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Ex AT&T Tech Says NSA Monitors All Web Traffic

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the tinfoil-hats-engaged dept.

Privacy 566

Sir Tandeth writes "A former technician at AT&T, who alleges that the telecom giant forwards virtually all of its internet traffic into a 'secret room' to facilitate government spying, says the whole operation reminds him of something out of Orwell's 1984. Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown program, whistleblower Mark Klein told Keith Olbermann that all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office — to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access. 'Klein was on Capitol Hill Wednesday attempting to convince lawmakers not to give a blanket, retroactive immunity to telecom companies for their secret cooperation with the government. He said that as an AT&T technician overseeing Internet operations in San Francisco, he helped maintain optical splitters that diverted data en route to and from AT&T customers. '"

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I've read about this before. (4, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300725)

You can read Klein's April 2006 statement in his own words here [wired.com] and there are pictures of the secret room at AT&T here [wired.com] .

Very scary stuff.

Re:I've read about this before. (5, Insightful)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300831)

and there are pictures of the secret room at AT&T here [wired.com] Hmm, interesting. Two pictures of random signs that could be anywhere, and two pictures of the front of the building. None of which show anything remotely interesting. Incriminating stuff, that :) Not that I don't think they do this, just that the pictures are....underwhelming...

Re:I've read about this before. (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301049)

Well, it seemed like the last time I looked at those pictures, there were more of them. Of course, they were of the outside of the secret room, and not of the inside, but anyway, there were more. My tinfoil hat is going on now.

Re:I've read about this before. (1)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301177)

Heh, that thought occurred to me, too (that they removed photos). Cue 'X Files' theme here....

Re:I've read about this before. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301189)

You say WHAT?

You need to go walking near Moscone Center, oh, say around 5th and Folsom/Howard area... Near there is THAT building, IIRC. It looks like one I walked, bused and drove by multiple times over the past 15 or so years.

No wonder that SBC location is closed. One day, last year, it was active. Earlier this year, it was vacated. Homeless people slept near the perimeter, which had some serious anti-sleeping grating and railing in place.

When the Whistleblower put out his tune, NSA must have decided to move to new diggs.

Amazing the things we learn ONLY because people TALK.

Re:I've read about this before. (4, Funny)

PhreakinPenguin (454482) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300839)

So if I post 4 images of the EXTERIOR of the main AT&T building, can I get modded informative too?

Re:I've read about this before. (1)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300843)

pictures of the secret room at AT&T here.

That link shows a bunch of photos a building's exterior. Not exactly the secret stuff spy movies are made of.

Re:I've read about this before. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21300849)

There are no such pictures shown in the link you provided. Just a few facades and a logo. Big deal.

Re:I've read about this before. (5, Insightful)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300889)

What's worse is that this will be justified under the guise of anti-terrorism. As bills get passed to erode the freedom of American's, I'm watching the US slowly descend into totalitarianism. Lets face it, Americans just don't care. And why should they? They live comfortable lives, entertained with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. If they follow the rules, they won't get hassled. Things will have to get pretty bad until people wake up and realize what has happened.

Re:I've read about this before. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21300933)

OH SHUT UP MORON

Re:I've read about this before. (-1, Flamebait)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300987)

Ha, typical right-wing response.

Re:I've read about this before. (-1, Flamebait)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301099)

OH SHUT UP MORON
Oh shut up, COWARD. How did you get past the lameness filter anyway?

Re:I've read about this before. (0, Offtopic)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301265)

You must be new here...

Re:I've read about this before. (5, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301115)

> What's worse is that this will be justified under the guise of anti-terrorism.

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

I'm not sure it's any worse than when it's justified by whatever the current bogeyman is. Could be terrorism, drugs, child porn, communism etc - it's always just a cover. Follow the money. Who gains from a powerful military, full prisons, terrible education and a fat, lazy corrupt police force?

