'll get him impeached.

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358977)

The question is, when will the dam finally burst? When will we see headlines talking about impeachment?

Yes, that is a horrible, witless analogy. 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).

If you're paying any attention to this story beyond simple partisan axe grinding, you'll find that people like Bush's arch-nemises in the house and senate (like Nancy Pelosi) have been briefed on these exact NSA programs since 2001, just weeks after 9/11. Why do you think that only the wingnuts, and not the actual-in-the-know political opposition (which would love to do anything to embarass Bush) aren't being very vocal on this particular subject? Because they know what it really does, have known about it for years, and recognize what a serious breach it is to have it spilling about in the news. Of course they don't mind the political damage it's causing when it's absurdly, factlessly spun in the media, but people like Pelosi know better than to directly attack on this subject - because she's in the same loop and has been for years.

Will there ever be an end to the war on terra?

It's so simple! Since it doesn't actually exist, all you have to do is stop uttering that stupid meme, and it goes away. Poof! You win the war on terra.

Is it truly a bad slashdot analogy or not? (5, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359265)

Yes, that is a horrible, witless analogy. 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 ...

Now where did i leave that sarcasm key ...

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359331)

Scentcone, you are my favorite slashdot troll. I don't think you are a troll really though, I think you just happen to be on the side of power and authority on every issue.

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359332)

"If you're paying any attention to this story beyond simple partisan axe grinding, you'll find that people like Bush's arch-nemises in the house and senate (like Nancy Pelosi) have been briefed on these exact NSA programs since 2001, just weeks after 9/11."

You pretend to be non-partisan, but this is the current partisan Republican party line. "Democrats do horrible things too, so don't complain when we do horrible things. Democrats in Congress voted for the USA PATRIOT Act, so stop blaming us."

This is missing the entire point. Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress are responsible for the current evisceration of the liberties some of us still demand. Just like those Democrats who blame the Republicans, you are unable to see past your my-team your-team warfare to realize that the Republicans in power, just like the Democrats in power, are responsible for this.

When will you realize that your sacred Republican leaders of this vicious circus don't deserve defense just because the Democrats have helped them gain nigh-totalitarian control?

Easy answers (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359023)

The question is, when will the dam finally burst?

I think it's about to. We'll see in November. Although I'm personally not voting Democrat, I'm splitting my vote among various losers, which is closest to "none of the above". I'm damned sick of both parties (although the Repubs have more of my ire at present).

When will we see headlines talking about impeachment?

As I'm old enough to have voted for Nixon, I'd say as soon as the Democrats control both Senate and Congress.

When will people finally wake the fuck up and say enough is enough?

Never. Cows don't revolt.

Will there ever be an end to the war on terra?

Will there ever be an end to the war on drugs? That started with Nixon (analgies analogies!)

Will we ever see a terror level below yellow?

Not so long as the President is yellow. In fact, the whole Federal Government seems to be full of cowards, wimpily cowering before the big bad Muslims.

Does anyone believe the bushit?

Unfortunately, yes. You only have to read Slashdot [slashdot.org] to see that... and these are supposedly nerds, supposedly intelligent. I wonder what they're talking about over at the People Magazine forums? Probably this [usatoday.com] , this [chicagotribune.com] or this [cnn.com] .

It's pathetic. I should move to Amsterdam.

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (0, Troll)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359117)

I don't know, dude, they do a pretty good job of smoke & mirrors.

Take for instance that silly release of that gas station stop frame (that's been on the 'net for just about forever) thanks to the righwing nuts at JudicialWatch, that's supposed to show us a commercial passenger jet flew into the Pentagon - but the frame itself is rather difficult to make out - this is supposed to obscure the obvious: a commercial passenger jet did indeed fly into the Pentagon. A missile did indeed fly into the fuselage of that passenger jet as it was going into the Pentagon - destroying the fact that it was Flight 11 - not Flight 77 (too long to go into the details - but such an anomly would really be difficult for the evil ones to explain).

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (2, Interesting)

surefooted1 (838360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359202)

The bush presidency is like a dam with a crack in it. At present, the crack is fairly small, but water is leaking out and the crack is widening. The question is, when will the dam finally burst? When will we see headlines talking about impeachment? When will people finally wake the fuck up and say enough is enough? Will there ever be an end to the war on terra? Will we ever see a terror level below yellow? Does anyone believe the bushit?


