Friday, April 07, 2006

Court Filings Tell Of Internet Spying

New York Times
April 7, 2006

WASHINGTON, April 6 — A former AT&T technician said on Thursday that the company cooperated with the National Security Agency in 2003 to install equipment capable of "vacuum-cleaner surveillance" of e-mail messages and other Internet traffic.

A statement by the technician, Mark Klein, and several company documents he saved after retiring in 2004, were filed on Wednesday in a class-action lawsuit against AT&T. The suit, filed in January in federal court in San Francisco by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group, says the company helped the security agency invade its customers' privacy. The documents provided by Mr. Klein were filed under seal because of concerns about disclosing proprietary information.

Mr. Klein's documents, some of which he had provided to The New York Times, describe a room at the AT&T Internet and telephone hub in San Francisco that contained a piece of equipment that could sift through large volumes of Internet traffic.

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