Re:I've read about this before. (5, Funny)

Luke Dawson (956412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301143)

As bills get passed to erode the freedom of American's, I'm watching the US slowly descend into totalitarianism.
Actually, it's a really clever way of defeating terrorism, one that the terrorists will never catch on to! You see, since they hate us for our freedom, if we eliminate all of these pesky freedoms, the terrorists will have nothing to hate us for anymore! See, it makes perfect sense :)

Re:I've read about this before. (2, Insightful)

jgarra23 (1109651) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301179)

Lets face it, Americans just don't care. And why should they? They live comfortable lives, entertained with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. If they follow the rules, they won't get hassled.

Thank goodness that's not the meaning of your post :) This saturation of bland media with metro-sexual men running all over the place is just what right-wing America wants to pull the fleece over our eyes despite their claims to the contrary and complaints about it. The left is just as bad though. They both complain about the media they so dearly love that dulls and confuses the masses into submission. Oh man... it makes me sick... HBO On Demand, TV On Demand, Movies On Demand, Sports On Demand, real information about how you are being fleeced, nowhere to be seen here!

Re:I've read about this before. (4, Interesting)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301197)

What's worse is that this will be justified under the guise of anti-terrorism. As bills get passed to erode the freedom of American's, I'm watching the US slowly descend into totalitarianism.
This is nothing new. It was all part of the neoconservative plan against communism before the Soviet Union fell. The new focus on terrorism is allowing them to continue their Big Government agenda. Lest you doubt what I'm saying, here it is straight from William F Buckley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F_Buckley#First_books [wikipedia.org]

We have got to accept Big Government for the duration--for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged, given our present government skills, except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores. ... And if they deem Soviet power a menace to our freedom (as I happen to), they will have to support large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards, and the attendant centralization of power in Washington...

Re:I've read about this before. (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301203)

First, I'm not at all impressed by the images. Unfortunately that is all the evidence I see presented, other than his word.

Next, I don't buy it because it's not feasible. How many NSA agents would it take to monitor ALL Internet traffic. That means bit torrents, email (including spam), web traffic (html), tunnels, ATM transactions, credit card transactions, Windows updates, NNTP porn, remote backups, YouTube videos, streaming radio stations and so on. There is just way too much crap flowing over the wires to monitor it all. The NSA, CIA, FBI, US Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and National Guard combined wouldn't have the man power to monitor that much data.

So, I call bullshit. And this guy needs to loosen his tinfoil hat.

What's worse is that this will be justified under the guise of anti-terrorism. As bills get passed to erode the freedom of American's, I'm watching the US slowly descend into totalitarianism. Lets face it, Americans just don't care. And why should they? They live comfortable lives, entertained with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. If they follow the rules, they won't get hassled. Things will have to get pretty bad until people wake up and realize what has happened.
How else do you fight terrorism? What would you suggest (other than that warm fuzzy "leave them alone and they'll leave us alone BS)". How would you FIGHT terrorism.

Ignoring the feasibility of it all, whose to say that they are looking at domestic data anyway. So what if they are reading emails between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Hell! I hope they ARE reading emails between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It's called espionage. Not only is it perfectly legal, but it's something we SHOULD be doing.

 

Re:I've read about this before. (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301279)

Lets face it, Americans just don't care. And why should they? They live comfortable lives, entertained with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.

That reminded me of the televised speech in 'V for Vendetta'. We here in the US have gotten too complacent with our government and our lives. One day we'll wake up and see that our Republic isn't free anymore because of all of our "wars" and the Liberties we all gave up to be "safe". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TLD3Z6sJWA/ [youtube.com] the links not working for some reason

Re:I've read about this before. (4, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300985)

While I doubt that they "save" all the traffic, it is entirely possible, that transmitted data is scanned for certain key words and the flagged packets are then investigated further. I think it isn't unreasonable to suspect that the ENTIRE web traffic moving in and out of the computers of some AT&T clients is recorded.

Given this data, it is entirely clear that there is no reason to believe that any non-encrypted data is not going to be monitored, recorded, and traced.

While we must try to abort this particular endeavor through the civil process, it is rather clear to me that it's likely to be a futile effort. The way I see it, as the technological capability for total surveillance draws closer, the government and commercial entities will not be far behind.

Re:I've read about this before. (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301167)

"Given this data, it is entirely clear that there is no reason to believe that any non-encrypted data is not going to be monitored, recorded, and traced."