Do you actually believe that the government would be any less power hungry if someone else was in power. They have gradually been taking more and more freedoms exponentially. Do you seriously think that the next president regardless if they are Republican or Democrat will give any of these freedoms back? Well, maybe superficially, but in whole, no.

Re:In the spirit of bad slashdot analogies, (1)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359209)

There will be impeachment when he lies under oath... and shakes his finger at the US telling a bold faced lie.

Pfff. (5, Insightful)

kunwon1 (795332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358837)

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. (3, Insightful)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Pfff. (0, Troll)

rueger (210566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359262)

I dont get journalism ... their is this prestige ... for ala Woodward and Bernstein ... this oppurtunity ... Both professions do have "good people" in it...

Well, the first part of "getting" journalism is probably to appreciate the value of spelling and grammar.

Then again this is Slashdot, not journalism.... few people named "Taco" have received the Pulitzer Prize.

He's not a whistleblower! (-1, Flamebait)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358841)

Whistleblowers go to the authorities (police, management, congress, etc).

Leakers go to the media.

And yes kiddies, that means that the so called Whistleblower in the Nixon case who was named for a porn flick was in fact simply a leaker.

Sadly the same goes the same for most of the NSA and intelligence leaks that have occurred over the last few years in the US.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

bpd1069 (57573) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358908)

Well THANK GOD for leakers...

When the authorities are corrupt, the people need leakers to keep them informed of this corruption.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358929)

That's a nice idea but shouldn't they say... go through more appropriate channels first? If that fails then perhaps leaking would be a little more appropriate.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

rmadmin (532701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358983)

That doesn't work when the appropriate authorities slam the "leaker/whisleblower" with a law suit or make them dissapear off the face of the earth....

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (2, Insightful)

Salty Moran (974208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359124)

The most appropriate channel to begin discussion on government corruption is the media, because the people who are responsible for stopping abusive government are the people.

Whistleblowers go to the authorities to stop companies because it is the law's duty to deal with the problem.

Leakers go the press to stop government abuses because it is the electorate's duty to deal with the problem.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359140)

That's a nice idea but shouldn't they say... go through more appropriate channels first?


What more "appropriate channels" are there than making information of official wrongdoing available to those ultimately responsible for directing the government in a democratic regime?

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359302)

Good God! /.ers today are about as ignorant about politics today as the Diggers were a few days back when most thought it was legal for a US national to travel over seas with the intent of having sex with a minor.

Democratic regime? What are you smoking? The United States is a Federalist Republic... nothing like a democratic system, don't believe me? Think of this... if this country was truly a democracy in any way back in 2000 then Al Gore would have won the presidential election, not George W Bush.

I said at the beginning some of the appropriate channels. The big one is Congress.

Funny thing about Congress... certain members have been kept up to date on these operations since they were first created and yet several of them (most notably Nancy Pelosi) have expressed their outrage about finding out about these programs despite the fact that many knew since late 2001!

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

delong (125205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358912)

And yes kiddies, that means that the so called Whistleblower in the Nixon case who was named for a porn flick was in fact simply a leaker

More than simply a leaker - a disgruntled employee at FBI that was miffed he got passed over. Of course, Nixon was most definitely engaging in illegal activities. What will Slashdotters say when the NSA programs are held to be legal? Its da Man keeping us down! Go back to bed, children.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

Salty Moran (974208) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359174)

Your argument might be a little more valid if it weren't centered entirely around the idea that you're psychic... you've somehow mystically divined that all people concerned about their 4th amendment rights are "children" and that not only will their be a court case dealing with the NSA database program itself, but that the case will be resolved in a certain way.

Perhaps you should consider forming the X-Men instead of wasting your incredible psychic powers telling all us poor fools how to think?

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (1)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358915)

When the people you're blowing the whistle on are the majority of the "authorities", that doesn't work too well. Call it "leaking", "snitching", or "pineappling" if you want, but it doesn't change the facts.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (5, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358945)

That's a flat-out wrong definition used by the Karl Rovian apologists. What does a "leaker" do when the subject of contention is the executive branch? Go to the cops and let the case get dropped [cnn.com] ? A leaker is anyone who discloses protected information, regardless of the recipient. A whistleblower is leaker releasing evidence of illegal or unauthorized activity or a coverup of that activity.

I've been absolutely disgusted with the blind allegiance of my so-called brethren citizens who are actually gullible enough to propagate this nonsense. And, you know exactly what you're trying to do. Open your eyes and stand up against these tyrants before it's too late for ALL of us!

