American Culture

All your Internets are belong to ATT & the NSA

By Martin Bosworth

Two seemingly coincidental bits of news crossed my desk yesterday morning. First, the Wall Street Journal contains excerpts of an interview with Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell in which he outlines a vast new initiative to police Internet traffic “for abuse.”

Meanwhile, AT&T announced that it plans to extend its initiative to examine packets of information on its network for illegally traded content, becoming, in effect, the Internet’s traffic cop.

Let’s see…the world’s largest telecom company states it’s in negotiations with major entertainment conglomerate to police the Internet on their behalf, on the same day the DNI announces the government wants more eyes on Internet traffic?

Mike McConnell is an old friend to the major telecom companies, having most recently stumped on their behalf to grant them retroactive immunity from prosecution in the NSA’s illegal surveillance program. He’s also a big fan of privatizing national security functions, favoring everything from outsourcing background checks to enlisting credit bureaus to handle the work of verifying identities. I find it not at all unfeasible that even as AT&T is offering its services to Big Content, Big Government is waiting expectantly in the visitors’ room for its turn at the till.

There are no coincidences.

18 replies »

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  2. Wait a minute, are you saying that Bush can spy on us, but he (taking my dollars as a federal servant and subject to the laws of this country) cannot either find his emails or is willing to have a fair and open government and have them open to scrutiny…. Why do I feel like OJ is running the country???

  3. This is the largest threat to our free society. It’s basically restricting free speech.

  4. Simple solution–use code language embedded in gobdedleygook.

    Call Mr. Lee, tell him the flow is broken.

  5. I’ve always wondered how long it would be before the internet was monitored and managed by government. I guess it’s happened, or will soon.

    So, once sites like this are either outlawed or so constrained as to be pointless, and since phone calls and emails are already being monitored now, and the right wing owns most of the airwaves and paper media – what’s left to get the message out? Distribute pamphlets on street corners? Or is that already illegal?

  6. So use encryption. Demand it of sites that you visit and read. There’s very good encryption technology created outside the US which hasn’t been crippled by US laws. That is why US companies are no longer leaders in security or encryption technology.

    Additionally, you should avoid ATT products and services and telnet to switches outside the US until the EU comes up with their own version of root service and can bypass these anticompetitive activities. My guess is China and the EU won’t be wanting their message traffic violated by American networks.

    Come to think of it, this most likely violates privacy laws in most of Europe. They should simply ban American routing into and out of their networks until these fascists are out of office.

  7. rmf, yes.. you’ll have to get out in the street and talk to people.. Only, when they see you do that, they will have the jackboots come and cuff you and drag you off to jail to be held without legal recourse and call you a rabble rouser. Since the MSM won’t be reporting on those stories, they will simply pick up anyone that upsets their plans (tries to, anyway) and send them off to the Haliburton camps and no one will know (or care).

    There are ways to get around them snooping your content, but most of those require some technical savvy… which means only the savvy folks will be safe for the short term. Then they will outlaw those means too (commercial PGP programs must provide the government with a back door which totally destroys the premise of PGP). They will start arresting people simply for using knowledge that they can’t hack simply because they presume you must be doing something illegal or you’d not be trying to hide it.

    Until the fascists in charge (and running for office) are stopped by the people, we’re doomed to a totalitarian government and virtually no rights to anything other than access to Corporate venues. Won’t that be fun? You can use the internet so long as you’re making someone else money, otherwise.. fuckoff.