Can you translate taht for me? The triple negative permanently crossed my eyes (No, Mom, my face didn't freeze like this...)

Re:I've read about this before. (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301233)

While I doubt that they "save" all the traffic, it is entirely possible, that transmitted data is scanned for certain key words and the flagged packets are then investigated further.
Ummm...not likely. Take a look at this interview with Klein. [cryptogon.com] He says:

"I flipped out," he said. "They're copying the whole Internet. There's no selection going on here. Maybe they select out later, but at the point of handoff to the government, they get everything."

The paragraphs above that explain what he means in technical terms (including details of the peering done here), but basically when the NSA gets it, they get everything. What the NSA does with it from there is anybody's guess, but saving everything probably seems unreasonable, but then again, how much storage does the NSA have?

Get out the tinfoil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301035)

http://cryptogon.com/?p=1588 [cryptogon.com]

For more details...

Re:I've read about this before. (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301061)

Very scary stuff.
It's getting quite worrying indeed. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am sure our goodie goodie's welcome our new NSA overlords, but they are becoming like the dirty old man at the toilet block - backdooring everything that comes past them. What happens though, when sugardaddy NSA isn't the only dirty old man at the toilet block, and you get every dirty old crim lining up for a go too.

Re:I've read about this before. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301239)

Well, like the good data whores they are, they can take it up the ass, too. At the dirt old toilet block. Logs and key strokes to their heartthrobs' delight. Parse all the shit they like...

New meaning to the phrase... (4, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300729)

Come take a drink from the firehose!

That's the key question in this case. (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300907)

> Come take a drink from the firehose!

An optical splitter is like a piece of wire; in order to intercept any traffic off a fiber cable, you need to look at the information carried by all the photons.

What hasn't (and never will) been established is to what extent the boxen in the s00per-s33kr1t room dumped petabytes the domestic-origin-to-domestic-endpoint packets on the floor before logging the terabytes of foreign-to-domestic (or domestic-to-foreign) traffic to storage, or if No Such Agency is filling up yottabytes of storage somewhere.

Not that it matters; there is no "case". The precendent for anything illegal over the past decade has been that anything illegal and not plausibly deniable will be retroactively legalized, rendering the legal question moot.

But it's an interesting philosophical question, and for organizations and people who are subject to laws, it's also an interesting legal one: If a thousand gallons of water runs down the drain while you're drinking from a firehose, did you really drink it all?

it's not stealing (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301011)

The NSA didn't take anything, they just copied some bits. The original owners still have their copy so have suffered no loss.

This being slashdot, that should be ok with most folks here.

Re:it's not stealing (1, Offtopic)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301141)

I wish you were logged in so I could friend you.

Re:That's the key question in this case. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301055)

it's also an interesting legal one: If a thousand gallons of water runs down the drain while you're drinking from a firehose, did you really drink it all?
Well, if a Pope shits in the woods, then all bears are Catholic, so yes.

Re:That's the key question in this case. (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301065)

I don't like the way this "feels," but agree 100% with your observation that in order to extract specific authorized calls/data, it must be extracted from all the rest of the data being carried on fiber-optics. There is no other way to do it.

Personally, I'm very skeptical of any wholesale monitoring going on. Sure, we're talking about the NSA. But come on, we're all nerds here. Analyzing billions of phone calls per day and highlighting only those that are of interest is more CPU cycles than even the government has. They have to have at least a reasonable idea of what calls to monitor to be able to get close to getting any useful data analysis done. Otherwise, they'll simply be overwhelmed.

Encrypt (5, Insightful)

Monstard (855195) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300731)

The future of internet is encrypted internet.

Re:Encrypt (5, Insightful)

marcop (205587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300835)

No. Why should I? The constitution is clear on this issue. The true answer is impeach those responsible and prosecute At&T. criminally.

Re:Encrypt (1, Informative)

Conception (212279) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300883)

Actually, the constitution isn't clear on this issue. In fact, it's clear on very few.

Re:Encrypt (5, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300953)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Clear enough? No warrant, no searches or seizures of my stuff. They are particularly prohibited from searching through all of my correspondence without a warrant.

