EFF Charges AT&T Assisted NSA in Surveillance Plan

Alleging that AT&T helped the NSA sift through phone and Internet traffic, the civil liberties watchdog wants public disclosure of documents that allegedly implicate the company in domestic surveillance.

By Ed Sutherland | Posted Apr 10, 2006
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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants AT&T to show its face.

The watchdog group this week followed up on a lawsuit it filed in February against AT&T claiming the company provided the National Security Agency (NSA) access to its caller database, as well as facilitated surveillance of customers.

This week's filing by the EFF references a declaration by former AT&T technician Mark Klein; the EFF claims it implicates AT&T's involvement with the NSA.

AT&T refused to directly comment today whether it installed equipment in its San Francisco hub to assist the NSA in sorting through telephone and Internet traffic.

Walter Sharp, an AT&T spokesman, told internetnews.com the phone giant "follows all laws for governmental requests for assistance." Beyond that, Sharp said the company couldn't comment on matters of national intelligence or litigation.

The documents referenced by the EFF are currently under court seal. The EFF is asking the court to lift the seal.

"The public deserves to know about AT&T's illegal program," Cindy Cohn, EFF's legal director, said in a Wednesday statement.

AT&T has five days to convince the court the papers submitted by the EFF are proprietary and include trade secrets.

According to a statement by EFF staff attorney Kevin Bankston, Wednesday’s brief urging the public disclosure of Klein's statement "supports our claim that AT&T is diverting Internet traffic into the hands of the NSA wholesale, in violation of federal wiretapping laws and the Fourth Amendment."

Article courtesy of internetnews.com

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