Janet's Conner

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Documents on website purport to show AT&T role in Net spying

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)---An outline news outlet published papers on Monday that said document AT&T's alleged role in a government effort to spy on Internet traffic.

The internal company documents and other materials were assembled by Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician. Klein also gave internal documents eaelier this year to privacy advocate Electronic Frontier Foundation, which sued the telecommunications giant challenging the Bush administration's secretive domestic surveillance program.

It wasn't clear whether the documents published Monday by Wired News were the same as those at the heart of the lawsuit against AT&T. Wired News acknowledged it could not be sure, because the federal judge presiding over the case has sealed the records.

But Wired News said the AT&T documents "appear to be excerpted from material that was later filed in the lawsuit under seal."

The papers are a blend of corporate blueprints and Klein's own interpretation of them. They seem to provide a detailed account of how AT&T used "splitters" to tap into gigantic fiber-optic lines that carry Internet traffic.

Klein writes that AT&T installed the splitters, which diverted light signals carrying data, into a "secret room" where the information could be analyzed.

Among the equipment Klein said was installed there was a Narus STA 6400. Narus manufactures data-mining devices that lets companies and other entities sift through the information in Internet traffic and identify nuggets of interest in e-mail, users' Web-surfing and even Internet phone calls.

AT&T hs asked the Electronic Frontier Foundation to return the documents to the company.

"We believe the public's right to know the full facts in this outweighs AT&T's claims to secrecy," Wired News said in a statement posted on its website accompanying the story.

Associated Press
May 22, 2006

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