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*AT&T sued over NSA eavesdropping*

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  • james.e.innes.cgs80@alumni.upenn.edu
    ... Subject: AT&T sued over NSA eavesdropping Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 23:00:14 -0500 (EST) From: EEkid@aol.com To: dave@farber.net
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2006
      -------- Original Message --------
      Subject: AT&T sued over NSA eavesdropping
      Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 23:00:14 -0500 (EST)
      From: EEkid@...
      To: dave@...


      *AT&T sued over NSA eavesdropping*

      January 31, 2006

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class-action lawsuit
      against AT&T Tuesday, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law
      and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National
      Security Agency (NSA) in its massive program to wiretap and data-mine
      Americans' communications.

      The NSA program came to light in December, when the New York Times
      reported that the president had authorized the agency to intercept
      telephone and Internet communications inside the United States without
      the authorization of any court. Over the ensuing weeks, it became clear
      that the NSA program has been intercepting and analyzing millions of
      Americans' communications, with the help of the country's largest phone
      and Internet companies.

      Reporting has also indicated that those same companies?and AT&T
      specifically?have given the NSA direct access to their vast databases of
      communications records, including information about whom their customers
      have phoned or emailed with in the past.

      In the lawsuit, EFF alleges that AT&T, in addition to allowing the NSA
      direct access to the phone and Internet communications passing over its
      network, has given the government unfettered access to its over 312
      terabyte "Hawkeye" database, detailing nearly every telephone
      communication on AT&T's domestic network since 2001, according to the
      complaint. The suit also alleges that AT&T allowed the NSA to use the
      company's powerful Daytona database management software to quickly
      search this and other communication databases.

      By opening its network and databases to unrestricted spying by the
      government, EFF alleges that AT&T has violated the privacy of AT&T
      customers and the people they call and email.

      That action violates the first and fourth amendments to the
      Constitution, federal wiretapping statutes, as well as
      telecommunications laws and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act,
      according to the complaint.

      "Congress has set up strong laws protecting the privacy of your
      communications, strictly limiting when telephone and Internet companies
      can subject your phone calls to government scrutiny," said EFF Staff
      Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "The companies that have betrayed their customers'
      trust by illegally handing the NSA direct access to their networks and
      databases must be brought to account."

      AT&T is a significant provider of telecommunications and information
      technology services to the federal government. AT&T provides network
      services, systems integration and engineering, and software development
      services to a broad range of government agencies, including those
      involved in national defense, intelligence, and homeland security.

      AT&T's federal customers include the White House, the State Department,
      the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the
      Department of Justice, and most branches of the armed forces. AT&T's
      support of the intelligence and defense communities includes the
      performance of various classified contracts.

      To undertake this work, AT&T employs thousands of individuals who hold
      government security clearances, and it maintains special secure
      facilities for the performance of classified work and the safeguarding
      of classified information. In addition to providing services to critical
      government agencies responsible for national security, both AT&T and SBC
      support the national security infrastructure through their participation
      in all of the key fora for supporting U.S. government national security

      U.S. communications regulators on Monday proposed fining AT&T Inc. and
      Alltel Corp. $100,000 each for failing to properly certify that they
      have safeguarded their customers' personal call information.


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