Wiretaps For All

Two stories in yesterday’s news, each quite ugly on their own, make an even uglier combo.

First, there’s the amazing testimony by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in which he basically asserted that the Fourth Amendment has no operational content. If the President wants a warrantless domestic wiretap, our nation’s chief law-enforcement officer thinks that would be just peachy.

Second, there’s the news that AT&T has apparently been sending all our Internet traffic straight to the NSA.

Wired News: Whistle-Blower Outs NSA Spy Room: AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers’ phone calls, and shunted its customers’ internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s lawsuit against the company.

Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit in support of the EFF’s lawsuit this week. That class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco last January, alleges that AT&T violated federal and state laws by surreptitiously allowing the government to monitor phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants.

On Wednesday, the EFF asked the court to issue an injunction prohibiting AT&T from continuing the alleged wiretapping, and filed a number of documents under seal, including three AT&T documents that purportedly explain how the wiretapping system works.

(This is the same lawsuit I blogged about earlier. I should also note that although I’m on EFF’s Advisory Board, I had no role in this case.)

Put 1 & 2 together….

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