NSA/Telco Wiretap Scandal

Secret manual shows Comcast (gasp!) protects customers' privacy

Posted on October 15, 2007 - 9:51pm.

from: CNET

Secret manual shows Comcast (gasp!) protects customers' privacy
by Declan McCullagh

Comcast's confidential "Law Enforcement Handbook" was publicly disclosed on Monday.

It turns out to be a 35-page manual dated September 2007 for police and intelligence agencies to use when they're trying to extract information out of Comcast about subscribers. The company's Internet service, VoIP telephone service and cable TV service are all covered.

Ex-phone chief says NSA sought data earlier

Posted on October 15, 2007 - 7:51am.

from: New York Times

Ex-phone chief says NSA sought data earlier

By Scott Shane
Story last modified Sun Oct 14 09:58:07 PDT 2007

The phone company Qwest Communications refused a proposal from the National Security Agency that the company's lawyers considered illegal in February 2001, nearly seven months before the terrorist attacks on September 11, the former head of the company contends in newly unsealed court filings.

OH: AT$T to rob $500M from Ohio Citizens

Posted on September 27, 2007 - 9:19pm.

Note: OK, we confess to creative license on the title alteration, but frankly we're very tired of seeing these self-laudatory corporate press releases being picked up by local press as fact and as evidence of corporate benevolence on the part of the telcos' recent legislative scams. AT&T, like Verizon, is making a fortune off such misinformation and deceit. With their merger with SBC, AT&T promised to cut 10,000 jobs right off the bat, then there's the multi-million dollar contracts with the NSA and FBI to violate your privacy, finally, as in Ohio, they've succeeded in deregulating the cable TV market and are now eliminating the residents' First Amendment Rights by de-funding public access and PEG TV. Also note, the Internet Innovation Alliance is funded by AT&T and likely is nothing more than a staff of three PR agents copying and pasting these press releases. But we digress - on to the self-celebratory corporate text . . . hooray for competition and DSL quality broadband!

The secret lobbying campaign your phone company doesn't want you to know about

Posted on September 24, 2007 - 7:23am.

Note: As the FCC and many states rush to give the telcos favorable video franchising legislation, we still wonder why consumers (i.e citizens) would want to receive phone, data and video services from companies that they know can monitor and provide government agencies with surveillance information on their phone/data activities and TV viewing habits.

from: NewsWeek

The United States of AT$T

Posted on September 17, 2007 - 7:16pm.

from: The Next Hurrah
The United States of AT&T

September 17, 2007

Back in June, the Bush Administration invited one of AT&T's key lobbyists, Ed Gillespie, to serve as White House counselor. A few weeks after that, BushCo expanded AT&T's resident lobbyist's role to include most of Karl Rove's portfolio. Just days after Gillespie took over that role, the DOJ made an unusual intervention into the FCC's request for comments on Net Neutrality, weighing against Net Neutrality.

Markey Calls on FCC to Investigate Intelligence Agencies’ Alleged Circumvention of Telecom Privacy Laws

Posted on September 14, 2007 - 9:00am.

from: Office of Ed Markey

Markey Calls on FCC to Investigate Intelligence Agencies’ Alleged Circumvention of Telecom Privacy Laws

From Office of Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), September 12, 2007
By Rep. Ed Markey

Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, today again asked the Chairman of the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) to investigate widespread and serious allegations of telecommunications privacy laws violations by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other entities. Rep. Markey first asked FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin to investigate these allegations in May of 2006.

FBI accused of using illegal letters for illegal information requests

Posted on September 14, 2007 - 8:58am.

from: Ars Technica

FBI accused of using illegal letters for illegal information requests

By Timothy B. Lee | Published: September 13, 2007

Another apparent violation of the law by Bush administration officials came to light this week, as a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation revealed that the FBI had sent letters to telecommunications providers requesting that they "provide a community of interest" for telephone numbers the FBI was investigating. The documents were among the so-called exigent letters that the FBI has admitted were "improper" (read: illegal). But in a Monday blog post, EFF's Kurt Opsahl charged that the "community of interest" requests were fresh evidence that the FBI had broken the law.

F.B.I. Data Mining Reached Beyond Initial Targets

Posted on September 10, 2007 - 7:43am.

Note: This is tied to the NSA wiretapping case with telco complicity (Verizon, AT&T). Apparently it goes much deeper and is much more troubling that originally known. It is also more surreal - a new area where info gathering marketing techniques meet national security intelligence gathering.

from: NY Times

The Bush Administration DOJ Just Can't Do Enough For Its Friends

Posted on September 6, 2007 - 10:17pm.

from: WetMachine

The Bush Administration DOJ Just Can't Do Enough For Its Friends

I've said it before and I'll say it again. For AT&T and its industry compatriots, domestic spying is the gift that keeps on giving.

Today, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced it had filed written comments in the FCC's Inquiry Into Broadband Industry Practices, aka lets do a wussy study on net neutrality so we can pretend we are defending the public by 'being vigillant.' And — surprise, surpirse, SURPRISE! — the DOJ Antiutrust division comments look like the “Cliffsnotes version” of the AT&T filing.

Role of Telecom Firms in NSA Wiretaps Is Confirmed

Posted on August 24, 2007 - 8:15am.

From New York Times

August 24, 2007
Role of Telecom Firms in Wiretaps Is Confirmed

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 — The Bush administration has confirmed for the first time that American telecommunications companies played a crucial role in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program after asserting for more than a year that any role played by them was a “state secret.”

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