Re:Encrypt (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301113)

And where exactly is "unreasonable" defined?

Re:Encrypt (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301145)

The Internet is not a person or house that you can just dump papers or effects on. It is a series of tubes that happen to connect to the NSA.

Re:Encrypt (1)

The_Wilschon (782534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301165)

The insufficiency of analogy to more traditional means of communication (postal service in sealed envelopes, telegraph, town crier, word of mouth, whatever) is sufficient demonstration that the constitution is unclear on these matters.

To expound a bit: If you make an analogy between IP packets and letters sent via USPS, then clearly the gov't must not search your correspondence. However, you could just as plausibly (read: not very plausibly) make an analogy between IP packets and shouting across a crowded room. In that case, anything the gov't hears is fair game.

The typical test is, AFAIK, whether or not you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your correspondence (be it mail, talking face to face, phone calls, email, IP packets, whatever). However, when it comes to any correspondence over the internet (especially, ye gods especially, wireless), people's expectations are all over the place, and most people can come up with a decently rational argument in favor of their expectation. The law as it stands on the books does not adequately specify how much privacy internet communications may enjoy.

Re:Encrypt (2, Interesting)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301243)

Actually just to play Devil's Advocate here you could read that to mean that people's lives should not be disrupted nor should they be kept from their possesions because of a search without a warrant. On the otherhand the way ATT is doing this does not deprive you from the use of the data at all and so would not fall under this part of the Constitution. I'm not saying that this interpretation is right but it could be made.

Re:Encrypt (2, Insightful)

dnormant (806535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300929)

You and GP are right. We have the right to our privacy AND the responsibility to protect ourselves from a crooked government.

Encrypt your data and spank these lawless assholes.

Re:Encrypt (2, Interesting)

exley (221867) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300965)

That sounds awesome. In theory. But reality doesn't quite match up the idealism you show. What difference does the Constitution make when those in charge have shown quite clearly that they don't give a shit about the Constitution? I all but guarantee you that these guys are gonna get off scot free for all the crap they've pulled.

Re:Encrypt (1)

Kartoffel (30238) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301237)

So vote for Ron Paul. I will.

Re:Encrypt (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301015)

Somebody wake up this chicken and tell him the foxes have taken over the henhouse while he was sleeping...

Re:Encrypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301077)

Why should I point a gun at those British soldiers? I have declared my independence!

Re:Encrypt (2)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301105)

Criminal law is also very clear on burglary.

That doesn't make it a bad idea to close and lock your front door.

Re:Encrypt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301051)

At least until encryption is outlawed.

It's already effectively happened in the UK; if you don't decrypt on request, you're deemed to have committed a crime. Seeing how unwilling 97% of the Congress is to do anything remotely sane, I wouldn't expect any significant opposition to such a law in America.

If we want universal encryption to work, we've got to do it damned soon. It has to be ubiquitous before they get around to outlawing it, so that they have to fight it uphill rather than the other way around. Run a web server? Enable ssl connections. Send email? Use PGP/GPG with any friends you can convince. Use IM? Enable one of the encryption plugins (pidgin-encryption, OTR, etc.) and tell your friends about it. Writing a new protocol? Make it encrypted by default.

Even if the encryption used isn't foolproof, its use will foil the most egregious dragnet surveillance.

Re:Encrypt (2, Informative)

neoform (551705) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301087)

Who do you think controls the root DNS servers?

If you're using public key encryption, it isn't that much work for telcos to act as an encryption proxy to whomever you're connecting to, which pretty much kills any encryption you're using.

Only true way to stop spying is shared key encryption, which is completely unrealistic for broad use.

Re:Encrypt (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301173)

The future of internet is encrypted internet.
For those of you who can't read microdots, the last fullstop of the sentence contains "backdoored by the NSA"

0 Comments 0 Full 0 Abbreviated 0 Hidden (1)

choongiri (840652) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300741)

Well, I guess we know where all that traffic got diverted to, then.

Whoa (5, Funny)

yamamushi (903955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300743)

Thats a LOT of porn!

Why else to you think it's going to San Fransisco? (1, Funny)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300773)

I mean, really.....

