The EFF recently discovered that AT&T is illegally helping NSA intercept US citizen's communications passing through their networks. Vast government hoovering of private data is nothing new, but it is illegal and dangerous and must be stopped.

On Friday evening the US government announced they will try to halt the lawsuit based on the military and state secrets privilege. That privilege is an extraordinary power the government has to prevent a lawsuit by claiming it will lead to the disclosure of essential military secrets. I'm sure that privilege is necessary in some very limited cases, but it's a very dangerous power that should not be applied frivolously to stop a civil liberties investigation.

So now we have the US government preventing the investigation of illegal government action by declaring that the actions of AT&T, a complicit private corporation, are military secrets. It's hideous. You can do something. Support the EFF and the ACLU. They are particularly effective at fighting government abuse of citizen liberty.

The hero of this story is Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician. He blew the whistle on AT&T after observing secret installations in an AT&T central office in San Francisco. They were literally splitting the fibre, copying all traffic. How long will it be before he's sued or imprisoned for violating trade secrets or state secrets?

  2006-04-29 16:22 Z