Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Three Cheers for Geek Media

WIRED magazine has posted the full text of AT&T whistle-blower Mark Klein's report on their illegal cooperation with the NSA's data mining program. In a statement about their reasons for doing so, WIRED said that both their own analyses and those of outside experts suggest there is no reason for this information to be kept secret. It poses no threat to AT&T's business, either from hackers or competitors. The judge in the case prohibited only the EFF from disseminating the information, and he specifical denied AT&T's request to prohibit Klein himself from spreading the information. The magazine has joined other news organizations, including the Associated Press and the LA Times, in petitioning for intervention in the case, which would give them access to the documents the court has deemed protected.

In other news, I just ran across a bit of the exact text of BellSouth's carefully-worded denial. Misleading headlines have screamed "BELLSOUTH DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN NSA WIRETAPPING SCHEME." That's wrong.

"We have no contract with the NSA and we have not turned over any customer information to the NSA." What does this mean? Why, precisely what it says! Of course BellSouth didn't form an official contract with the National Security Agency to spy on American phone calls. That would be madness from the outset. And of course BellSouth isn't providing customer information. All they're providing is phone records, detached from names! The NSA has to use a reverse phone directory themselves to find out who the customers actually are.

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