Re:Why else to you think it's going to San Fransis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301001)

San Francisco... wow that brings back a lot of memories. My first homosexual experience was in San Francisco. At the time, I was 21 and engaged to a hot, but slightly vapid, sorority type. I fucked her, sure, but I didn't really enjoy it all that much. One thing I did enjoy was when she played with my asshole. Especially when she stuck her (extra large) vibrator up my ass and sucked me off. Damn, that was good.

Anyhow, I took a trip to San Francisco to look at their graduate CS program (they were doing some exciting stuff with linux). Timothy, one of the graduate students, showed me around town that night. A few drinks later, I'm licking out his asshole while he sucks me off. After I shot my load, he gave me a couple poppers, bent me over, and popped my ass cherry. I called Cheryl (my fiance) the next morning and told her it was over.

Is anyone really surprised by this? (1, Insightful)

zibix (654122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300745)

There's simply no reason to believe anything you do online is hidden from anyone.

FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21300747)

First Post! (Hello NSA!)

"All" internet traffic? (1, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300749)

I am somehow not convinced... how many TB of data would a major provider like that move in a day? Those would have to be some moby servers...

Re:"All" internet traffic? (4, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300859)

I am somehow not convinced... how many TB of data would a major provider like that move in a day? Those would have to be some moby servers...
That it is all forwarded through that secret room doesn't mean that they look at it all. Perhaps they have some algorithm, some system or filter, for determining what they want to look at closer...

Re:"All" internet traffic? (5, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301083)

If only there were some device which could look at each packet that's passed through it and determine where to send it... To route the packets, if you will...

Re:"All" internet traffic? (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301137)

Perhaps they have some algorithm, some system or filter, for determining what they want to look at closer...

And a beowulf cluster of CPU's overclocked to about 42,000 terahertz, apparently. And a nuclear power plant cooling system to cool those babies down. How big was that "secret room" again?

Re:"All" internet traffic? (2, Insightful)

arsheive (609065) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300875)

Yes, they would. But this is also the frickin' NSA...

Not to mention that they're only looking at certain type of packets I'd imagine... ignoring streaming video and the like and focusing on email, instant messaging, slashdot posts...

Re:"All" internet traffic? (1)

GiorgioG (225675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300927)

Consider that the gov't agency has a blank check in the name of "national security" - you don't think they have massive storage capabilities?

A petabyte of storage from EMC^2 is $4m. It's not that much of a stretch to believe they have 10-20 of these things sitting in that room...or even something bigger/better...

Re:"All" internet traffic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301041)

Neither AT&T, nor the NSA have anywhere near the capacity to handle even a fraction of internet traffic.

One decent sized webhost (who also hosts a lot of Open Source project mirrors) delivers approx. 3 TB of data a day:
http://www.pair.com/insider/june2007.html#stats [pair.com]

Multiply that many times over and you're looking at petabytes or even exabytes of data moved around each day.

I doubt they're storing even a fraction of the traffic they are watching, but probably analyzing traffic and storing anything that meets certain criteria. Which probably still ends up being many TB of data each day.

Re:"All" internet traffic? (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301125)

Aren't you just so happy to be paying for all that storage they are using? Boy I sure feel safer knowing my taxes are being invested in massive storage capabilities so our government can know everything I do online. I love working over 30% of the year for the government so they can properly spy on me and keep records of it for a long long time.

Re:"All" internet traffic? (1)

argmanah (616458) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301149)

I am somehow not convinced... how many TB of data would a major provider like that move in a day? Those would have to be some moby servers...
That's true, but what if they only kept a record of the text data? If you strip away all the audio/video content from today's web pages, the resulting data isn't that bad. Combine that with some sort of filter (it wouldn't even have to be very sophisticated, even if it's relatively basic and only cuts out like half the traffic) before they store it to disk, and I'm willing to bet it's completely feasible to keep say, a 30 day history of all domestic traffic.

Re:"All" internet traffic? (1)

oddaddresstrap (702574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301281)

It is suspected that there are NarusInsight [wikipedia.org] machines installed in the "secret" rooms. Realtime analysis of everything at several levels.

