DOJ Immunizes Telecoms for Unauthorized Wiretap Assistance


Senior Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications carried on portions of networks operated by AT&T and other Internet service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws.

The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors' Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover all critical infrastructure sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.

EPIC obtained the documents though an FOIA lawsuit.

The documents concern a collaboration between the Defense Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and private companies to allow government monitoring of private Internet networks. Though the program initially only applied to defense contractors, an Executive Order issued by the Obama administration earlier this year expanded it to include other "critical infrastructure" industries. The documents obtained by EPIC also cited NSPD 54 as one source of authority for the program. NSPD 54 is a presidential directive issued under President Bush that EPIC is pursuing in separate FOIA litigation.

The documents are available here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Once again... (none / 0) (#1)
    by fishcamp on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:31:37 PM EST
    the torture never stops...

    Seems strange the federal government did (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:59:12 PM EST
    not employ these tactics to monitor the deceased suspect in the Boston marathon case. Who the heck are they tracking?

    They were probably too busy (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 08:42:18 PM EST
    manipulating young men into terror plots so they could bust them and pat themselves on the back for "saving" us from it.

    with free sneakers and al-qwacki T-shirts. (none / 0) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:28:54 AM EST