Evidence of AT&T Secret ‘Spy’ Room Mounts

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit earlier this year against AT&T for their collaboration in invading privace by data-mining and providing wiretaps for the National Security Agency.

Last week, Wired broke the news of an affidavit filed by Mark Klein, a former AT&T employee. Klein describes a shady scenario in which the NSA came in to oversee a special hire.

“I learned that the person whom the NSA interviewed for the secret job was the person working to install equipment in this room,” Klein wrote. “The regular technician work force was not allowed in the room.”

He later observed that fiber optic cables wired to the “secret room” were piped into AT&T’s circuits.

While the president may or may not have the constitutional authority to demand domestic wiretaps, the involvement of a public corporation willingly cooperating without a warrant would seem to be a violation.

Michael Hiltzik writes in his L.A. Times weblog:

The NSA’s vacuuming of terabytes of personal data from AT&T’s network is an example of the government aggressively taking advantage of a tattered fabric of privacy protection.

Klein may seem a hero to some, for stepping forward with a smoking gun that has At&T scrambling to ask the judge to return all of their “highly classified” NSA-related documents. But as Martin McKeay reminds, Klein’s actions will be viewed by some as a criminal disclosure of government secrets.

Either way, this story has exploded with this new twist and is now receiving broad coverage.

Klein may be just a disgruntled former employee, but would he really take such a risk if he didn’t have the truth on his side?

Ars Technica has an in-depth look at the technology involved in this case and the Narus STA 6400, which apparently can literally vacuum data from the internet.

Comedy Central Censors Muhammad Cartoon

Wednesday, on South Park’s Cartoon Wars II episode, Comedy Central — for the first time in South Park’s eight-year history — found a reason to censor writer/creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

According to Volokh, the scene (as broadcast) went like this:

Kyle lectures the head of FOX about the importance of free speech:

….Do the right thing, Mr. President. . . .If you don’t show Mohammed, then you’ve made a distinction between what is OK to make fun of and what isn’t. Either it’s all OK or none of it is. Do the right thing.”

At the point in the South Park episode where Mohammed is about to be shown handing a football helmet (with a salmon on top of it) to the Family Guy, the screen shows these words:

“In this shot, Mohammed hands a football helmet to Family Guy.”

The next screen is black with white type: “Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Mohammed on their network.”

Instead of flashing a few frames of Muhammad just standing there, as the Washington Post reports:

The comedy _ in an episode aired during Holy Week for Christians _ instead featured an image of Jesus Christ defecating on President Bush and the American flag.

Below is a [forged?] still from the censored scene:

National Review’s Media Blog has contacted the network, which is owned by a division of MTV Networks, and they stand by the action, as is evident by the following statement:

“In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision.”

Further investigation reveals that a 2001 episode of South Park, which has run several times since, does show Muhammad.

Click on to watch a good 10 minutes of video from Wednesday’s South Park thanks to The Malcontent.

UPDATE: Jim Lindgren posted details of his interview with South Park Executive Producer Anne Garefino tonight.

?We wanted everyone to understand how strongly we felt about this,? said Garefino. Although the decision to omit Mohammed was not theirs, they wanted the language of the censorship disclosure to be their own.

Does Anyone Outside the White House Like Rumsfeld?

c. Matson, 4.11.06 via cagle.com
Is Jefferson Davis available?

I mean, whose best friends would really have your back when no one in your Army trusts you, and in the worst of interests re: fellow man? Must be the White House.
A fifth retired general, Major Gen. John Riggs, added his voice to those opposing Rumsfeld. In an interview with National Public Radio, Riggs cited an atmosphere of “arrogance” among top civilian leaders at the Pentagon.

Rumsfeld “should step aside and let someone step in who can be more realistic,” he said.

Raw Story has a piece detailing further plans in which Rumsfeld along with Cheney intend to ignore recommendations from intelligence and use the forces of the detained Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK) — a right-wing Iranian terrorist organization — to intimidate Iran.

?These guys are nuts,” an anonymous intelligence source told Raw Story, regarding Tweedle Don and Tweedle Dick.
The Moderate Voice scours the papers and the web for various points of view on the Rummy Must Go symphony.

And never, ever by the “Rumsfeld tried to resign twice” nonsense. Friends don’t let friends cut and run.