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (-1, Troll)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359067)

You realize that you immediately lost any credibility you might have had by calling me a 'Karl Rovian apologist'.

Gotta love name calling. Tell me though... are you really that sort of hard core left leaner who feels the need to stoop to such a level when you feel that you've got no other option?

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (3, Insightful)

syphax (189065) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359170)


I'm with you on name-calling (it's fun but it doesn't exactly promote dialog), but please tell me how your use of hard core left leaner is not name-calling? And WTF is a hard core leaner, anyway? Don't moderates lean one way or the other, while the hard core guys are all the way out?

Also, grandparent supported his argument with a relevant example (follow the link), so it's not the case that he's got "no other option." Unlike... your response?

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (2, Insightful)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359276)

I call you that because this strained definition of leaker VS whistleblower originates from the Bush administration trying to equate their leaks of a CIA agent's identity to that of any other innocuous information fed to the press; and at the same time remove the saintly aura of *Whistleblower* status from the hordes of disillusioned executive branch employees who've now gone public.

With Popular Soveriegnty... (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358960)

...the public is the ultimate authority, so there is no difference between revealing information to the public and revealing it to the authorities.

The idea that there is a difference is a relic of the idea of government by a king whose authority came from some combination of divine grant, parentage, etc., and had nothing to do with the will of the people.

Re:With Popular Soveriegnty... (2, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359166)

...the public is the ultimate authority, so there is no difference between revealing information to the public and revealing it to the authorities.

The idea that there is a difference is a relic of the idea of government by a king whose authority came from some combination of divine grant, parentage, etc., and had nothing to do with the will of the people.


Nonsense. You're forgetting that part of the people's will is that their government act to do things dealing with security, especially needed against organizations and individuals who have said that they'll seek to kill US citizens and harm the economy, have actually done so more than once, and are saying, right now, that they are actively seeking to do more of the same. So, given that there is at least some appropriate, tangible activity for the counter-terrorism types to work on, and for the defense agencies to be working on... is it your contention that nothing they do should be kept out of general public info-circulation?

Personally, I don't think that, say, some North Korean agent working in South Korea should have ready access to the surveilance that we're using to track ships full of North Korean drugs, missiles, and counterfeit currency. And I don't think that someone who suddenly decides that Kim Jong Il is a Really Swell Guy should be considered a "whistleblower" when the programs aimed at monitoring that or a similarly troublesome organization are blabbed to the NYT to score political points.

Who cares if the "the public" is the ultimate arbitor of what's right/wrong? We elect people and have long-standing policies that happen to require a certain amount of secrecy in the interests of critical jobs. If you don't like the fact that secrecy is part of the mission, elect someone who promises to have no secrets. You'll have a lot of work to do, convincing a majority of voters that their Coast Guard, or their counter-intel agencies should operate in complete transparency for your comfort, with Iran or China thus having total access to the same information. Just like Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the NSA activity years ago, senior members of both parties in the house and senate are, and always have been well aware of the programs that they fund. Is it that you think people like Pelosi are just too dumb to understand what they're being briefed on? Then elect smarter representatives.

Re:With Popular Soveriegnty... (1)

protohiro1 (590732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359367)

You misunderstand. People opposed to this are not necessarily blind partisans. I am a democrat, but if Pelosi knew the full details of this program AND signed off on it, she should leave office. This program is unacceptable.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (4, Insightful)

Politburo (640618) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359027)

You're right. He's not a whistleblower. He's a hero and a true patriot.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359060)

Whistle-blower [m-w.com]

Main Entry: whistle-blower

Pronunciation: -"blO(-&)r

Function: noun

: one who reveals something covert or who informs against another

whistle-blower [askoxford.com] noun informal: a person who informs on someone engaged in an illicit activity.

Sounds like he's a whistle-blower to me!

Only if they mark: [X] Death wish on form H57J (4, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359070)


Whistleblowers go to the authorities (police, management, congress, etc).

Leakers go to the media.

Uh right. So, if you're a cop and you discover that the police chief and a bunch of your fellow officers are in cahoots with drug smugglers, you just go tell...who?

If you find out damning information about people who have the ability to have you killed (even if you don't think they'd do it) you have three basic choices:

  • Tell the media, anonymously, or otherwise spread the information (with whatever proof you have) far and wide as fast as you can
  • Be an idiot and tell someone "in authority" who may well be in on it
  • Be a greedy idiot, and try to blackmail them

Your distinction isn't between "wistleblower" and "leaker" it's between "dead sap" and "live whistleblower."

