Ma Bell Would Also Like To Make NSA Tap Evidence Disappear

from the go-away-now,-nothing-to-see-here dept

Last week, the Justice Department got a bit upset when the EFF tried to file evidence concerning the claims that AT&T gave a direct line to the NSA, so they could sort through all the internet traffic running across AT&T lines. This was even though the EFF had filed the documents under seal. Of course, late last week some of the information was released publicly as the whistleblower involved made a public statement about what he knew was going on at AT&T. With that info coming out, it appears that it's not just the government who would like all of this evidence to completely disappear, but also AT&T... who has now asked the judge to return a bunch of the evidence filed against it and ban the EFF from referencing any of the "highly confidential" documents. Of course, if anything, this would seem to support that AT&T is hiding something. In the meantime, Narus, the company whose software was supposedly being used to monitor all of the internet traffic, is desperately trying to distance itself from the situation, claiming they just sell the software, and have no clue whatsoever what their customers use it for.

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  • identicon
    jeremy powers, 12 Apr 2006 @ 11:53am

    dont surprise me but this does seem to be a lil bigger than it origionally, maybe big enough for At&t to be permanently put in the red by losing a majority of their customer base

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eb, 12 Apr 2006 @ 11:54am

    AT&T Business Practices

    Hmm, it seems I need to think seriously about not doing business with AT&T. Unfortunately, I don't have any guarantee that the competitor I might go to would act any differently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2006 @ 12:57pm

      Re: AT&T Business Practices

      It's not a complete guarantee, but any company that sees a large spike in business because their competitor did "X" will be strongly inclined not to do "X".

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ultradave, 12 Apr 2006 @ 12:05pm

    Frightening

    Narus's claims that they are unaware of how their customers use the software is total bullshit -- I work for a software company and believe me, we know *exactly* what our customers do with our software -- given that all of them call on a daily basis to request tweaks, new features, bitch and whine that it does not do what they want, etc. I am sure this is the same for every other software company on the planet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Patrick Mullen, 12 Apr 2006 @ 12:25pm

    If you think this is anything new, or that AT&T is the only carrier involved, you are kidding yourself. Think the Govt. has agreements with Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Google Mail for access to their servers? You better believe it.

    I would make a wager that they already have the keys to Skype encription also. I doubt there is anything out there they don't have access to, and if they couldn't get access, they would shut it down.

    Personally, I don't think thats a bad thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mike, 12 Apr 2006 @ 12:57pm

      Re: You don't?

      "Personally, I don't think thats a bad thing."

      You don't think it's a bad thing, cause we all know the Bush Administration doesn't do bad things :-/

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Patrick Mullen, 12 Apr 2006 @ 1:48pm

        Re: Re: You don't?

        I don't, and it has nothing to do with Bush. All this was going on a long time before GWB became president, and will go on a long time after GWB leaves office. Personally, I do believe the govt. does need to have access to communications, as there are people out there that we do need to watch. There is concern of course with who gets watched and why, but lawful intercept does have its place.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Mike, 12 Apr 2006 @ 1:56pm

          Re: Re: Re: You don't?

          "lawful intercept does have its place"

          It has its place when targeting a suspect. Mass intercept has its place in China or Communist era States.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Patrick Mullen, 12 Apr 2006 @ 2:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You don't?

            OK, someone goes into a library, goes online and registers for a hotmail account. You don't think the NSA should be able to look for threats to situations such as these?

            If you can't find the needle, sometimes you have to take the haystack.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Bob, 12 Apr 2006 @ 2:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You don't?

              "...sometimes you have to take the haystack."

              It's more efficient to just douse the haystack with an accelerant and burn the haystack. Then it's easy to find the metal pieces by vigourously sifting the tiny ash particles. This is how I find my car keys when I can't find them. Duh.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2006 @ 4:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You don't?

              If you can't find the needle, sometimes you have to take the haystack.



