[ISN] FBI fights to protect ISPs that snoop on their customers

From: InfoSec News <alerts_at_private>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2011 03:01:44 -0500 (CDT)

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco
The Register
12th May 2011

The FBI has finally come clean on the real reason it doesn't want to 
name phone and internet service providers that participate in a sweeping 
surveillance program that taps international communications without a 
warrant: Customers would get mad and dump or sue the providers.

This rare piece of honesty came in a recently filed court declaration 
(PDF) from a top FBI official arguing why the agency shouldn't have to 
supply the names in response to a Freedom of Information request filed 
by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Specifically, these businesses would be substantially harmed if their 
customers knew that they were furnishing information to the FBI,” David 
M. Hardy wrote. “The stigma of working with the FBI would cause 
customers to cancel the companies' services and file civil actions to 
prevent further disclosure of subscriber information. Therefore, the FBI 
has properly withheld this information.”

Under recent changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 
government intelligence officials received authority to tap American's 
international communications with little judicial oversight. The ACLU 
filed a lawsuit on constitutional grounds and later filed a FOIA request 
seeking additional details. Feds so far have released only a “few 
hundred pages of heavily redacted documents.”


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Received on Fri May 13 2011 - 01:01:44 PDT

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