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FBI has access to all phone convos, E-Mails etc.

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baguvix_wanrltw
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#1

Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:58 PM

I don't think anyone seriously doubted this but still, so much for another "conspiracy theory". So the NSA, the FBI, presumably the CIA and probably many more. Some of us must have a lot of fans there and we all know those guys like to think internationally smile.gif

http://www.guardian....rded-fbi-boston

QUOTE
On Wednesday night, Burnett interviewed Tim Clemente, a former FBI counterterrorism agent, about whether the FBI would be able to discover the contents of past telephone conversations between the two. He quite clearly insisted that they could: [...]

"All of that stuff" - meaning every telephone conversation Americans have with one another on US soil, with or without a search warrant - "is being captured as we speak".

On Thursday night, Clemente again appeared on CNN, this time with host Carol Costello, and she asked him about those remarks. He reiterated what he said the night before but added expressly that "all digital communications in the past" are recorded and stored [...]

Let's repeat that last part: "no digital communication is secure", by which he means not that any communication is susceptible to government interception as it happens (although that is true), but far beyond that: all digital communications - meaning telephone calls, emails, online chats and the like - are automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the government after the fact.

To describe that is to define what a ubiquitous, limitless Surveillance State is.

I'd recommend reading this in its entirety, not a very long read and rather interesting imho. Written by Glenn Greenwald btw.

Oh and for those coming in here wanting to claim he was just a nutjob with no credibility:

QUOTE
There have been some previous indications that this is true. Former AT&T engineer Mark Klein revealed that AT&T and other telecoms had built a special network that allowed the National Security Agency full and unfettered access to data about the telephone calls and the content of email communications for all of their customers. Specifically, Klein explained "that the NSA set up a system that vacuumed up Internet and phone-call data from ordinary Americans with the cooperation of AT&T" and that "contrary to the government's depiction of its surveillance program as aimed at overseas terrorists . . . much of the data sent through AT&T to the NSA was purely domestic." But his amazing revelations were mostly ignored and, when Congress retroactively immunized the nation's telecom giants for their participation in the illegal Bush spying programs, Klein's claims (by design) were prevented from being adjudicated in court.

That every single telephone call is recorded and stored would also explain this extraordinary revelation by the Washington Post in 2010:

Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.

It would also help explain the revelations of former NSA official William Binney, who resigned from the agency in protest over its systemic spying on the domestic communications of US citizens, that the US government has "assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about US citizens with other US citizens" (which counts only communications transactions and not financial and other transactions), and that "the data that's being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want."

And while we're at it, another lesson in "just because they killed the law by that name doesn't mean it won't come back under a new name":
QUOTE
Strangely, back in 2002 - when hysteria over the 9/11 attacks (and thus acquiescence to government power) was at its peak - the Pentagon's attempt to implement what it called the "Total Information Awareness" program (TIA) sparked so much public controversy that it had to be official scrapped. But it has been incrementally re-instituted - without the creepy (though honest) name and all-seeing-eye logo - with little controversy or even notice.

The logo from back then, looks like a bad joke about the Illuminati - but apparently it was no joke:
user posted image

Later a nice explanation of how Obama flip flopped on this issue.
QUOTE
The Obama administration condemned this move on the ground that it threatened core freedoms, only to turn around six weeks later and demand that all forms of digital communications allow the US government backdoor access to intercept them.


So the next time anyone talks to you about the lack of civil liberties and disregard for (human) rights in the evil communist regimes or arab countries you should probably spit in their face and/or laugh, your choice.

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#2

Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:01 PM

So, that show 'Person of Interest' is based on a true story?

whodathunkit?!

sivispacem
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#3

Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:13 PM

It's total bollocks that any intelligence agency could hoover up all digital communications. Total fantasy. Even if there were such a capability, which is questionable given that I doubt there is a nation on the planet who could afford the sheer size of hard drive arrays required to hold all such data, how on earth could you analyse it given that intelligence agencies are understaffed for the required small scale analysis they have to do. Hence why the outsource so much of it. There is no real purpose to obtaining so much data. It actually makes analysis harder if anything.

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#4

Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:02 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 10:13)
It's total bollocks that any intelligence agency could hoover up all digital communications. Total fantasy. Even if there were such a capability, which is questionable given that I doubt there is a nation on the planet who could afford the sheer size of hard drive arrays required to hold all such data, how on earth could you analyse it given that intelligence agencies are understaffed for the required small scale analysis they have to do. Hence why the outsource so much of it. There is no real purpose to obtaining so much data. It actually makes analysis harder if anything.

This pretty much.

Though that's not to say they're not listening. The NSA actually has a satellite out in the desert only a few miles away from me. But you know, you would kind of hope that an agency called the National Security Agency would have some type of surveillance equipment, it doesn't mean they're spying on U.S. citizens and certainly not to the extent being claimed.

This is just one of those things that people with mistrust of the government want to blow out of proportion, suggesting, "Oh well they'd never really tell us what they're capable of." It's kind of like the movie Enemy of the State.... You either believe the truth, that we don't have satellites capable of reading facial expressions down to a foot's definition, or you believe that we're simply being lied to about it. Either way there's not jack sh*t you can do, so why care?

baguvix_wanrltw
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#5

Posted 05 May 2013 - 06:15 PM Edited by baguvix_wanrltw, 05 May 2013 - 06:27 PM.

http://en.wikipedia....tah_Data_Center

QUOTE
The Utah Data Center, also known as the Intelligence Community Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Data Center,[1] is a data storage facility for the United States Intelligence Community that is designed to be a primary storage resource capable of storing data on the scale of yottabytes (1 yottabyte = 1 trillion terabytes, or 1 quadrillion gigabytes).[2][3] Its purpose — as the name implies — is to support the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), though its precise mission is secret.[4] The National Security Agency, which will lead operations at the facility, is the executive agent for the Director of National Intelligence.[5] It is located at Camp Williams, near Bluffdale, Utah, between Utah Lake and Great Salt Lake.

And I seriously doubt this is the first such "resource". But I assume they're just baking cookies for sick kids there.

