AT&T whistleblower Mark Klein to Senate: "they’re doing a huge, massive domestic dragnet on everybody in the United States"
[Welcome, InfoWorld readers. Note to Bob®: I am absolutely Pammy's biggest fan!]
[UPDATE: Comedy gold! Pravda on the Potomac's weak-chinned Fred Hiatt buries the story on D01.]
[UPDATE: SJC puts off granting the telcos immunity, because the Republicans demanded more time to consider the 26 amendments. At least they didn't go with Spector's bogus Compromise, where the Federal government--that is, you and me as taxpayers--would have assumed the liability the telcos are on the hook for. Modified rapture.]
Here's my transcript:
My name's Mark Klein; I used to be an AT&T technician for 22 years.
What I figured out when I got there [AT&'s secret room at 611 Folsom Street, SSan Francisco] is that they were copying everything flowing across the Internet cables, and the major Internet links between AT&T's network and other company's networks, and it struck me at the time that this is a massively unconstitutional, illegal operation.
It affects not only AT&T's customers, but everybody, 'cause these links went to places like Sprint, Qwest, a whole bunch of other companies, and so they're basicallly tapping into the entire Internet.
But isn't the government only monitoring suspected terrorsits and not ordinary Americans?
To perform what they say they want to do, which is look at international traffic, none of this makes any sense. These installations only make sense if they're doing a huge, massive domestic dragnet on everybody, in the United States.
Shouldn't the telecoms trust that the Bush Administration's requests are legal?
These companies know very well what's legal and what's illegal; they've been dealing with this for decades. And it's a fact that Qwest refused the NSA's approach, becuase they weren't showing any legal justificaiton for it, and they did the right thing and said No.
What I'm here for is, it looked like a few weeks ago that the Senate bill which passed the Intelligence Committee would give immunity to the telecom companies and that would probably put an end to the lawsuits. So I came here to lobby against giving retroactive immunity to the telecom companies, and let the court cases process, and Congress should not interfere in that.
As we've been saying. Nice to see the Beltway Dems stepping up on this, to preserve our Constitutional rights. Oh, wait...
Just to refresh your memories--Harry, Nance; Hillary--here's the Fourth Amendment of the United States:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the [electronically addressable] place to be searched, and the persons or [digital] things to be seized.
Back in the 1700s, “papers and effects” were letters and records, on physical media, like dead trees and parchment. This—Harry, Nance; Hillary—is three hundred years later. My email is digital paper. My web site an electronic effect. The government has no right to read them without a warrant.
NOTE Sign Chris Dodd's petition against retroactive im[p|m]munity for the telcos here.
UPDATE Via the ever-excellent FDL, the numbers to call:
Sen. Harry Reid — (202) 224-3542 FAX 202-224-7327
Senate Judiciary Committee Contact Information:
Every Senate direct dial number can be found here (including links to just about every senator’s web page, which include both DC office contact information and local office numbers as well). You can reach your Senators toll free thanks to these numbers that katymine found:
1 (800) 828 - 0498
1 (800) 614 - 2803
1 (866) 340 - 9281
1 (866) 338 - 1015
1 (877) 851 - 6437
Also, the Senate Judiciary Committee membership and contact information is as follows:
|DE||Joe Biden||(202) 224-5042||(202)-224-0139|
|VT||Patrick J. Leahy||(202) 224-4242||(202) 224-3479|
|MA||Edward M. Kennedy||(202) 224-4543||(202) 224-2417|
|WI||Herbert Kohl||(202) 224-5653||(202) 224-9787|
|CA||Dianne Feinstein||(202) 224-3841||(202) 228-3954|
|WI||Russell D. Feingold||(202) 224-5323||(202) 224-2725|
|NY||Charles E. Schumer||(202) 224-6542||(202) 228-3027|
|IL||Richard J. Durbin||(202) 224-2152||(202) 228-0400|
|MD||Benjamin Cardin||(202) 224-4524||(202) 224-1651|
Be polite! What's so hard about wanting Bush and the telcos to obey the law?