Fauster's Facts Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Open Letter

The Electronic Freedom Foundation claims to possess documents provided by a retired AT&T whistle blower that indicate that all of AT&T's Internet traffic in the US (a significant portion of total traffic in the US) is forwarded directly to the NSA. The article is here:


The EEF has filed suit, and the documents are currently under seal. If these documents are legitimate, then it indicates the scope of Bush's illegal electronic surveillance program: every packet of information sent through the routers of acquiescing companies (maybe even this one) is data mined by computers to look for a terrorist connection. If the former AT&T employee is honest, this likely means that NSA computer programs have spied on your web traffic without a warrant or probable cause to look for the illegal activities of a handful of extremists.

Please forward this link to any of your family and friends who might be concerned about their civil rights. Also remind your friends that the FISA act was intended not only to clarify constitutional limits of the the executive branch, but to also to specify a criminal penalty for such a violation. Any "officer or employee of the United States" who violates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine.


The FISA act carries civil liability as well. If the NSA is monitoring your Internet communications without a warrant, you are entitled to not less than $1,000, or $100 per day for each day of violation of your rights.


If the NSA wiretapping program is really this expansive, persons involved must be brought to trial in a court of law.

FISA provisions, Subchapter I, Electronic Surveillance:

§ 1809. Criminal sanctions
Release date: 2005-03-17

(a) Prohibited activities
A person is guilty of an offense if he intentionally—
(1) engages in electronic surveillance under color of law except as authorized by statute; or
(2) discloses or uses information obtained under color of law by electronic surveillance, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through electronic surveillance not authorized by statute.
(b) Defense
It is a defense to a prosecution under subsection (a) of this section that the defendant was a law enforcement or investigative officer engaged in the course of his official duties and the electronic surveillance was authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) Penalties
An offense described in this section is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both.
(d) Federal jurisdiction
There is Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section if the person committing the offense was an officer or employee of the United States at the time the offense was committed.

§ 1810. Civil liability
Release date: 2005-03-17

An aggrieved person, other than a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power, as defined in section 1801 (a) or (b)(1)(A) of this title, respectively, who has been subjected to an electronic surveillance or about whom information obtained by electronic surveillance of such person has been disclosed or used in violation of section 1809 of this title shall have a cause of action against any person who committed such violation and shall be entitled to recover—
(a) actual damages, but not less than liquidated damages of $1,000 or $100 per day for each day of violation, whichever is greater;
(b) punitive damages; and
(c) reasonable attorney's fees and other investigation and litigation costs reasonably incurred.


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