Culver City is one of many municipalities in metro Los Angeles offering some form of free wifi network. Culver City’s system has been thought of as the first, city-owned free system and other cities including Burbank, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood followed suit by providing free public wireless access in localized areas, primarily to promote tourism and the business districts.
But it turns out Free wireless access doesn’t exactly mean “free access.”
Culver City, which, incidentally, is home to no fewer than three motion picture studios (including — yup — Sony), has implemented filtering that blocks users on its municipal wifi network from accessing p2p sites, porn, and other “questionable content.” The incriminating “nannyware” in this instance is CopySense.
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.
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 broadcoverage.
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?
Demonstrating the utter worthlessness of the PATRIOT Act as well as any Bush Administration concern for personal privacy, AMERICABlog followed through with their explanation that “Anyone can buy your cellphone records”
John explains in his post today:
All we needed was General Clark’s cell phone number and our credit card, and 24 hours later we had one hundred calls the general made on his cell phone in November.
I bought my records via the Web site LocateCell for $110. We bought General Clark’s records via the Web site CellTolls for $89.95. It is possible that both sites are run by the same company.
[updated at bottom] Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) was one of the few Congressmen who were told of the NSA secret wiretapping in confidentiality. Today he released the handwritten letter he wrote to Vice President Cheney in 2003 voicing his concern. View the letter here (.pdf).
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today asked four presidential scholars for their opinion on former White House Counsel John Dean?s statement that President Bush admitted to an ?impeachable offense? when he said he authorized the National Security Agency to spy on Americans without getting a warrant from a judge.
I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story. The Times will not comment on the meeting, but one can only imagine the president?s desperation.
The number of U.S. airstrikes increased in the weeks leading up to last Thursday’s election, from a monthly average of about 35 last summer to more than 60 in September and 120 or more in October and November.
UPDATE 2: Total number of FISA applications rejected, 1979-2004: 4 (two of which were later granted, 1758 were approved in 2004). source: EPIC
U.S. forces yesterday flew eight newly released “high-value” Iraqi detainees out of the country aboard a special military aircraft, in a move other officials said was aimed at furthering a secret peace process with Sunni hard-line groups.
….An additional 16 high-value detainees — most of them depicted in a U.S. pack of cards identifying top Saddam officials — are to be released imminently or have already been freed, according to a senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
This wouldn’t amount to negotiating with the…….. nah.