AT&T Gave Customer Data to Feds for NSA Surveillance

Ryan Singel at Wired News has the latest on the class action lawsuit against AT&T for turning over customer records to the feds in Bush's warrantless NSA surveillance program.

AT&T provided NSA eavesdroppers with full access to its customers' phone calls, and shunted its customers' internet traffic to data-mining equipment installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's lawsuit against the company.

Mark Klein, a retired AT&T communications technician, submitted an affidavit in support of the EFF's lawsuit this week. That class action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco last January, alleges that AT&T violated federal and state laws by surreptitiously allowing the government to monitor phone and internet communications of AT&T customers without warrants.

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    EST Wed Aug 01 2001 Voice Cloning AT&T Labs has a new product called Natural Voices Text-to-Speech Engine which the company claims will revolutionize voice synthesis. The software currently costs "thousands," but AT&T Labs says the software can reproduce "the sounds, inflections and intonations of a human voice" so well that it can recreate voices. .... AT&T builds the "custom voice" part of the program, where an individual's voice can be recreated (even "long-dead celebrities"),... AT&T Labs Natural Voicesite. ------------ Who's listening? May 31, 1999 12:00 PM A roving wiretap is perhaps the most frightening capability that CALEA could offer in terms of making law enforcement agencies technically "omniscient." A roving wiretap would enable police to monitor all phone calls made by a suspect, rather than just those from a specific telephone. High-speed computers would monitor calls passing through a certain network, selecting and red flagging a conversation that contained the voice print-a digitized fingerprint of a person's unique voice characteristics-of a person under investigation. For example, if a suspect made a phone call from his neighbor's house or used a cell phone or a pay phone, his call would be recognized, retrieved and uploaded to a law enforcement agent by the carrier's "critical electronic equipment." The equipment was developed and deployed to meet the requirements of Section 103 of CALEA. These same computers would be able to recognize certain words and phrases and record those conversations for law enforcement scrutiny. The National Security Agency uses this technology to monitor international telephone calls. Some experts believe it is already in use in some parts of the United States. Movies like "Enemy of the State"-in which a person's every move and conversation is recorded on audio and video-have fueled this notion. ...more
    Those two links are only a few crystals of the illegal surveillance iceberg. It's been creeping up on us as privacy rights have disappeared and 9/11 was the perfect chance for the govt to get all the omnipotence they wanted. This is the ignored part of the wiretap debate. I think it's safe to say that if one has ever heard that a call may be monitored for quality assurance then that individual's voice-print is databased. I added the voice cloning (technology from 2000-2001) link to consider the authenticity of some 9/11 cell phone calls that were technologically near impossible on 9/11.

    Re: AT&T Gave Customer Data to Feds for NSA Survei (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 04:43:48 PM EST
    AT&T=Atlantic Telephone & Tyranny

    Re: AT&T Gave Customer Data to Feds for NSA Survei (none / 0) (#3)
    by Wes on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 07:06:58 PM EST
    The "National Security Agency has secured the cooperation of large telecommunications companies, including AT&T, MCI and Sprint, in its efforts to eavesdrop without warrants" on United States citizens. According to company executives, "MCI, AT&T and Sprint grant the access to their systems without warrants or court orders." Rather, "they are cooperating on the basis of oral requests from senior government officials."

    Re: AT&T Gave Customer Data to Feds for NSA Survei (none / 0) (#4)
    by Al on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 08:31:14 AM EST
    So let me see if I understand this: Domestic spying has been privatized. Megacorporations, accountable to absolutely noone but their political partners, are keeping tabs on private individuals on a massive scale. Bin Laden could not have wished for more.

    Re: AT&T Gave Customer Data to Feds for NSA Survei (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 08:52:37 AM EST
    AT&T is just a name as the contents have been sold. Not that is matters but name recognition is valuable even if the contents has little to do with the previous incantations of the name ATT. My question, since there was no warrant involved, is this: how much did ATT et al make on the deal? My guess is they did not give it away for free. Think of how much they charge callers looking for just someone's telephone #. Multiply that times the number of customer info turned over and it not small change. ATT has no customer allegiance even if their ads claim otherwise, their only allegiance is to $$$.

    Squeaky, That's an important point and it's also involved in other ways. It has appeared to be a favorite shell game of these companies merging-buying each other out and becoming corporate affiliates. All of our data that's accumulated as an asset is transferred in these deals being sold outright by databrokers. The surveillance issue isn't so much about wiretaps as it is involved in the shady business of marketing-profiling-assessment and predicting potential behavior. If anyone has seen the commercial of the guy exiting a shuttle bus for (I think) a car rental. The driver is suggesting the man's favorite activities and places nearby to visit. It's a marketing service corporations are using for better service. The man looked startled at the intimate knowledge of his interests and downright shocked when it came to public disclosure of his cream cheese fetish. ...now, how do they know all of that without our awareness?

    Re: AT&T Gave Customer Data to Feds for NSA Survei (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sat Apr 08, 2006 at 09:53:07 AM EST
    Rumi, Yes I agree. And there is the famous Pizza delivery parody by ACLU. link

    Does this mean AT&T will be reborn under the Fox News Banner.

    Squeky- I went to check out that parody but I have Flash disabled on my computer out of privacy concerns...:D ironic, isn't it? I'll have to re-install it to check it out. I uninstalled when I found the default setting to utilize computer's camera, microphone and other stuff without permission.