Funny the word "fantasy" should be used when I already used it in the subheader wink.gif And ever so fittingly...

Rela ted

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#6

Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:58 PM

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 10:58)
So the next time anyone talks to you about the lack of civil liberties and disregard for (human) rights in the evil communist regimes or arab countries you should probably spit in their face and/or laugh, your choice.

So the storage of all digital communication within the US makes other countries' atrocities OK?

I think you have brain damage.

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#7

Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:05 PM

What if I invest in a router that allows me to install TrueCrypt

CallTheCoroner
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#8

Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:05 PM

They must have a good time listening in on phone sex. Lonely bastards.

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#9

Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:06 PM

QUOTE (Girish @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 17:01)
So, that show 'Person of Interest' is based on a true story?

whodathunkit?!

Lol maybe the show is made by the FBI to throw peoples ideas of how they spy on us

sivispacem
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#10

Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:20 PM

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 19:15)
http://en.wikipedia....tah_Data_Center

Right, so the data centre that isn't operational until September this year has been storing every single electronic communication since 2010? Highly unlikely. It still doesn't answer the question of who could analyse it. Your can't automate analysis. Information gathering yes, analysis no. You really think that the intelligence agencies have enough staff to spend hours hunting through sexting, cat videos and three hour mother-daughter chinwags for any purpose at all? Totally ridiculous. The kind of person who buys into this claptrap clearly has absolutely no understanding of the role, function and capabilities of intelligence agencies.

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#11

Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:31 PM

How exactly would they have the time to analyze so much random sh*t?

baguvix_wanrltw
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#12

Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:42 PM Edited by baguvix_wanrltw, 05 May 2013 - 08:49 PM.

Lol the trolling is strong in this thread, alright kids, let's get down to it.

CygnusX1: I never claimed anything like that. The point, which you obviously failed or just did not want to get, was that western regimes pointing fingers at eastern ones for (human) rights violations and massive surveillance are a bad joke.

WhitValid: I'm pretty sure that solves all problems of course tounge.gif

sivispacem: I never claimed that the data center operated before it opened. If you actually read my entire post you'd see that I've addressed that already when I said that I very much doubt this was the first "data center" of its kind. It's funny you seem to apparently suggest it was, which is either incredibly naive or just plain... well, you can think of a word for it yourself.

whatsstrength & sivispacem: Please tell me you are joking. "You can't automate analysis", "they couldn't look through all of that", are you f*cking kidding me? For calls there is voice recognition software, so you'll get the text in black and white; maybe not always 100% accurate but good enough to get a general idea where to look twice. For E-Mails and similar you have the plain text already. And of course you can write a program that looks for words like "bomb", "islam", "terror" etc. and outputs the places where it found that, as a matter of fact I wrote a tiny tool that could be used for that in less than 10 minutes. Not exactly a thing you need to be a genius for... that tool was for crawling through the MP3/V vehicles "leak" files btw, not really spec ops stuff.

sivispacem
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#13

Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 21:42)
whatsstrength & sivispacem: Please tell me you are joking. "You can't automate analysis", "they couldn't look through all of that", are you f*cking kidding me?

Yeah, I am an intelligence analyst. Your understanding of the analysis cycle is bollocks. Seriously, you cannot automate intelligence analysis. If you could, why do intelligence agencies need huge contingent of highly trained, specialist analysts? Look, I know there is this bizarre perception anyone the general public that intelligence agencies are dystopian quasi-superpowers, but your understanding of intelligence is pretty poor. Nice to see you are perpetuating the old Echelon keywords myth too.

"Lol" indeed.

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#14

Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:27 PM

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 12:42)
And of course you can write a program that looks for words like "bomb", "islam", "terror" etc.

You're discounting the very likely possibility that those with malicious intent would use code words. You can't very well include mundane words such as "flower" or "dog food" or that would make the already inefficient process even more useless, but of course, who knows if criminals anywhere are using them to mask their intentions. Along the same lines, those using the word "bomb" and "terror" are most likely spectators and are not relevant.

"Islam?" Really? Lemme just type up a program in less than 10 minutes scanning for all mentions of "Islam" and see how many terrorists I can catch. You're guilty of some very lazy thinking. Criminals and terrorists are in a world of deception, not a world where Ctrl+F can get you the information you need.

baguvix_wanrltw
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#15

Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:43 PM Edited by baguvix_wanrltw, 05 May 2013 - 09:47 PM.

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 21:02)
Yeah, I am an intelligence analyst. Your understanding of the analysis cycle is bollocks. Seriously, you cannot automate intelligence analysis. If you could, why do intelligence agencies need huge contingent of highly trained, specialist analysts? Look, I know there is this bizarre perception anyone the general public that intelligence agencies are dystopian quasi-superpowers, but your understanding of intelligence is pretty poor. Nice to see you are perpetuating the old Echelon keywords myth too.

"Lol" indeed.

Ok so I have a guy on a forum who says one thing and people from the FBI, NSA, Guardian, Washington Post and AT&T saying the exact opposite. Plus there are historic records of a plan that detailed precisely what we've seen happening over the years that was "scrapped".

Who am I gonna believe? Tough one indeed. I don't know you dude and you claiming to be this or that won't suddenly make me believe everything you say no matter how ridiculous or proven false it is.

Besides then tell me, where are they getting the Boston phone data from then if they don't have it recorded somewhere? They claimed themselves that they were not specifically watching the two brothers despite intelligence and repeated warnings they got from the Saudis and another party iirc, so there is no reason they'd have saved that unless they save everything.

I didn't say a word about Echelon. Can't you just once *try* to make your point without laying words in my mouth? And keywords and using them to distill information down is no myth, despite your claims. #Fact (get it? I hope so)

QUOTE (Adler @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 21:27)
You're discounting the very likely possibility that those with malicious intent would use code words.

No, I just didn't go to that level of detail in my reply to sivi. I could also claim you're discounting the possibility of just adding certain well known code words to such filter lists. The point is not that at the end of the filtering process you will end up with one big red flag, that's bullsh*t obviously.