--MarkusQ

P.S. In any case, even if you do get it out in time that they don't gain anything by shutting you up, you can expect to get fired so they can dismiss you as a "disgruntled former employee," and, if you've really got the dirt on them, you may also get your very own swiftboating.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (4, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359126)

"And yes kiddies, that means that the so called Whistleblower in the Nixon case who was named for a porn flick was in fact simply a leaker.

Wrong. The 'authorities' were part of the problem, Deep Throat went to the highest authority -- the people (via the media).

Not that DT was completely altruistic in his motives, but when the corruption is at the highest level of government authority, the only power who has authority of them is the people.

Just to toss out an ad hominem / straw man: Or do you believe that the people have no authority over government? And that the only body the government answers to is itself? With the recent destruction of the balance of power and checks & balances, to tell you the truth, it's becoming that way. IMO.

Re:He's not a whistleblower! (3, Insightful)

wmshub (25291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359128)

Whistleblowers are a type of leaker. It doesn't matter who they report to. What makes them a whistleblower is the reason for the leaking: Whisleblowers leak information in order to expose illegal or unethical activity being done by the organization they are a member of.

So yes, deep throat was a whistleblower, as is Mark Klein.

But does it run Linux? (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358891)

Yes, it does [wired.com] :
Narus' product, the Semantic Traffic Analyzer, is a software application that runs on standard IBM or Dell servers using the Linux operating system.

Re:But does it run Linux? (1)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358961)

According to this PDF document [wired.com] , they're running the Narus software on a Sun Fire V880 server. Some fancy toys, but not as ridiculously awesome as I'd expected.

But is it... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358994)

...open source?

Use certain words to clog the system (3, Funny)

BrentRJones (68067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358939)

In every email message mention cocaine, opium, attack the instillation, anthrax, bombs, nuclear, atomic & etc.

wouldn't this slow down the efforts?

Re:Use certain words to clog the system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359001)

Yeah no kidding, start a DoS on the system...

Voice overheard at AT&T headquarters....

"Why is there smoke coming out of the "secret room" ??!!"

Case closed.

Though a systematic DoS to overload the system and choke it, would probably be considered "against" the war on terror....

Re:Use certain words to clog the system (2, Funny)

bitt3n (941736) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359147)

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 (3, Interesting)

Gabesword (964485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359304)

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.

Whistleblowing at AT&T (5, Funny)

rxmd (205533) | more than 8 years ago | (#15358980)

T&T technician Mark Klein as the main whistleblower
Wild guess: was it a 2600 Hz whistle?

Was it.... (0)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359000)

A message in a Klein bottle ?

Re:Was it.... (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359048)

No, you're well wide of the Mark with that one.

Stupid article (1, Insightful)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359043)

From what I get from the article:

Theres a box attached to the phone system that is connected to a room that he does not have access to, and he only knows of one person who does have acess to it. Therefore, there is obviously a top-secret NSA spy program illegally operating out of that room at the direct request of George Bush who wants to listen to you talking to your grandmother about her bunions.

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... Obviously, if it were something like that, AT&T would want to let everyone know exactly how such a monitering program worked (so that they would know how to bypass it). What are the chances that a low paid, low level engineer, would ever sell such extremely useful information to bad guys?

Re:Stupid article (5, Informative)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#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".

Re:Stupid article (4, Insightful)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359207)

Then why is AT&T's defense "We were forced to do it by the Government" instead of "We didn't do it"?

Re:Stupid article (1)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359278)

"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..."

Obviously, you're being sarcastic, but assuming you're right, it would not be difficult for an officer of the court to validate what you're saying.

I mean, this case could be over in 1 day if AT&T wants to cooperate, open the door and let the court look.

Of course, if there is in fact a legitimate warrant to look at the data, this could be handled behind closed doors in a 1 hour meeting. Same would be true if this was a trade-secret agreement.

Of course, if AT&T was assisting without a legitimate warrant, then my expectation is that people in the administration, NSA, and AT&T would be prosecuted.

Re:Stupid article (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359311)

And the government has independently petitioned the court to dismiss the case to protect national security... oh, wait.

