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Where Is the Press on Internet Surveillance?
The John Birch Society
By John Perna
March 7, 2007

ABC just ran a story of whistleblower Mark Klein, AT&T technician, regarding government surveillance of internet traffic by AT&T and the National Security Agency. At a San Francisco switching center, Mr. Klein collected over 120 pages of technical documents showing how NSA installed splitters which would allow of both domestic and international internet communications to be copied.

Over at the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Klein's story by was killed at the request of National Intelligence Director John Negroponte and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden. However, the New York Times did publish it. An online news video is available here.

Some organizations are not taking this lightly. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's website, the organization "filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T ... accusing the telecom giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications."

EFF's staff attorney Kevin Bankston stated:

The NSA program is apparently the biggest fishing expedition ever devised, scanning millions of ordinary Americans' phone calls and emails for 'suspicious' patterns, and it's the collaboration of US telecom companies like AT&T that makes it possible. When the government defends spying on Americans by saying, "If you're talking to terrorists we want to know about it," that's not even close to the whole story.

We can rationalize our government's conduct all we want, but what it really comes down to is this:
When they eroded the 2nd Amendment,
we were quiet,
because we don't own guns.

When they chipped away at the 4th Amendment,
we were quiet,
because we didn't deal drugs.

When they circumvented the 6th Amendment,
we were quiet,
because we were innocent.

Now they are assaulting the 1st Amendment,
and very soon,
if we continue to be quiet,
we will have no choice,
but to continue to be quiet.

John Perna

John, who serves as a chapter leader for The John Birch Society, resides in South Carolina

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