ACLU map of NSA's domestic phone, 'net surveillance

On Declan McCullagh's always-informative politech mailing list, ACLU Technology and Liberty Project director Barry Steinhardt shared news of "a new ACLU white paper and interactive map detailing what is known and suspected about how the NSA's illegal spying on Americans occurs and where the interceptions are likely taking place."

Link to "Eavesdropping 101: What Can the NSA Do?". Steinhard explains, "It looks at the probable connections that the NSA has made to the U.S. civilian communications infrastructure. The map shows how the NSA's "surveillance octopus" likely entangles the country. We believe it is the first effort to visually illustrate what is happening." More at

Declan wrote,

I think the ACLU's map is intended to be more fanciful than based on any confirmed participation by U.S. telecom or Internet companies. The closest we've come to actual confirmation was a paragraph buried in the middle of a Los Angeles Times article last month about AT&T, mirrored here and cited in the EFF suit. Am I missing something?
To which the ACLU's Steinhardt replied,
You are right-- in part. No one outside of the Government and the providers themselves can confirm which specific companies are cooperating with NSA's "program". Our map very intentionally does not point to at any specific company or companies. Although if any company would like to make a pledge not to cooperate with the NSA's warrantless and illegal communications spying, we would be happy to publicly applaud that pledge on the map and our other materials.

What the map shows are the various access and interception points that are likely involved in the NSA's surveillance.Many of those points have been described over the years in reports from well informed journalists like James Bamford and government reports like those prepared for the European Parliament. Several of the nations involved in what had been called the Echelon program have also admitted to its existence.

Read the full posts here:
NSA surveillance: EFF lawsuit; new white paper by ACLU
Barry Steinhardt on ACLU's map and NSA surveillance

Previously on Boing Boing:
EFF suing AT&T for helping NSA illegally spy on Americans