Vermont Law Firm With Overseas Clients Believes Feds Are Wiretapping Them

Via Marcy at Next Hurrah and ScoutPrime at First Draft:

A Vermont law firm with overseas clients, including one at Guantanamo Bay, believes the Feds are wiretapping their telephone calls. In a letter to their clients, the firm wrote:

“Although our investigation is not complete, we are quite confident that it is the United States government that has been doing the phone tapping and computer hacking,” said the letter, dated Oct. 2.


A Verizon Vermont technician who investigated problems with Gensburg’s phone last month found crossed lines, but didn’t explain what caused the problem, Sleigh said. A forensic examination of Gensburg’s computer found an application that disabled all security software and would have given someone access to all information on the computer, Sleigh said.

“We’ve been told by our expert that nothing on their machines are confidential,” Sleigh said. “We are continuing to see who, what, when and how this infection was installed on my client’s computer.”

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  • Display: Sort:
    Do they have enough evidence (none / 0) (#1)
    by kovie on Sat Oct 13, 2007 at 06:18:16 PM EST
    to prove standing, and force discovery? And if so, won't this just lead the administration to simply invoke states secrets?

    Sooner or later, I've got to believe, with enough of these incidents and lawsuits, someone's going to break through the standing and states secrets walls of defense and land a direct hit, and then it'll be up to SCOTUS. Most likely through the 9th circuit, but who knows, maybe even some conservative judges are getting sick of this--the real kind, not the Bushie kind.

    Neither MSIE or Firefox will open the link, (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 11:56:31 AM EST
    but based on what information is available....

    "Crossed lines" in telecommunications typically means that one line from number X is mistakenly crossed over to the terminal for number Y and vice versa. Could happen within the Central Office at the Main Distribution Frame or at an outside cross connect box. Typically this occurs when maintenance is done, or when another line is added.. i.e. When the existing wiring is disturbed... Listening devices don't bother the wires, again typically, they are very high impedance bridges that just clip on.

    So if the expert is correct, "crossed lines" argues against a phone tap.

    As for spyware on the computer, wow. That probably hasn't happened to more than a 20 or 40 million computers..if you will pardon my sarcasm.

    I hope the firm's hired expert got them fixed up with a good Firewall, virus protection and spyware protection program. But even at that one can slip through.

    As for this standard style complaint about the phone company...

    But you think maybe those Senators thinking of giving the telecoms immunity for doing stuff like this might consider what they're doing to the principle of attorney-client privilege?

    I somehow doubt the phone company knowingly allowed a wiretap without a warrant..

    I think it's 99.9% that the spyware program was sent hidden in an email, or in an attachment to an email. More likely it was picked up from a website  Stopping those are the responsibility if the law firm, not the telephone company.

    Corrected link (none / 0) (#3)
    by roy on Sun Oct 14, 2007 at 01:15:05 PM EST

    It was just missing an 'h'.