The goal is just to distill the incredible loads of information down to the levels that can actually be looked through by humans. I suppose there must be multiple filtering layers in place but that's the general idea from what I gather. If however you were claiming information can't possibly be filtered - that's just ignorant imho, sorry.

QUOTE
Along the same lines, those using the word "bomb" and "terror" are most likely spectators and are not relevant.

Very true but I think they have to look for those words as well, just imagine the public outcry if it was revealed one day "terror suspects used to openly speak about their plans but noone stopped them". They can't have that. Still your point is valid, no question.

QUOTE
"Islam?" Really? Lemme just type up a program in less than 10 minutes scanning for all mentions of "Islam" and see how many terrorists I can catch. You're guilty of some very lazy thinking. Criminals and terrorists are in a world of deception, not a world where Ctrl+F can get you the information you need.

You have not understood my intentions here, I only supplied this list of words as the "usual standard phrases" to look for. I did not say Islam had anything to do with terrorism by default, that's idiocy.

In the media (and on forums like this one) Islam however does often get associated with it; that IS wrong but that doesn't change reality, and the reality is that the false assumption that Islam encouraged terror is made very often.

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#16

Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:52 PM

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 13:43)
The goal is just to distill the incredible loads of information down to the levels that can actually be looked through by humans. I suppose there must be multiple filtering layers in place but that's the general idea from what I gather. If however you were claiming information can't possibly be filtered - that's just ignorant imho, sorry.

Well, unless an AI was in charge of the filtering process, then I doubt the process will be reliable. It's much more effective to filter people and organizations and classify them via their backgrounds rather than information taken from the plethora of communications that occur everyday. The task of categorizing people requires an intelligence to connect the dots rather than through filtering layers of information. It's a needless hassle that nobody really recognizes the benefits of.

In regards to the rest, that was a misunderstanding on my part.

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#17

Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:08 PM

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 14:42)


CygnusX1: I never claimed anything like that. The point, which you obviously failed or just did not want to get, was that western regimes pointing fingers at eastern ones for (human) rights violations and massive surveillance are a bad joke.




1st, read what you posted, and I quoted.

2nd. How are my human rights being violated? I am entering my 48th year of doing anything I want to do anytime I want without encountering any interference, except by random criminals, that I or the Police have stomped on without hesitation.
Please tell me more about how I have been violated.
Did you see what happened when a couple retards bombed the Marathon in Boston? How many other countries can crush little fa**ots like that as quickly?
My rights are enhanced on a level never seen before in the history of this planet. And if my Government can't be there for me, they have allowed me to obtain weapons for self defense, which I did have to use once.

You have no argument.

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#18

Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:19 PM

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:43)
Ok so I have a guy on a forum who says one thing and people from the FBI, NSA, Guardian, Washington Post and AT&T saying the exact opposite. Plus there are historic records of a plan that detailed precisely what we've seen happening over the years that was "scrapped".

The issue is, they kind of aren't. There's nothing in any of the comments you've posted which fundamentally contradicts any of what I've said. For instance, I've never said that the US intelligence apparatus aren't hoovering up vast quantities of data. What I object to is the inference that nothing is sacred and everything is monitored. That isn't the case, quite apart from anything else because it is technically impossible. I'm currently on my mobile but I am more than happy to provide you with technical analyses of the value of such a capability to allay your fears. Rest assured, it would pose no intelligence value and would likely be hugely detrimental even if it were

Also, historic planning isn't a great guide to actual action. The same argument is used about Northwoods all the time. The example I like to highlight is remote viewing. The CIA researched it until well into the 1980s but that isn't evidence that such a thing even exists.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:43)
Who am I gonna believe? Tough one indeed. I don't know you dude and you claiming to be this or that won't suddenly make me believe everything you say no matter how ridiculous or proven false it is.

Who are you going to believe? You might start with listening to the first hand sources in your own damn articles, who don't actually say what you infer from their comments. Then you could do some research on intelligence traecraft so you had a decent grounding in the subject to start with. That might be a sensible point at which to engage in this discussion. I mean, exactly what is your basis of knowledge and understanding in the art and science of intelligence analysis and the operation of intelligence agencies which gives you such qualification to speak on the issue in complete ignorance of accepted theory and doctrine?

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:43)
Besides then tell me, where are they getting the Boston phone data from then if they don't have it recorded somewhere? They claimed themselves that they were not specifically watching the two brothers despite intelligence and repeated warnings they got from the Saudis and another party iirc, so there is no reason they'd have saved that unless they save everything.

I have to say I'm not familiar with the specifics of what you are discussing. But I can see several feasible ways that the content of phone calls could be gleaned without requiring a system to record everything. And respected all things that are actively done, and completely legal. You could inspect phone records to see who an individual made contact with, and then interrogate them for the details? You could read stored messages? You could obtain large quantities of tracking and location data from translation or GPS any GPRS. Although you appear to think otherwise, gathering information from telecommunications seldom involves listening to conversations themselves. It's the metadata that tells the story.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:43)
I didn't say a word about Echelon. Can't you just once *try* to make your point without laying words in my mouth? And keywords and using them to distill information down is no myth, despite your claims. #Fact (get it? I hope so)

No, you didn't mention it specifically. You did however perpetuate it, and either unwillingly or willingly used it in your argument. I bring it up specifically not just because you allude to it, but because it is very relevant in the discussion. There have been conspiracy theories about real-time monitoring and recording of civilian data since long before Echelon, but it was that programme which gave birth to the idiotic keyword theory. It wasn't true in the early 1980s and it isn't true now. If you had even the most rudimentary understanding of intelligence tradecraft you would be well aware that data quantity in extremes poses far more issues than it solves. Targeted intelligence gathering is and always will be far more effective than scattergun approaches. Also, note I never said that keywords weren't used. They are, but not in the sifting and distilling of intelligence. They are used, to some degree, in its collecting, shotguns where the requirement of an understanding of foreign languages and common code words comes in handy. Logically speaking, why would you draw downhbyhe quantities of data that needed to be analysed when you could tailor your intelligence gathering at a small cost in terms of initial identification for a far greater reward in terms of productivity in the analysis, collation and dissemination stages of the cycle?

