Thursday, June 22, 2006

Your world. Delivered. Straight to an illegal database.

This is the AT&T Operator. Can you type a bit slower? the NSA is have a difficult time keeping up--AT&T, the ghost of Ma Bell, which used to be SBC or something, is in the cross-hairs of a serious controversy and lawsuit and has responded by--how shall we say this--well, lying. And it gets worse. The company (I get tired of looking for the ampersand), as you know, has an operation in San Francisco dedicated to spying on its customers for the National Security Agency, which, as you also know, hasn’t bothered to get subpoenas for their eavesdropping. Now, it turns out, there is yet another operation in Missouri, probably spying on Internet traffic. If you are using AT&T to read this, congratulations, you’ve probably made a probably illegal government database. Salon reports that two former AT&T employees say the company has a highly secured room in Bridgeton, Mo., that may contain another operation. But not to worry. It gets worse.

The company has now notified its customers (and I wish I were one so I could tell them to shove it) that your Internet records on its network are the company’s property and they will give out the details to whomever the hell it feels like. The policy will go into effect tomorrow. Asked to explain, a spokesman said that was nothing new, they were just updating the policy and that was always the deal. They are just trying to make the policy easier to read. He is lying. No, it wasn’t part of the previous contract.

The company also is the subject of a law suit by the State of New Jersey (ray!) demanding to know if AT&T was compromising its customers’ privacy. The Justice Department has now sued New Jersey to stop them from proceeding with the suit, claiming of course, national security, the excuse given by every despotic regime in history for hiding illegal activity.

I’m waiting for the people to get really pissed. I may wait a while. I’m mad as hell! Why aren’t you?!


Bill Thomasson said...

I thought I posted a comment yesterday, but it doesn't seem to have gone through. Do you suppose NSA is blocking your site? (Just joking. I think.)

The main point of my post was that the ACLU has in fact filed a lawsuit on my behalf and that of other Illinois AT&T customers. There seem to be similar lawsuits elsewhere.

I also commented that I don't quite understand what you say about the internet because it doesn't distinguish between, on the one hand, ISPs such as sbcglobal (now AT&T) and Comcast, and on the other hand internet backbone carriers such as AT&T and Verizon. My message packets travelled (or didn't travel) over Comcast's fiber-optic cables for the few miles from Oak Park to Chicago, but then over a backbone carrier's lines from Chicago to Baltimore.

I also commented that I don't understand why these mysterious AT&T locked rooms are supposed to matter when NSA is openly admitting that it is gathering records and monitoring conversations without the legally required court orders.

Anonymous said...

Thing like that just make me mad and furious. Corium 21

john said...

make me mad toooo..