He said the NSA built a special room to receive data streamed through an AT&T Internet room containing “peering links,” or major connections to other telecom providers. The largest of the links delivered 2.5 gigabits of data – the equivalent of one-quarter of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s text – per second, said Klein, whose documents and eyewitness account form the basis of one of the first lawsuits filed against the telecom giants after the government’s warrantless-surveillance program was reported in the New York Times in December 2005.
“That was my ‘aha!’ moment,” Klein said. “They’re sending the entire Internet to the secret room.”
“I flipped out,” he said. “They’re copying the whole Internet. There’s no selection going on here. Maybe they select out later, but at the point of handoff to the government, they get everything.”