We already knew that. (1)

sexybomber (740588) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300751)

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!

Doubtful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21300757)

I doubt this is true, how could you possibly analyze all web traffic for suspicious activity.

Re:Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21300789)

Outsource!

Re:Doubtful (5, Insightful)

Divide By Zero (70303) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300871)

The fact that a thing cannot be done well in a reasonable amount of time within a predetermined budget has never gotten in the way of our government trying to do it anyway.

iphone spam (2, Funny)

CodyRazor (1108681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300765)

i wonder how long it too them to sift through all the "iv got an iphone!!" messages...

RIAA subpoenas the NSA for Records (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300801)

It won't belong before the RIAA wants the NSA's records for sueing file sharers. And sadly as much help as the FBI gives the RIAA, it might happen without a fight. :-)

Re:RIAA Buys ECHELON from NSA (1)

BadHaggis (1179673) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301089)

In related news RIAA has announce the purchase of the NSA's outdated ECHELON system. According to RIAA lawyers they hope to used it to track down people calling their associates and discussing illegal file sharing. When asked how they would identify the parties on the phone, RIAA Lawyers indicated that it was not a concern and was irrelevant to any lawsuit they may or may not file. While it is unclear what the new keywords are for the RIAA ECHELON system will be there is some speculation that they will include (RIAA, ABBA, TINY TIM, SHARING, DOWNLOAD, UPLOAD, HD, NET RADIO, CAPTURE, and assorted others).

A Sony representative on hand indicated that they will also use the system in the war on HD formats and watch for keywords such as (BLUE-RAY, HD-DVD, CIRCUMVENTION, MAGIC NUMBER and 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0).

Echelon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21300811)

Not like spying on everything is new to them..

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

Now that is sort of worrying (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300819)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along
Seriously ( FBI/NSA/DHS SUCKS ) who would have thought they would try to monitor the ENTIRE internet? Certainly not George Orwell. Makes you wish Dueling politicians were a more common day occurrence, doesn't it? I'm sure we could even manage to use sports stadiums rather than the Whitehouse lawn. Talk about reality tv...

As they stand back to back, sports center anchors are whispering into their mics, telling the audience the voting history of each combatant, theorizing what a loss on either side would mean to upcoming votes on legislation...

I only wonder how long before we are truly living in a fascist state where such monitoring is not questioned? I am going to begin using encryption for everything.. like the rest of this message for instance...

qproiavpofi qeproi n qwcrpfouih np vf qroipasodv nc 4nqa 4p9iva 4padn a p0 oit adpoi

And I mean it!!

Re:Now that is sort of worrying (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300909)

The best thing to do is (e.g.) for every legit mail you send to Mum, Dad or whoever, send a few to seemlying dodgy addresses (like .cn, .kr etc.) with a made up code like garbage [sszzv sheehuu sww asdh qquei ajjs msdjuu 2jshhe ... ...]

If enough people do this, then all mails will be unreadable due to the noise level (let alone them trying to crack a code that is utter garbage).

Re:Now that is sort of worrying (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301157)

I really like this idea... time to set up the relay to send a copy via script that encodes the message as random garbage to random email addresses, or rather coherent email names at random valid email domains... joebloggs@abc.com for instance... that would double the amount of email that I send, as well as the amount that is encrypted, and with an unbreakable encryption ROFL

Re:Now that is sort of worrying (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301187)

Good god man! You've just invented spam!

Re:Now that is sort of worrying (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300957)

What does fascist mean here? I'm not saying we're not headed for a terrifying society, but the word "fascist" seems to get thrown around a lot, and it seems to have a meaning equivalent to "authoritarian". If you mean authoritarian, just say it.

That rant being said, it's pretty damned clear that the politicians and their bureaucratic underlords/overlords have decided to test once again the bounds of using public safety as an excuse to reduce rights. The Founding Fathers knew this, and hoped that the Constitution would be sufficient to hold the government in check, but since the American people, by and large, are a pack of fat, spoiled intellectual lightweights who are more interested in playing with their toys than in liberty, I guess maybe what the Founding Fathers intended is meaningless.