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#19

Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:24 PM

Of course analysts can't analyze everything. They spend too much time debating on video game forums.

I don't know what's funnier. The fact that this guy believes that intelligence agencies monitor and analyze every single conversation and piece of information like they don't have the list of priorities and limited resources, or the fact that sivispacem is actually debating him. Dude, where do you get the energy for this crap? Let it go.

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#20

Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:24 PM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 17:02)
Seriously, you cannot automate intelligence analysis.

You can do a lot with automation, and a lot of it is done. But we seriously don't have the resources to even do the basic "trigger word" analysis on absolutely every bit of conversation, or even anything remotely close to that.

Even something as straight forward as taking every phone call made to/from China, checking for trigger words, and storing conversation to be reviewed by analyst is pure fantasy. First, there is volume of conversation. Even with trigger words and smart filtering (a NN can look for patterns of different trigger words - I do this sort of data mining work on the side, but not for gov't.), you have more conversations than you could possibly analyze. Maybe you could record all of these. But that still assumes that you are listening on every communication channel. Two decades ago, that might have been possible. Now? With majority of international calls going via IP? With different compression methods and completely different routs? Hell, even China can't monitor all of their communications. And if there is somebody who's really trying...

I'm 100% with sivi on this. He really knows what he's talking about on this subject, and based on my not insignificant experience in data mining, I agree with every point.

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#21

Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:27 PM Edited by baguvix_wanrltw, 05 May 2013 - 10:30 PM.

QUOTE (Adler @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 21:52)
Well, unless an AI was in charge of the filtering process, then I doubt the process will be reliable. It's much more effective to filter people and organizations and classify them via their backgrounds rather than information taken from the plethora of communications that occur everyday. The task of categorizing people requires an intelligence to connect the dots rather than through filtering layers of information. It's a needless hassle that nobody really recognizes the benefits of.

In regards to the rest, that was a misunderstanding on my part.

Yes of course, that's true. I hope I didn't come off like that, I never meant to say that every piece of information they gather is also actively looked through. They classify (or as I'd say, filter), just like you say, among other things by background info they have of course. That's just another layer of the process which I believe combines many different techniques to sift through the dirt.

But in the end I still very very much dislike the general idea of states having access to all people's communication - and I think it's very questionable "resources" like the Utah center are/will only be used to spy on Americans so this is an international issue imho.

And to finally say something about it so sivi gets what he wants: we've already seen with Echelon that such spy equipment can and will be used for industrial espionage (Bad Aibling 2004). That's not really consistent with the "just for your safety" narrative.


QUOTE (CygnusX1 @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:08)
1st, read what you posted, and I quoted.

Right, filling my head with your idiocy again will make all much better lol.gif I already read it, and got it, you just didn't get what I was saying and you still aren't.

QUOTE
How are my human rights being violated?

Sigh you guys really suck at this. A discussion doesn't work if you always just claim somebody said something they never have. We have it all here in black and white (or white and blue as it where) so I can prove what I said so f*ck off with your lame attempts to start sh*t.

What I said was that western governments like to point fingers FOR THINGS SUCH AS human rights violations and massive surveillance, as you can even read in the goddamn article I linked, if you please. We don't have to talk about the US's perspective on human rights anymore obviously, that has been clear for a long time. Now the massive surveillance thing too, they just do all the same sh*t they claim "bad guys" do and keep claiming they were somehow better with a straight face - it's amazing actually.

QUOTE
Blah blah blah  Please tell me more about how I have been violated.

Answered above, I never claimed anything like that, you just aren't able to discuss things without coming up with false assumptions and/or lies.

QUOTE
Did you see what happened when a couple retards bombed the Marathon in Boston? How many other countries can crush little fa**ots like that as quickly?

Yeah you seem like a really rational person whom I'd enjoy talking to much longer. Sigh. Anyway, all countries could have done that, and as I mentioned before, the US agencies had been REPEATEDLY WARNED by other countries' intelligence agencies about what might happen and DID NOTHING. Way to be proud of such complete failures. "Intelligence analysts" my ass.

You should be mad at your government for spending billions on useless "security measures" such as the sh*t mentioned in the OP, the TSA etc. while taking away your freedoms for no good reason at all instead of actually protecting you from anything, as witnessed recently in Boston.

QUOTE
My rights are enhanced on a level never seen before in the history of this planet. And if my Government can't be there for me, they have allowed me to obtain weapons for self defense, which I did have to use once. You have no argument.

"I have a gun. Therefore you have no argument in that completely unrelated topic." Hm, yeah, thanks for clearing that up friend icon14.gif Smart people round here.


Edit: Woah guys suddenly a hundred replies. Gimme a few minutes.

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#22

Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:51 PM

The second I saw this thread the first thing I could think of was "inb4 sivis corrects the 'politically incorrect information'"... and what do ya know lol.



They're called Fusion Centers, and there are dozens scattered all throughout the US.

http://www.huffingto..._n_1933998.html

"According to the report, DHS estimates for cost ranged from $289 million to $1.4 billion. The costs may be even higher, the report said."

"“A lot of [the reporting] was predominantly useless information,” one former official told committee investigators after working for the "Reporting Branch" of Intelligence and Analysis unit of the DHS from 2006 to 2010. “You had a lot of data clogging the system with no value."

Another former official estimated 85 percent of reports were “not beneficial” to anyone, the report said."

"One report was focused on a document that was entitled “Ten Book Recommendations for Every Muslim.” Another DHS intelligence officer filed an item on a U.S. citizen who, the report said "was appearing at a Muslim organization to deliver a day-long motivational talk and a lecture on positive parenting.""




The amount of Fusion Centers in US that collect and go through all digital data-

user posted image


Just the other day some girl in my town got arrested for sending somebody a text message about a school shooting. Now how did the authorities ever get into her cellphone inbox?

A massive amount of resources and man hours are spent on these, you really think this is all in the name of terrorism.. History repeats itself, now can someone tell me how many democracies have turned into a dictartorship?

