The NSA is Wiretapping YOU and ME, Personally

This guy’s state­ment is just too good to hide. Every per­son in the US needs to pay atten­tion to this issue. Don’t just let it wan­der off the head­lines. It is very important.

Not an AT&T cus­tomer? It does­n’t mat­ter. Inter­net traf­fic is rout­ed across switch­es and such in a man­ner that does­n’t care who owns what. That’s part of the beau­ty of it. It also allows the peo­ple who own the biggest pieces of the back­bone to give access to any­one they like, such as Bush­co, or even anoth­er gov­ern­ment if they had such leanings.

Wire­tap Whistle­blow­er’s Statement
By 12:25 PM Apr, 07, 2006
For­mer AT&T tech­ni­cian Mark Klein has come for­ward to sup­port the EFF’s law­suit against AT&T for its alleged com­plic­i­ty in the NSA’s elec­tron­ic surveillance.

Full sto­ry: Ex-AT&T Work­er Tells Of NSA Op

State­ment: Mark Klein, April 6, 2006
My back­ground: For 22 and 1/2 years I worked as an AT&T tech­ni­cian, first in New York and then in California.

What I observed first-hand:

In 2002, when I was work­ing in an AT&T office in San Fran­cis­co, the site man­ag­er told me to expect a vis­it from a Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency agent, who was to inter­view a man­age­ment-lev­el tech­ni­cian for a spe­cial job. The agent came, and by chance I met him and direct­ed him to the appro­pri­ate people.

In Jan­u­ary 2003, I, along with oth­ers, toured the AT&T cen­tral office on Fol­som Street in San Fran­cis­co — actu­al­ly three floors of an SBC building. 

There I saw a new room being built adja­cent to the 4ESS switch room where the pub­lic’s phone calls are rout­ed. I learned that the per­son whom the NSA inter­viewed for the secret job was the per­son work­ing to install equip­ment in this room. The reg­u­lar tech­ni­cian work force was not allowed in the room.

In Octo­ber 2003, the com­pa­ny trans­ferred me to the San Fran­cis­co build­ing to over­see the World­net Inter­net room, which includ­ed large routers, racks of modems for cus­tomers’ dial-in ser­vices, and oth­er equip­ment. I was respon­si­ble for trou­bleshoot­ing prob­lems on the fiber optic cir­cuits and installing new circuits.

While doing my job, I learned that fiber optic cables from the secret room were tap­ping into the World­net cir­cuits by split­ting off a por­tion of the light sig­nal. I saw this in a design doc­u­ment avail­able to me, enti­tled “Study Group 3, LGX/Splitter Wiring, San Fran­cis­co” dat­ed Dec. 10, 2002. I also saw design doc­u­ments dat­ed Jan. 13, 2004 and Jan. 24, 2003, which instruct­ed tech­ni­cians on con­nect­ing some of the already in-ser­vice cir­cuits to the “split­ter” cab­i­net, which diverts some of the light sig­nal to the secret room. The cir­cuits list­ed were the Peer­ing Links, which con­nect World­net with oth­er net­works and hence the whole coun­try, as well as the rest of the world.

One of the doc­u­ments list­ed the equip­ment installed in the secret room, and this list includ­ed a Narus STA 6400, which is a “Seman­tic Traf­fic Ana­lyz­er”. The Narus STA tech­nol­o­gy is known to be used par­tic­u­lar­ly by gov­ern­ment intel­li­gence agen­cies because of its abil­i­ty to sift through large amounts of data look­ing for pre­pro­grammed tar­gets. The com­pa­ny’s adver­tis­ing boasts that its tech­nol­o­gy “cap­tures com­pre­hen­sive cus­tomer usage data … and trans­forms it into action­able infor­ma­tion.… (It) pro­vides com­plete vis­i­bil­i­ty for all inter­net applications.”

My job required me to con­nect new cir­cuits to the “split­ter” cab­i­net and get them up and run­ning. While work­ing on a par­tic­u­lar­ly dif­fi­cult one with a tech­ni­cian back East, I learned that oth­er such “split­ter” cab­i­nets were being installed in oth­er cities, includ­ing Seat­tle, San Jose, Los Ange­les and San Diego.

What is the sig­nif­i­cance and why is it impor­tant to bring these facts to light?

Based on my under­stand­ing of the con­nec­tions and equip­ment at issue, it appears the NSA is capa­ble of con­duct­ing what amounts to vac­u­um-clean­er sur­veil­lance of all the data cross­ing the inter­net — whether that be peo­ples’ e‑mail, web surf­ing or any oth­er data.

Giv­en the pub­lic debate about the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s spy­ing on U.S. cit­i­zens with­out obtain­ing a FISA war­rant, I think it is crit­i­cal that this infor­ma­tion be brought out into the open, and that the Amer­i­can peo­ple be told the truth about the extent of the admin­is­tra­tion’s war­rant­less sur­veil­lance prac­tices, par­tic­u­lar­ly as it relates to the internet.

Despite what we are hear­ing, and con­sid­er­ing the pub­lic track record of this admin­is­tra­tion, I sim­ply do not believe their claims that the NSA’s spy­ing pro­gram is real­ly lim­it­ed to for­eign com­mu­ni­ca­tions or is oth­er­wise con­sis­tent with the NSA’s char­ter or with FISA. And unlike the con­tro­ver­sy over tar­get­ed wire­taps of indi­vid­u­als’ phone calls, this poten­tial spy­ing appears to be applied whole­sale to all sorts of inter­net com­mu­ni­ca­tions of count­less citizens.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙁rest­less
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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