Technician Describes Secret NSA Room at AT&T Facility
San Francisco - AT&T has set up a secret, secure room for the NSA in at least one of the company's facilities -- a room into which AT&T has been diverting its customers' emails and other Internet communications in bulk -- according to evidence in key documents partially unsealed today in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) class-action lawsuit against the telecom giant.
"Now the public can see firsthand the testimony of Mark Klein, a former AT&T employee who was brave enough to step forward and provide evidence of the company's illegal collaboration with the NSA," said EFF Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston. "Today we have released some of the evidence supporting our allegation that AT&T has given the NSA direct access to its fiber-optic network, such that the NSA can read the email of anyone and everyone it chooses -- all without a warrant or any court supervision, and in clear violation of the law."
The Klein declaration and EFF's motion for a preliminary injunction against AT&T's ongoing illegal surveillance were filed under seal last month. But last week, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker instructed AT&T to work with EFF to narrowly redact the documents and make them available to the public.
"We strongly believe in transparency and openness in judicial proceedings and that there is no proper basis for permanently sealing any of the information supporting our preliminary injunction papers," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. "In the interim, we are glad that as much as possible is released while the motions to unseal filed by media entities are pending."
EFF filed the class-action suit against AT&T in January, alleging that the telecommunications company has given the National Security Agency (NSA) secret, direct access to the phone calls and emails going over its network and has been handing over communications logs detailing the activities of millions of ordinary Americans. The next hearing in this case is set for June 23, when the judge will consider the motions to dismiss EFF's suit made by both the U.S. government and AT&T.
For the public version of Klein's declaration:
For the public version of EFF's preliminary injunction motion:
For more on EFF's lawsuit:
Electronic Frontier Foundation