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#23

Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:20 PM

Does the NSA care that I have a subscription to adult friend finder. No. Its embarrassing and I don't want others to know about it but it's not illegal. As long as your not doing anything illegal on a major level and talking about it I wouldn't worry too much about it.

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#24

Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:37 PM

You'll spike on a dozen automated internet intelligence scanners the minute you start hanging out in radical online communities or start looking up terrorist "how to's". And no that doesn't mean that 10 black SUVs pull up to your driveway and a dozen armed men in suit will kick in your door, trow you in the back of a blacked out SUV and ship you of to GITMO. It merely means that you will become a "person of interest", if that. Unfortunately whether or not an actual analyst will actually get to your case, remains to be seen. And no, no intelligence agency is interested in your weird sexual fetish, how many cat videos your watch or anything of that order. Quite, frankly they never will be, unless your name is on some Most Wanted list that is. Because then they will be very interested in what cat videos you watch and if you use these to convey encrypted messages. If you just refrain from anything criminal, you don't have to worry about anything.

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#25

Posted 06 May 2013 - 12:41 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 15:20)
It still doesn't answer the question of who could analyse it.

You don't need to. If another terriost attack should happen in America, they'll find out who was involved and then trace back their phone calls, emails, ect, to find who funded the group and to find anymore cells - should there be any.

It wouldn't surprise me if they are collecting everything considering that storage of digital data is becoming easier and cheaper. And should they need to use it against someone or some group, they'll simply pass a law allowing themselves to.

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#26

Posted 06 May 2013 - 01:04 AM

QUOTE (sivispacem @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:19)
The issue is, they kind of aren't. There's nothing in any of the comments you've posted which fundamentally contradicts any of what I've said.

Dude... I think you're a smart guy so I will not insult your intelligence by pretending to believe you really didn't notice that there are many fundamental contradictions. That makes me wonder why you don't care.

QUOTE
For instance, I've never said that the US intelligence apparatus aren't hoovering up vast quantities of data. What I object to is the inference that nothing is sacred and everything is monitored. That isn't the case, quite apart from anything else because it is technically impossible. I'm currently on my mobile but I am more than happy to provide you with technical analyses of the value of such a capability to allay your fears. Rest assured, it would pose no intelligence value and would likely be hugely detrimental even if it were

How does that not directly contradict the article? Besides you either forgot what you said earlier or you're trying to distract from it intentionally for whatever reason:
QUOTE
It's total bollocks that any intelligence agency could hoover up all digital communications. Total fantasy. Even if there were such a capability, which is questionable given that I doubt there is [not] a nation on the planet who could afford the sheer size of hard drive arrays required to hold all such data, how on earth could you analyse it given that intelligence agencies are understaffed for the required small scale analysis they have to do. Hence why the outsource so much of it. There is no real purpose to obtaining so much data. It actually makes analysis harder if anything.

There you claimed that it was not "technically impossible" as you do now but you said it was questionable; you also said that simply because of one reason: you claim nobody could afford that much space for data. I already linked the Utah data center thing and explained that I think this isn't the only facility of its kind so I don't know what more there is to discuss here, you claim one thing and they (NSA, FBI etc.) prove another.

QUOTE
Also, historic planning isn't a great guide to actual action. The same argument is used about Northwoods all the time. The example I like to highlight is remote viewing. The CIA researched it until well into the 1980s but that isn't evidence that such a thing even exists.

I'm not even going to mention what ebook this tactic reminds me of... if you are who you claim to be you know full well what "kind of people" usually use it. You're trying to debase the facts that were posted in the Guardian article and discussed in this thread by trying to create a link to "crazy conspiracy theories" like Northwood (which I had to google btw). Why not go ahead and mention the Philly Project and the hypnotized Kennedy killers as well? Lol. Btw for the idiots here (not any of the people I'm addressing right now btw): no, I'm not claiming those things happened the way nuts like to think of them, quite the opposite. Read it again if you don't get it.

QUOTE
Who are you going to believe? You might start with listening to the first hand sources in your own damn articles, who don't actually say what you infer from their comments.

Next cheap tactic, claiming I wasn't being accurate to the facts in the source without offering any proof of that whatsoever. Try harder man.

QUOTE
Then you could do some research on intelligence traecraft so you had a decent grounding in the subject to start with. That might be a sensible point at which to engage in this discussion. I mean, exactly what is your basis of knowledge and understanding in the art and science of intelligence analysis and the operation of intelligence agencies which gives you such qualification to speak on the issue in complete ignorance of accepted theory and doctrine?

More of the same, trying to ridicule me without any content or basis whatsoever, all you said is "you're stupid", just in more words. I'm used to reading through lots of bullsh*t so this won't work either, sorry Joe.

QUOTE
I have to say I'm not familiar with the specifics of what you are discussing. But I can see several feasible ways that the content of phone calls could be gleaned without requiring a system to record everything. And respected all things that are actively done, and completely legal. You could inspect phone records to see who an individual made contact with, and then interrogate them for the details? You could read stored messages? You could obtain large quantities of tracking and location data from translation or GPS any GPRS. Although you appear to think otherwise, gathering information from telecommunications seldom involves listening to conversations themselves. It's  the metadata that tells the story.

Surprise surprise, suddenly when confronted with direct proof for the points made by those retired agents, ex AT&T employees and journalists Mr. self proclaimed intelligence analyst doesn't know what I'm talking about and tries to redirect the conversation.

Btw, another big surprise: for some reason the people investigating the whole Boston thing disagree with what "tells the story:"
QUOTE
Meanwhile, investigators in the Boston bombing case want to find out what Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife discussed when he phoned her a few hours after the FBI released photos of him and his brother as suspects in the deadly attack, a separate law enforcement official said Thursday.

From http://www.usatoday....ombing/2129289/

I'm well aware that location data is very helpful too and probably more often looked at by govt agencies than actual content - but that doesn't mean they don't have it. And I dislike that f*cking idea.

And that's precisely the point, how can they do it if they hadn't saved it? They said themselves, I have to repeat this because you ignored it so conveniently, that they had NOT been looking into the Tsarnaevs despite the repeated warnings they had gotten from foreign agencies.

