Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

General Discussion

Showing Original Post only (View all)


(71,790 posts)
Fri Sep 27, 2013, 06:32 PM Sep 2013

Dianne Feinstein Accidentally Confirms That NSA Tapped The Internet Backbone [View all]

Dianne Feinstein Accidentally Confirms That NSA Tapped The Internet Backbone

It's widely known that the NSA has taps connected to the various telco networks, thanks in large part to AT&T employee Mark Klein who blew the whistle on AT&T's secret NSA room in San Francisco. What was unclear was exactly what kind of access the NSA had. Various groups like the EFF and CDT have both been asking the administration to finally come clean, in the name of transparency, if they're tapping backbone networks to snarf up internet communications like email. So far, the administration has declined to elaborate. Back in August, when the FISA court declassified its ruling about NSA violations, the third footnote, though heavily redacted, did briefly discuss this "upstream" capability:

..............during Thursday's Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Dianne Feinstein more or less admitted that they get emails via "upstream" collection methods. As you can see in the following clip, Feinstein interrupts a discussion to read a prepared "rebuttal" to a point being made, and in doing so clearly says that the NSA can get emails via upstream collections:

Upstream collection... occurs when NSA obtains internet communications, such as e-mails, from certain US companies that operate the Internet background, i.e., the companies that own and operate the domestic telecommunications lines over which internet traffic flows.

She clearly means "backbone"rather than "background." She's discussing this in an attempt to defend the NSA's "accidental" collection of information it shouldn't have had. But that point is not that important. Instead, the important point is that she's now admitted what most people suspected, but which the administration has totally avoided admitting for many, many years since the revelations made by Mark Klein.

So, despite years of trying to deny that the NSA can collect email and other communications directly from the backbone (rather than from the internet companies themselves), Feinstein appears to have finally let the cat out of the bag, perhaps without realizing it.

38 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
HE WAS NEVER THE NOMINEE! rhett o rick Sep 2013 #1
*lol* Hydra Sep 2013 #3
So nice that you provide your own trolling and distractions. Bolo Boffin Sep 2013 #5
I dont know what came over me. nm rhett o rick Sep 2013 #6
"We do NOT have a Domestic Spying Program!" bvar22 Sep 2013 #7
Wellll I guess it all hinges on the definition of "not". nm rhett o rick Sep 2013 #18
Beat me to it. WilliamPitt Sep 2013 #17
... Enthusiast Sep 2013 #32
Silence was their best weapon on this Hydra Sep 2013 #2
history 90-percent Sep 2013 #4
History belongs to the victors. riderinthestorm Sep 2013 #8
The problem they have is that they never will make whistle-blowers extinct. rhett o rick Sep 2013 #20
Maybe statues quakerboy Sep 2013 #9
Kicked and recommended. Uncle Joe Sep 2013 #10
Is the Internet 'background' made of 'tubes'?... n/t PoliticAverse Sep 2013 #11
KNR. DirkGently Sep 2013 #12
Opps. Rex Sep 2013 #13
Well why not admit it? zeemike Sep 2013 #14
I think we are close to a terrible tipping point. I think the NSA is at some point going rhett o rick Sep 2013 #21
And you could be right. zeemike Sep 2013 #29
They dont really have to have anything on Pres Obama. They just have to explain to rhett o rick Sep 2013 #31
When asked what surprised him most when he became president, tblue37 Sep 2013 #38
NATHAN HALE formercia Sep 2013 #15
So, I googled "Internet Background" PowerToThePeople Sep 2013 #16
You have to look behind the pictures to see what's really going on... n/t PoliticAverse Sep 2013 #22
So is this stuff still classified? Conium Sep 2013 #19
From the name Prism, it was pretty clear that's what was happening mythology Sep 2013 #23
Bookmarking. n/t myrna minx Sep 2013 #24
I can do selective quotes, too! jazzimov Sep 2013 #25
It's almost to the point where I say 'Why bother?' randome Sep 2013 #27
"Upstream from the backbone" is venacular for the NSA taps into CALEA-compliant switches. leveymg Sep 2013 #26
Deja DU: This information was on DU a long time ago. We have known this all along. Coyotl Sep 2013 #28
Dianne Feinstein has no more idea than a two-year-old about what goes on with the internet. JDPriestly Sep 2013 #30
That's why the NSA is so pleased she's Chair of the Committee. leveymg Sep 2013 #34
Blah blah blah. Didja hear about Kanye? progressoid Sep 2013 #33
Leaks are Espionage! kenny blankenship Sep 2013 #35
I bet we will find "pole dancing" in her past. Not that there is anything wrong with that. nm rhett o rick Sep 2013 #36
Proof the NSA is not good WovenGems Sep 2013 #37
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Dianne Feinstein Accident...