Re:Stupid article (4, Insightful)

Castar (67188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359340)

And of course, if they were sued over such a program, the Bush administration would immediately file a brief saying no evidence about it could be made public for national security reasons.

No, sorry... No one is bothering to say "this isn't true", they're saying "we can't let this come out because it will damage national security". To me, that's pretty much admitting the program exists and does what is alleged, probably more (which is why they're willing to fight so hard to keep the details secret).

This has been brewing since the initial wiretapping scandal. The reason the administration insisted so loudly that they didn't need to get FISA approval (even though it would have been easy) is because there's more going on here. They've got some sort of system set up that monitors all communications and data-mines the content for terrorist (and probably criminal) activity. They can't possibly get a warrant to examine every single phone call ever made, which is why they say they don't need a warrant.

However, I don't think they're doing it out of malice, or anything. Not yet, anyway. I think they probably are using it mostly for intelligence needs currently. But just as the Patriot Act is increasingly being used to try non-terrorist suspects, and the very terms "terrorist" and "weapons of mass destruction" are being re-defined in court, it won't be long until this data-mining is being used for everything the government wants to do.

If you're not worried about the system being used to look for terrorists, imagine it being used to look for tax fraud or illegal gun ownership. Then decide if you want this system in place.

LAWFUL INTERCEPT ?????? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359161)

Isn't this Lawful Intercept [cisco.com] ? What's the hoopla about?

Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

nsmike (920396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359163)

But IF... IF this spying program is meant to protect Americans from potential terrorist attacks, wouldn't it be better AS public knowledge?

Wouldn't the terrorists just say, "Crap, they know about it! Call it off."

I suppose the other side of that coin would be to carry out an attack sooner rather than later, but seriously people.

At this point, all of the efforts to cover up this info leads me to believe that they're covering up nothing more than actions which they know are illegal. Everything thus far has been found to be domestic, so unless there are some SERIOUSLY large factions under the radar of the common man among us plotting an overthrow of the government, there is no justification for any of it.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Insightful)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359252)

But IF... IF this spying program is meant to protect Americans from potential terrorist attacks, wouldn't it be better AS public knowledge?

Wouldn't the terrorists just say, "Crap, they know about it! Call it off."


When bin Laden finally realized that he was being tracked by the satellite phone he used to use, he simply stopped using it and reverted to writing things down on paper. Much slower, but also much more difficult to intercept. He certianly didn't just give up because he couldn't talk to them on the phone any more.

Committed terrorists will simply stop using high technology devices like cell phones, the internet, etc. to communicate with each other since it's been demonstrated that the government can and will intercept everything they possibly can. The terrorists will just go back to using snail-mail, word of mouth, etc. Again, it'll take longer but it'll also prove more secure. Unless, of course, the NSA then moves to have operatives put in every US Post Office to read every piece of mail that's sent in the country.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (1)

Mastema262003 (872472) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359298)

so unless there are some SERIOUSLY large factions under the radar of the common man among us plotting an overthrow of the government, there is no justification for any of it.

I'm going to venture out on a short limb and say that these factions get a bit larger every time one of these governmental coverups gets exposed. I reference the post calling for impeachment above as exhibit A.

The article is fairly specific (2, Interesting)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359224)

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 any of the switches, which record the keypress, routing, connect, and status of phone calls for any landline or cell phone - it's just a log file, easy to make a copy with a fairly inexpensive device patch. Or just run a cron job to do it.

Is it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359225)

Or is anybody else all for a whoops, we posted the wrong version on our site... I'm sorry AT&T, they just got mixed.

To which the only thing AT&T could respond is... how did you mix up a 500 page document with a 2 page one. .|.. @ AT&T and the NSA

Liar Liar! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15359256)

Fletcher: Your honor, I object!
Judge: Why?
Fletcher: Because it's devastating to my case!
Judge: Overruled.
Fletcher: Good call!

Where does due process of law fit in (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#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! (2, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359293)

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.

Mark Klein is a true patroit, a real American (4, Insightful)

harshmanrob (955287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359305)

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 (2, Interesting)

Tiber (613512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359313)

HOLY HELL DO YOU MEAN THAT ALL MY INTERNET TRAFFIC IS UNENCRYPTED AND CAN BE SEEN BY ANYONE ON THE INTERNET?

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 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.

Dear lord, stop bitching and actually start thinking it through. You're telling me none of you have ever fired up ettercap or whatever at the office?

Re:Missing the obvious (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15359350)

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.
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