So then enlighten me now, how the f*ck can they access the content of the phone conversations if they haven't saved them specifically? The only way is to save them all indiscriminately. No idea for how long, I assume there must be a point at which data that is deemed useless gets deleted. Still...

QUOTE
No, you didn't mention it specifically. You did however perpetuate it, and either unwillingly or willingly used it in your argument.

No I did not. Echelon was not the first time anyone thought of "keywords" or filtering data using them, even though you appear to think so (or actually I doubt you do, you'd just like to get others to believe it so it seems like you were pointing out actual errors in what I wrote to try to weaken my arguments). But I'm used to you claiming I said things I never did by now, at least you manage to keep a straight face doing it, respect where due.

QUOTE
There have been conspiracy theories about real-time monitoring and recording of civilian data since long before Echelon, but it was that programme which gave birth to the idiotic keyword theory.

Well, they're not conspiracy theories anymore once they're proven no? Like Echelon... as for "keyword theory", for some reason I can't find anything on that via Google, only related to marketing and such. I seriously doubt Echelon was really the first time in human history anyone came up with the idea to look for some specific keywords in a text. Actually every child does that when "reading" a book for school, they just look at what seems interesting and make up the rest as they go along to save time. The motives are different but the idea is the same.

QUOTE
It wasn't true in the early 1980s and it isn't true now. If you had even the most rudimentary understanding of intelligence tradecraft you would be well aware that data quantity in extremes poses far more issues than it solves.

Blah blah blah dude, always the same empty sh*t without any proof whatsoever and trying to attack my credibility with your claims of who you were. Show me proof or stfu, I highly doubt actual intelligence professionals on country payrolls are allowed to talk about their work that openely. You just keep repeating "I know because I am an authority. I know better than the NSA, CIA, WashPost etc so just believe me. If you don't you just have no idea what you're talking about".

QUOTE
Targeted intelligence gathering is and always will be far more effective than scattergun approaches.

More blah. If you have the space just gather everything, that makes no extra effort once it's in place. The effort is in the analysis, the thing that's actually done by humans, and that is of course not done to everything they collect. That's why they filter, or as you say, sift and distill:

QUOTE
Also, note I never said that keywords weren't used. They are, but not in the sifting and distilling of intelligence. They are used, to some degree, in its collecting, shotguns where the requirement of an understanding of foreign languages and common code words comes in handy.

I don't know what you're referring to by "shotguns", I assume "cases" or something?!

But this I'd like you to explain. How exactly can you collect intelligence by using keywords? That just makes no sense, unless you mean "there's a folder on the table, it says BOMB on top, maybe I should read that". But I doubt that happens very often.

And even then it's technically used not in the collection of evidence but in the filtering: if the folder said "my urinary blockage" you might have been less interested in reading it. Thus, you filtered it out. And in the other case you filtered it in, sort of. Maybe that was what you were trying to get at.

QUOTE
Logically speaking, why would you draw downhbyhe quantities of data that needed to be analysed when you could tailor your intelligence gathering at a small cost in terms of initial identification for a far greater reward in terms of productivity in the analysis, collation and dissemination stages of the cycle?

Now what you're talking about is what we all would want, but that's not what things are like. Again, ask Schneier for example. It should be like that, they should only gather the info they really need. But they do NOT. By their own admission (by which I don't mean the CNN article linked in the OP but other events like most recently the Boston phone thing).

Plus the guys that I'm going to answer the vanja's post with aka from the CNN article.


QUOTE (GTAvanja @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:24)
I don't know what's funnier. The fact that this guy believes that intelligence agencies monitor and analyze every single conversation and piece of information like they don't have the list of priorities and limited resources, or the fact that sivispacem is actually debating him. Dude, where do you get the energy for this crap? Let it go.

Are you really just a little child that covers his eyes and ears in the face of proof for something he doesn't like? I did not make this up my friend, sorry to spoil this for you. Read the article in the OP, the info comes from ex NSA people, ex FBI counterterrorism people, ex AT&T, WashPost and others. Pretty credible sources, not exactly like a R* fansite...

But I'm honored the defense squads are now actually swarming on me, just don't make it so easy to look through your crap and this might become a fair fight after all lol.gif


QUOTE (K^2 @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 22:24)
You can do a lot with automation, and a lot of it is done. But we seriously don't have the resources to even do the basic "trigger word" analysis on absolutely every bit of conversation, or even anything remotely close to that.

Is there any actual hard data/proof for this lack of capacity (in storage and C/G/APU /FPGA power) you all seem to be so sure of or are we just in denial mode now? The scale of the Utah center shows quite clearly that we do have the capabilities (see Wikipedia). And it's long been rumored there were quantum computer systems in use at the NSA among other places, there is to my knowledge no public data on the kind of processing power that might be in use there.

QUOTE
Even something as straight forward as taking every phone call made to/from China, checking for trigger words, and storing conversation to be reviewed by analyst is pure fantasy.

Bullsh*t. All you guys shouting "this is fantasy!!!!" won't change my mind or the facts as mentioned until you can actually produce any proof whatsoever, so far I'm the only one who has been doing that and it's getting old quickly, it's like fighting windmills. So if that was the tactic congratulations, it's working. Still, pretty lame tbh.

The point still stands: people who we KNOW worked for the NSA and FBI (among others) have said that it is NOT fantasy and that it happens every day.

You guys on the other hand, we have no idea who you are. No offense, you may well be who you claim, but I think you're able to see how it would be plain stupid to believe anyone on GTAF of all places over actual verified ex-officials. Plus wasn't AT&T declared a govt organization at one point so they wouldn't have to release the data on their snooping for the FBI or whom? Looooooooool yeah that seems really... democratic and totally not like a crazy surveillance state.

QUOTE
Even with trigger words and smart filtering you have more conversations than you could possibly analyze. Maybe you could record all of these.

And there you admit it yourself. Maybe you could, if you had the capacities... and only a fool would think they won't if they can imho.

QUOTE
But that still assumes that you are listening on every communication channel. Two decades ago, that might have been possible. Now? With majority of international calls going via IP? With different compression methods and completely different routs? Hell, even China can't monitor all of their communications. And if there is somebody who's really trying...