              Right...and next thing you'll be hearing is "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to hear about"



              oh, wait...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Laughing, 12 Apr 2006 @ 6:32pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You don't?

              Go ahead and give up more freedom so you can keep up your wall of illusion....

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Grendel should have killed Beowolf, 18 May 2006 @ 7:21am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You don't?

                Newsflash. Freedom is an Illusion. It's there to keep us happy and to keep us bringing money into the owners of this country. Ever see the matrix? watch it sometime and take notes. Freedom is just that, an illusion so the powerful individuals out there can get what they want from us. "Politicians are here just to make us think that we have a choice. Sorry you don't"-George Carlin

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        txjump, 12 Apr 2006 @ 3:43pm

        Re: Re: You don't?

        You don't think it's a bad thing, cause we all know the Bush Administration doesn't do bad things :-/

        Patrick is right. Whether we like it or not, this has nothing to do w/ Republicans or Democrats. It has everything to do w/ the fact that its our government.

        The NSA isn't party run and neither is AT&T, nor any other American telecom.

        I really wish people would stop blaming parties. Read some history, learn some politcal science. If you dont like the way your country works, do something besides just voting for your party.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    internetjoe, 12 Apr 2006 @ 3:21pm

    sure they dont know

    2 of the narus products are called intercept and discover and they dont know what clients do with them. Ya sure i believe that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matt, 12 Apr 2006 @ 3:34pm

    I am pissed and a little worried that this is not getting MSM coverage... Strange, and scary.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Goerge Bush, 12 Apr 2006 @ 4:14pm

    I am a fuck

    Like it matters!!! I AM A DICTATOR, YOU ARE FUCKED.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    lil'bit, 12 Apr 2006 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You don't?

    We already know that all of the 9/11 highjackers were known to US Intelligence agencies and that questions had been raised as to their purpose - flight schools, etc. This administration ignored the warnings.

    Why should I believe they are only tapping the phones, etc. of suspected terrorists? More likely, they are targeting only those people they want to investigate and ignoring the terrorists, if any exist in this country. After all, it's pretty easy to claim that your illegal efforts have successfully stopped attacks when all the evidence is classified and there is no oversight.

    I would gladly fill you in on the terrorist attack I stopped last week with two pieces of stale bread and a goldfish, but the information is all classified as the investigation is on-going, so I can’t say anything about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sean, 12 Apr 2006 @ 4:36pm

    The NSA can do whatever it likes

    Even if AT&T didn't cooperate with the NSA, they would still get the information that they need. AT&T's cooperation just makes it easier and gives them an office to work out of. You'd be absolutely shocked at what they're capable of from a technology standpoint. There isn't a communications device out there that they don't know how to eavesdrop on, with or without a physical connection.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Apr 2006 @ 4:59pm

      Re: The NSA can do whatever it likes

      You are a Grade-A fucking idiot.

      There is a whole lot more they can accomplish with cooperation than without it.

      With regard to those magical eavesdropping devices you mention:

      How many can they sneak into a major peering point or internal routing paths without detection vs how many could they install with AT&T's cooperation?

      How effectively can they monitor and filter data without knowledge of AT&T's infrastructure vs having all of that information and constant access to updates as AT&T expands or reconfigures its network?


      In conculusion, AT&T's cooperation makes the breadth of the eavesdropping greater, the analysis of the gathered data easier, and the cost of implementing the program much lower and therefore much easier to justify.

      If you do not understand these rather simple points, then perhaps you are simply too stupid to have a "right" to vote.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Grade-A Fucking Idiot, 12 Apr 2006 @ 5:34pm

    You're so smart

    Someday I hope to be as smug and reactionary as you are. Then I could throw a temper tantrum as effectively as you do when someone makes an innocent statement on a message board.

    I never said that AT&T didn't make it easier, in fact I said, "AT&T's cooperation just makes it easier and gives them an office to work out of" I'm sure you just ignored that part though.

