Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Update on EFF/AT&T lawsuit ...

AT&T Seeks to Hide Spy Docs
* The telecom giant asks for the return of technical documents that purport to show how it helped the NSA install internet wiretap gear as part of a secret domestic surveillance operation. By Ryan Singel. Apr 12, 2006 | 11:00 AM

This is a follow up to the bit I posted a few days back, Interesting case by the EFF AT&T has filed suit to have technical documents kept under seal and returned to AT&T, and they are seeking that the documents be removed from use at trial in the general lawsuit against AT&T.

Its interesting that while the claim 'trade secrets' as the reason to get these documents back, there is no dispute about the contents of them. Essentially, they detail the technical specs of a special NSA mandated room at AT&T's offices in SF that is used to monitor IP traffic directed to it via AT&T public internet backbone.

It may very well be that these papers contain proprietary technical information, but that's hardly the court's concern here. The issue at stake is the diversion of internet traffic, and the documents are clearly relevant to that. Legitimate or not, the 'trade secrets' argument is actually a red herring such that AT&T doesn't have to admit to being caught with their pants down.

There may be good reason to scrutinize the docs and redact portions that do not deal directly with the NSA charges ... Proprietary info on AT&T business that isn't related to the NSA probe is surely a legitimate concern. But the information that is relevant to the charges at hand cannot be deemed 'proprietary' ... Its the same as tobacco companies trying to have their own internal studies and documentation thrown out of lawsuits because of its proprietary nature. 'Trade secrets' does not allow a company to hide relevant information from a legal proceeding, and AT&T is trying to play the tobacco companies game ... It doesn't look good on them.


Post a Comment

<< Home