Again you just say you don't believe it, you aren't offering a real counter argument here except for the same tired old "totally not possible, all just fantasy" thing.

The CNN article however says this:
QUOTE
all digital communications - meaning telephone calls, emails, online chats and the like - are automatically recorded and stored and accessible to the government after the fact.


Again it comes down to whom to believe. That's pretty weak isn't it? A little proof would be nice, if only of a mathematical nature - something that shows it's truly impossible as you guys claim. I very highly doubt you can produce any proof like that so I'll go with the source that offers proof for now.

QUOTE
I'm 100% with sivi on this. He really knows what he's talking about on this subject, and based on my not insignificant experience in data mining, I agree with every point.

And again the "no that's just not true, I must know" just like sivi. Guys, really? That's all you got?



Let me close this by saying that I did not intend to offend either of you, especially not your intelligence. I know some of the stuff I wrote above was plain offensive - because this, what seems to me personally like blind denial as long as I'm not offered any proof, just pisses me off - but this took far too long to write as it is and I'm too tired to rewrite it now plus I'm heading to bed so I ask you to accept my apologies in advance.

Don't get me wrong, we can sling mud if you feel like it but I enjoy a discussion above that level as much as the next guy, just today I'm too tired to rewrite before posting, sorry.

However that same intelligence I attested you above, imho, must also mean that you have to see how an argument that boils down (alright, let's be extra diplomatic here: appears to me to boil down) to no proof and just "trust me, I know" is hard to take seriously when the other side offers actual hard facts - or at least cites very credible sources as in this case.

In the end however I don't care what you think tbh; the point of this thread is to spread awareness of the issue and it seems like that's working.

Everyone is invited to make up their own mind and to believe what they want to believe. That's the only thing that I truly hope we can agree on.

I'll probably read the new replies some time tomorrow, I'm glad people are participating in the discussion even though I assume from the way the thread has been going I must've been called a good few "nice" names in them. But hey, this is GTAF after all so I probably won't break down crying lol.gif

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#27

Posted 06 May 2013 - 10:49 AM Edited by sivispacem, 06 May 2013 - 10:54 AM.

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 23:51)
The second I saw this thread the first thing I could think of was "inb4 sivis corrects the 'politically incorrect information'"... and what do ya know lol.

And the moment I posted in this thread, I though "I'm sure Grandmaster Smith will be along to blind everyone with his utter ignorance". And what do you know...

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 23:51)
They're called Fusion Centers,

...Certainly not what fusion centres actually are. Fusion centres are intelligence handling centres which allow internal discussion between federal organisations and local-level government and law enforcement. They are hardly unique to the US. They are not specifically involved in the creation, collation, analysis and dissemination of SIGINT, which is what this topic is about, but about general intelligence sharing between federal organisations and local-level law enforcement.

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 23:51)
“A lot of [the reporting] was predominantly useless information,” one former official told committee investigators after working for the "Reporting Branch" of Intelligence and Analysis unit of the DHS from 2006 to 2010. “You had a lot of data clogging the system with no value."

Welcome to the world of intelligence. There's always a great deal of chaff with the wheat. It's referred to as a wilderness of mirrors for a good reason.

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 23:51)
The amount of Fusion Centers in US that collect and go through all digital data-

Oh, now that's a dramatic logical leap. Where in your post has any of the various people you've quoted claimed that fusion centres engage in the collection of intelligence? None of them have. They've mentioned that they process large quantities of raw information. Well that's a given, that's what the basic analysis phase of the intelligence cycle is about. Again, as you so frequently, do, you have extrapolated an argument that you think is implied by the sources you use to support it, but due to your limited knowledge on the subject you've actually ended up telling everyone what they already know about intelligence, bringing nothing new or sensational to the table, and then claiming that normality is part of a wider conspiracy.

QUOTE (GrandMaster Smith @ Sunday, May 5 2013, 23:51)
now can someone tell me how many democracies have turned into a dictartorship?

Not actually very many, without external influence or the overthrow of legitimate leaderships by violent non-state actors. In fact, I can't think of a single democracy to dictatorship transition after 1945 which came about because of anything other than the involvement of a foreign power in an internal power struggle.

QUOTE (DarrinPA @ Monday, May 6 2013, 01:41)
You don't need to. If another terriost attack should happen in America, they'll find out who was involved and then trace back their phone calls, emails, ect, to find who funded the group and to find anymore cells - should there be any.

You do, though. You've got the entire intelligence process backwards. You don't use intelligence to find out who is involved in a plot after the fact, you use it to break up the plot before it formulates. And if you want to destroy the operating ability of terrorist organisations, militias, criminal cells et cetera, you need to analyse, collate and disseminate the intelligence to law-makers and practitioners rapidly and accurately. Hence why this "scattergun" theory of intelligence is so absurd to anyone trained or experienced in the intelligence world. Why make your already time-dependent job even harder by collecting vast quantities of completely useless information when there are specialist analysts whose sole role it is to tell the people responsible for intelligence collection what to collect?

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
How does that not directly contradict the article? Besides you either forgot what you said earlier or you're trying to distract from it intentionally for whatever reason:

One, it's not an article. It's a comment piece. It's a comment piece that's actually much less clear cut than you imply:

QUOTE (CNN @ 1st May 2013)
CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

Which, followed by his second comment, isn't actually tantamount to "we record absolutely everything, ever". That's certainly how our good friend Glenn Greenwald at The Guardian interprets it, but that's not actually what's being said in the interview. There's certainly the capability to recover an awful lot of valuable data from phone calls, but nowhere does anyone with any experiences of SIGINT categorically say that every phone call, electronic communication and web browsing session recorded.

A word about Mr Greenwald, if you will. He's no an intelligence expert. He's not even that versed on foreign policy. He's a constitutional lawyer with a string of rather provocative books to his name, bearing titles like With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful. A noted columnist whose works are certainly interesting, yes, but are his opinions- this being present in the "Comment Is Free" section of the website- the gospel truth? Lets look a little further into it in the following post.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
There you claimed that it was not "technically impossible" as you do now but you said it was questionable; you also said that simply because of one reason: you claim nobody could afford that much space for data. I already linked the Utah data center thing and explained that I think this isn't the only facility of its kind so I don't know what more there is to discuss here, you claim one thing and they (NSA, FBI etc.) prove another.

