Mark Klein, a former AT&T technician is reportedly “turning in” AT&T over the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program, after President Bush defended the NSA’s surveillance program as limited to collecting phone calls between suspected terrorists overseas and people in the United States.
In the summer of 2002 a visitor from the NSA visited the office of AT&T in San Francisco. A year or so later, Klein stumbled upon documents that, he said, nearly caused him to fall out of his chair.
The documents show that the NSA gained access to massive amounts of internet records, including e-mails and search records, of more than a dozen global and regional telecommunications providers. AT&T allowed the NSA to hook into its network, and according to Klein, many of the other telecoms most likely knew nothing about it.
Klein, 62, was in Washington this morning to share his story with Congress, in hopes that it will pursuade lawmakers not to grant legal immunity to the telecoms that were involved in the illegal surveillance activities. He worked for AT&T for 22 years before retiring in 2004, and has no qualms about “turning in” AT&T.