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30 December 2013 @ 07:38 pm
Der Spiegel and the NSA  
Are you guys up on the latest round of Der Spiegel revelations about the NSA's activities? They're terrifying.

The kind of stuff you heard about with Russian embassies and the CIA mixing bugs into the mortar? They're doing that kind of thing, apparently broad-spectrum, to high-value targets, semi-high-value targets and those who might be adjacent to high-value targets.

And it's not just one or two terrifying things that have been used in a few cases. It's tens of programs, and devices that are apparently routinely shipped in the tens or hundreds of units. It's postal interception, broad postal interception to infect 'new' computers, total compromise of essentially all smartphones, infection of nearly all computing peripherals...

And this is all separate from things like working with RSA to compromise data security standards -- that is, making us all less secure so that they can break our passwords if they need to.
rbus: bifucklesrbus on January 2nd, 2014 01:23 am (UTC)
Call me old and paranoid, but I consider any message I ever sent (including old-style land-mail) as grist for the mill - especially since I read Socialist newspapers in the mid-70s 'cause I really wanted to fuck that cute Communist chick back in college.

The British "Indian Telegraph Act of 1885" specifically allowed interception of messages by the government. Abraham Lincoln's administration intercepted telegraph messages sent by U.S. citizens. Phones have been wiretapped (with and without due process) since the invention of the technology.

Printers hide information in their output. I'd bet anything that every other piece of technology advertises itself in one way or the other.

"A guy who used to be in Washington knew that his phone was tapped, used to answer, 'Fuck Hoover, yes, go ahead.'"
- George Carlin, 1970s -

It *is* kind of scary for it's breadth and depth, but it's business as usual. Perhaps if everyone in the U.S. mentioned terrorist organizations in the tags of all our emails we send we could clog up the filters?

Oh, and "Fuck Hoover!"
Noahangelbob on January 2nd, 2014 02:44 am (UTC)
Yeah. You can get a cute little mail filter for some old email programs that adds a big chunk of "suspect information", all in one block, along the lines of:

Waihopai, INFOSEC, Information Security, Information Warfare, IW, IS, Priavacy, Information Terrorism, Terrorism Defensive Information, Defense Information Warfare, Offensive Information, Offensive Information Warfare, National Information Infrastructure, InfoSec, Reno, Compsec, Computer Terrorism, Firewalls, Secure Internet Connections, ISS, Passwords, DefCon V, Hackers, Encryption, Espionage, USDOJ, NSA, CIA, S/Key, SSL, FBI, Secert Service, USSS, Defcon, Military, White House, Undercover,
Hello to all my friends and fans in domestic surveillance!

But fair enough. It's just that a couple of years ago, believing that the NSA intercepted all your cellphone calls and internet traffic was tinfoil hat territory, let alone believing that they would intercept your new computer and infect it with spyware, or add a custom-molded-to-your-case peripheral that reads the memory of your computer with a wireless connection and rebroadcasts it.

But apparently that's just business as usual.

And yeah, most technology has some way to identify the originating device -- it's even more likely with certain programs like Microsoft Word or Excel.
rbus: jesterrbus on January 2nd, 2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
It's a sad statment that a google search for the entire phrase:
"as long as you're doing nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about"
nets 200k+ hits.

see the litte jester cat icon?
the cap is lined with tinfoil!

Edited at 2014-01-06 03:10 pm (UTC)
metaphortunate sonmetaphortunate on January 5th, 2014 10:04 pm (UTC)
Yeah, kind of numbing with terror. :/