The End of Privacy, 611 Folsom Street
On Wednesday of last week a retired AT&T technician, Mark Klein traveled to Washington, D.C. to talk to senators about what went on inside room 614A at this building 611 Folsom Street. In 2002 Klein was working in AT&T's Geary office, ten blocks away, when he was directed to create a secured room on the 6th floor of this AT&T building for the National Security Agency, a request he found rather odd coming from his employers since only people with security clearance from the NSA could enter the room. By chance, in October of 2003, less than a year later, Klein was transferred to this Folsom Street location and assigned to work in AT&T's 7th floor Internet room, a floor above the newly-constructed secret room. It was at this time he was shown diagrams that documented prisms that split signals from the communications network into two identical copies. One copy fed into the secret room, below.

In effect the NSA's secret room was receiving 2.5 gigabits of communication data per second. Not only e-mail, but voice traffic, web searches and other digital communcation as well, and not just from AT&T but from more than a dozen global and regional telecom providers. This unfiltered data represents private communication from American citizens to American citizens, collected by the NSA without any warrant or oversight. Hey, right now the NSA servers have recorded that I wrote this post and that you read it (as well as all your other web surfing), welcome to 1984.

Klein's trip to Washington was scheduled to urge lawmakers not block Hepting vs. AT&T, a class-action suit pending in federal court in San Francisco, as well as other lawsuits charging carriers with illegally collaborating with the NSA program. The White House has claimed the carriers have done nothing illegal while at the same time insisting they be granted full retroactive immunity. Other former AT&T engineers have come forward to support Klein's claims while AT&T, the NSA, and the White House declined to comment on Klein's allegations.

[ MAP D-12 ]


Post a Comment

<< Home