    I'm sure you're convinced that you're a technical genius with a vast never ending knowledge of everything relating to data and voice transfer, therefore I'm sure you feel justified in your unbalanced mind to personally attack me based on points that I never argued.

    I simply made a statement (not an argument Einstein), that the NSA has technologies that make it possible for them to eavesdrop without the support of AT&T (or another phone company for that matter). OBVIOUSLY it's easier if they can tap right into the pipe at it's source...but it's not necessary for the NSA to get the information they want.

    I'm not imagining these "magical eavesdropping devices," My assessment is based on my limited exposure, observation, and discussion with some techs while working in an NSA tech center. They have technology that would blow your mind. The fact you refuse to believe it's true, doesn't mean that it isn't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    confusedwiseman, 13 Apr 2006 @ 5:03am

    Actually

    It doesn't matter what provider that you choose. This is done at the tier 1 backbone. Almost all of your traffic is going to hit this part of ATT anyway. As a side note, the legislation for this was started by . . . Clinton.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mike, 13 Apr 2006 @ 6:00am

      Re: Actually

      Who passed the legislation is not the point. It's the pigs abusing the trough that matters and in this case it's the Bush Administration. Marshall Law also exists, it's the idiot President who needlessly decides to impose it on his own people that becomes a problem, not the law itself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    txjump, 13 Apr 2006 @ 8:12am

    since when?

    did it not matter who passed the legislation? isn't that the premis of who we decide to put into office, the kind of legislation they vote for?

    or do you just say "he/she is a democrat, must be perfect". maybe you should start looking at the framework the people you vote for put into place. that goes for any voter if they are going to complain that someone else is actually using the framework their politicians put into place!

    and the point of all this wasnt political. it was about a nonpartisan, quasi-governmental agency and a publicly held company working together in a controversial maner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mike, 13 Apr 2006 @ 10:39am

      Re: since when?

      "and the point of all this wasnt political. it was about a nonpartisan, quasi-governmental agency and a publicly held company working together in a controversial maner."

      And who do you think ask for and authorized this mass intercept? Like I said, the abusers are the problem.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    txjump, 13 Apr 2006 @ 1:16pm

    restating your opinion is not very effective

    and who set the stage for this to even become an issue?

    in other words, given the opportunity to justfy the authorization, the democrats would have done the same thing. they obviously thought they might need it sometime in the future so they put out there. no party tries to pass legislation they dont intend to use at some point.

    both parties are responsible. both parties run the government. if you dont like it, do something about it. join a group that lobbies, run for office somewhere, become active in your party and let your politicians know you dont want legislation in place that can in your words "be abused".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Todd Boyle, 13 Apr 2006 @ 4:11pm

    Laws are meant to change

    Despots always want us to believe that their institutions are permanent, and bigger than any individual etc. Meanwhile laws change constantly, benefiting um, somebody out there.

    Your traffic is visible, get over it and work instead to expose the communications of powerholders. Shouldn't the conversations of lawmakers and CEOs be visible to all of their stakeholders? Use your common sense.

    One of the big surprises of the dotcom era was that most people didn't give a damn about privacy; witness the complete apathy towards cryptography etc. We've been over this 1000 times, remember predictions nobody would use hotmail? The fight over PGP which thenn nobody even bothered to use. Ebay, Google, etc.

    There is no authentic voter base for privacy. Banks and governments have worked for generations to divide us and spread distrust so that we would not develop indigenous reputation. Why do we need banks and governments for our dealings in contract, at all? Think about it. They need US. We dont need intermediaries, whatsoever. Even money itself is obsolescent. We should have had nonquantified multiparty barter by now, i.e. multiparty EDI or webservices auction. The dotcoms were building it in 1999-2001 when the financial markest woke up and jerked the funding.

    Let em snoop. Focus on snooping the congress, staffs and lobbyists.

    Todd

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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