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Mired in the scandal of allegedly turning over the records of millions of customers to the NSA, AT&T recently filed a 25-page legal brief striped with thick black lines that were intended to obscure portions of three pages and render them unreadable. The only problem is… you can copy and paste whatever’s under the redacted sections ( ).
What’s most disturbing is the notion that AT&T is working with the executive branch, as their defense collusion is nearly transparent
when you take one section of the redacted text (woops, I guess the best parts weren’t even redacted):
Key factual issues that bear directly on the viability of their legal claims and AT&T’s defenses are subject to the Government’s state secrets assertion and are unavailable.
Compare to recent moves by the White House (from the same article):
Also this week, the Bush administration submitted a 29-page brief that elaborates on its argument that the case should be tossed out of court because of the “state secrets” privilege.
Lawyers for the Justice Department have offered to fly a courier from Washington to San Francisco with classified documents that Walker could review in private–documents that, in the eyes of the government, will convince him to dismiss the lawsuit. (The Bush administration also argues that EFF lawyers should not be permitted to see the classified information.)
“No aspect of this case can be litigated without disclosing state secrets,” the government said in its brief this week. “The United States has not lightly invoked the state secrets privilege, and the weighty reasons for asserting the privilege are apparent from the classified material submitted in support of its assertion.”
So basically, we’re admittedly working with the phone company to spy on you, but you can’t verify whether anyone is violating the fourth amendment because actually knowing the truth would jeopardize state secrets.
No really… trust us, it’s a secret.
Update by Michael Hampton: Consider this: If AT&T didn’t have a secret room, or wasn’t surveilling people with it, why would it need to bother to redact the existence of the allegations of the secret room? If it used the equipment for stopping viruses and hackers, it would be trumpeting this fact all over its marketing pages. If the equipment did not exist, the allegation would not need to be redacted. So what’s going on in the secret room? The redaction itself, I have to conclude, proves the allegations.