America, the society of the political and socially retarded.

Re:Now that is sort of worrying (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301249)

yes. I read a factional book called 'Q' by Luther Blisset (four italian guys, really) and it is basically a story follows the Inquistion historical events in Europe during the middle ages.

One thing that sticks in my mind was the bit about the church deliberately leaving known 'hectics' alone (but keep them in their sights), as it gave them the power to control and impose rules to ALL people as these 'hectics' are abound. i.e. if they removed them, then people would not see the threat of the heretic activity at all, and they would realise what a lot of bollocks the church was saying.

I think this is what is now happening today - known terrorists are allowed to circulate, as it gives the governments the power to bring in rules and regulations with a reason to control ALL the people. Remove the terrorist, then they have no legs to stand on and could not do it, so it is beneficial to governments to allow the terrorist organisations to exist.

Anything about this in AT&T Privacy Statement? (5, Interesting)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300867)

You know, those little pamphlets full of fine print that get shoved in your bill and promptly thrown away because they're purposely made to be obscure and hard to read?

If there's no "we allow an obscure government agency look at everything you read, write, say and listen to without court order or accountability" clause, can we sue the fuckers?

Re:Anything about this in AT&T Privacy Stateme (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301091)

They're monitoring everything that goes over their wires, even if the data is being sent to/from people who aren't AT&T customers, so many people wouldn't even receive that pamphlet. Heck, a lot of stuff probably goes over their wires that belongs to people who aren't even Americans (which, sadly, is often the justification used by the gov't for the surveillance in the first place).

You know, when I bought Deus Ex a few years back.. (1)

qweqwe321 (1097441) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300885)

...I was expecting crazy conspiracy-theory fiction, not reality.

Oh oh... (0, Offtopic)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300903)

Boy, [kuro5hin.org] am I [mcgrew.info] in [mcgrew.info] deep [mcgrew.info] deep [mcgrew.info] deep [mcgrew.info] REALLY DEEP [mcgrew.info] deep [mcgrew.info] trouble!!! [mcgrew.info] No wonder this [slashdot.org] happened!

-mcgrew

Just because they dont have the space... (2, Insightful)

oxpecker (904374) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300935)

Just because they dont have the space to store all the data doesn't mean the data isn't being re-directed. They could be sifting through the data for specific ip address's and activity types, and selectivly backing what they want from the whole pile.

Re:Just because they dont have the space... (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301217)

They could be sifting through the data for specific ip address's and activity types, and selectivly backing what they want from the whole pile.

The "activity types" is a bit more nebulous, but if they're filtering on a specific IP address then that means they already have a pretty good idea of who they're looking for. Not a good thing without a warrant, but far from wholesale generic monitoring of everybody--which I continue to believe the government does not have the CPU cycles to do. Storing everything is one thing. Conducting any useful analysis on it in near real-time is pretty much impossible unless you severely drill down to a specific subset of the entire original content.

Pure FUD. Need more information. (0, Flamebait)

urcreepyneighbor (1171755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300937)

"An exact copy of all Internet traffic that flowed through critical AT&T cables -- e-mails, documents, pictures, Web browsing, voice-over-Internet phone conversations, everything -- was being diverted to equipment inside the secret room," he said.
The words "exact", "copy", "all", "traffic", and "flowed" are open to interpretation.

The article reeks of sensationalistic journalism with an agenda.

Pure FUD. Need more information - unbiased, technical information.

It's like some bad Soviet Russia joke... (5, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300949)

..but with extra "bad" and no "joke".

Has Bush declared "Executive Privilege" yet? (0, Troll)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300971)

I'm certain that he has the right as the unitary executive to keep citizens from knowing that he's broken the law.

AC for a reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21300981)

As a software engineer in the telecommunications industry I saw this often. I worked on machines that handled between 250,000 and a million phones calls at once, and often times we would get requests from customers (Sprint, MCI, SBC, etc) to help them comply with FBI/NSA requests. We would show them how to digitally wire tap lines without the customer knowing about it.

Don't believe TV or movies that show devices that detect bugs. Governments don't use bugs, they just digitally split the data and get a perfect copy.

Harmless (1)

hellergood (968199) | more than 6 years ago | (#21300991)

They've never come after me for my [NO CARRIER]

Olbermann? (3, Funny)

MarsDefenseMinister (738128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301027)

Come on, that Countdown program is just about as biased left as you can get. I guess bias for the liberal side is called news, and bias for conservatives is an outrage, requiring an attack dog like Media Matters. It's a good thing that Fox News exists, or there would be no conservative voices in the media at all.

Re:Olbermann? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301185)

This is old news actually. But you can't claim its all a made-up conspiracy as there's too much evidence around, including many testimonies and photos of the room itself and equipment. In fact I think its already been through court at least once.

Re:Olbermann? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301193)

Olbermann is a twit, though I would say not as much as O'Reilly (at least he doesn't tell his interviewees to "shut up" constantly). But yes, I agree, Olbermann runs a very biased lefty program... but assuming this whistleblower is on the level, this is STILL very scary, regardless of which show he decided to appear on.

haha.. (1)

begbiezen (1081757) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301227)

that's friggin hilarious!

Re:Olbermann? (5, Insightful)

QCompson (675963) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301235)

Come on, that Countdown program is just about as biased left as you can get. I guess bias for the liberal side is called news, and bias for conservatives is an outrage, requiring an attack dog like Media Matters. It's a good thing that Fox News exists, or there would be no conservative voices in the media at all.
No kidding. Remember in the run-up to the Iraq war when the Bush administration couldn't get their agenda across to the american people because all the lefty news outlets refused to parrot their claims? Oh wait, that's right. Pretty much 99% of the American media (including the highly "liberal" New York Times) spent the years 2002-2004 mindlessly repeating the administration's talking points without doing any independent reporting.

But still, it's a good thing we have Fox News. Otherwise where would I get all the newest info on my favorite celebrities (what's that silly Paris up to today)? Or how I would know which ethnic/religious/political group to direct my hatred towards?

We're the phone company. (1)

bigfox (597036) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301031)

AT&T. We're the phone company, so F#@K YOU.

Dear President-VICE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21301071)

All your oil future contract are belong to us.

Capitalistically yours,
China

I really don't see what the problem is (2, Funny)

gozu (541069) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301155)

The NSA are the good guys, therefore, any traffic monitoring they do will be used to catch the bad guys. Since we are good guys*, we have nothing to fear.

NOTHING!

*Unless you smoke weed, use p2p or jaywalk, in which case you're a bad guy and you deserve to go to jail.

ALL Internet (4, Interesting)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301219)

forwards virtually all of its internet traffic

This reminds me of that anecdote from years back about a question asked by a clueless user on how he can "download all of the Internet" at once and take it with him...

Seriously, are we supposed to believe, that "virtually all" of AT&T Internet traffic passes through one facility in San Francisco? It is likely, they have the same rooms in all major nodes, though...

Which brings us back to those earlier laws obliging phone companies to maintain equipment in all central offices, which would allow the government to eavesdrop on anybody's phone calls. Sure, the police needed a warrant to actually perform the eavesdropping. But the equipment and the facilities ("secret rooms") are always there.

What they most likely don't need a warrant for is the statistics — did the number of calls to so-and-so suddenly increase? Did he call such-and-such after this-and-this called him?..

Most likely, NSA is looking for similar things on the Internet — there is a lot of insight to be gained from simply knowing, which sites get more traffic in (possible) correllation with certain events... And then, again, there is a need for the equipment to always be there, so that warranted intercepts of the datastreams can be performed too.

Yes, this is prone to abuse. No, it can not be effectively audited by the public without "compromising" (or even "jeopardizing") "the mission". The only relief comes from the knowledge, that any evidence illegally collected still can not be used against anyone in the court of law...

Pardon me, but (0, Troll)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301231)

this whole story sounds like a troll designed to stir up the 9/11 truthers and the tin-foil hat crowd.

The United States, the new China (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21301257)

Slowly the United States is putting in place the same measures that already exist in China. Probably they hope that once they, the US Government, have finally made the conversion the US population, like that of China, will not care so long as they get their cheep goods and junk TV.
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