No, I still maintain that it isn't possible. Lets run through how such a system world work in theory to discredit it's existence in reality, shall we, using internet traffic alone as an example?

First of all, you'd need access to every LAN and WAN through which data would travel. This is no mean feat in and of itself. The company I work for does real-time monitoring of network security in large organisations for counter-espionage purposes. We do that by fitting network taps at critical points inside infrastructure, and then drawing down data through our hardware where it is stored for analysis. This is complex and expensive- quite feasibly for a medium-sized company to spend millions of pounds on the hardware alone if they are operating across two or three sites. Therefore you are talking, say, £1.5m in hardware costs alone for ~8-10,000 machines monitored, with a data flow of about 100 million sessions per 24-hours across numerous protocols. Expand this across the millions of small-scale networks that exist in the US and your talking a huge financial cost.

The question comes about, where would you tap into a country wide network? The first port of call would be the ISPs, who already have much of the requisite hardware. But there are a number of serious issues with this. The first of which are transport-layer security protocols, encryption standards and custom protocols. Lets take the standard, Secure Socket Layer/TLS 1.2 protocol as an example. That utilises asymmetrical encrypted handshakes for key generation and symmetrical encryption of transmission data. You use this protocol every time you log into online banking, for instance, or when you make VOIP phone calls. It's protected by the SHA-256 cryptographic hash function, which the brute-forcing of is currently computationally infeasible. Effectively, SHA-256 encrypted communications can only be intercepted by acquiring the cryptographic key through collision analysis (theoretical in this case, having never been definitively proven workable) or by fitting SSL decryptors inside the network, like the boxes Sourcefire provide. These are excruciatingly expensive and very reliant on what is basically a modified man-in-the-middle attack to obtain the cryptographic keys for TLS communications. Which is all well and good, but you need to have one fitted on every network through which SSL traffic could pass internally. Which means every junction box, every independent network, every home broadband setup would require an SSL decryptor in order to capture encrypted data- once you start doing pee-to-peer non-external-facing SSL connections, you are no longer communicating through the defined, clear area of a wide area network and therefore they cryptographic keys can't be acquired. That's why secure peer-to-peer protocols and onion routing are so effective at encrypting data- because you can apply an additional layer of encryption to each transitional stage and therefore you need all the available private keys in order to decrypt the traffic.

To put that into perspective, the NSA couldn't break the OTR-messaging encryption standard used for Apple iChat, let alone the AES encryption of the devices themselves. So, given that most terrorist organisations already use encrypted communication channels, what purpose would there be in hoovering up the 30% or so of all internet traffic which is encrypted seen as it can't be decoded anyway? Wouldn't that just produce a huge amount of unnecessary chaff?

The second is economies of scale. We're at a point of seeing approximately 200 petabytes of conventional internet traffic every day. A large percentage of this goes through US servers and service providers. Now, ISPs distribute their data handling capability- tens of thousands of terrabit-per-second junctions scattered across the country, but in order to hoover up all that data and to draw it off into a single repository you'd need an absurd collection infrastructure. We're talking about potentially hundreds of thousands, or even millions of individual taps. The US digital infrastructure just doesn't have the capability to effectively double already stretched capacity into transmitting captured data of this nature to a central repository.

Then you come onto the issue of identification. Your argument is that all network traffic is being captured; my response is why? You can't decode anything that's encrypted with a reasonable cypher, so why bother capturing it at all? That's 30% of all network traffic rendered effectively pointless. Another 20% is machine-based protocols that don't carry any human information, and can effectively be discarded. Why do you want to listen in on RPC and DHCP activity inside a network; it doesn't tell you much other than about the structure of the network. Why, also, would you want to listen in on the huge quantities of business-related data traffic which would have little to no intelligence purpose? But the question then becomes how do you determine what is what? ISPs provide for both businesses and individuals; MAC and IP addresses are just numerical representations of devices which don't actually possess any real identifying characteristics; the most you can determine from them in isolation would be the device manufacturer. Most externally facing IP addresses are dynamic, so the geography-specific data for them is only applicable for the time at which activity occurs from a single machine with a single dynamic address. ISPs keep a quantity of this data but they also hold vast subscriber records- how would any system of filing such data be capable of discerning what data comes from where and in what form without some kind of metadata tagging system, and the only effective way of providing that metadata that assigns a numerical address to a particular machine, never mind individual, would be by obtaining it from the ISPs. And that's quite aside from the fact that deep packet inspection capability- which the NSA already possesses- renders the requirement to store vast quantities of completely worthless data entirely null and void. Are you starting to see the flaws in this argument?

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
Next cheap tactic, claiming I wasn't being accurate to the facts in the source without offering any proof of that whatsoever. Try harder man.

Actually, as I've shown above, you weren't. I've quoted, verbatim, the comments made by the subject matter expert in your initial post, and they don't actually say what you claim they do. I can only presume that you've handily chosen to ignore this and instead accuse me of engaging in "cheap tactics" because on second reading you know that your initial hypothesis doesn't actually hold water and therefore you want to continue the debate whilst not actually referring back to the sources. Cast your eyes back to your comments on the Utah Data Centre, and then consider two issues. One, that the data centre's primary purpose isn't to be a repository for all electronic communications in the US, but merely all electronic communications with an intelligence value. The NSA does much of their SIGINT work abroad, and the biggest target for data collection in the current economic and strategic climate is China. Also, whilst the trillion-terrabyte-storage capability sounds terrifying, it handily ignores the primary purpose behind having such computing power and storage capability- the breaking of complex cryptographic algorithms and cyphers. The Wired Threat Levels article discussing the data centre goes into the value of this for intelligence gathering to a great degree.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
More of the same, trying to ridicule me without any content or basis whatsoever, all you said is "you're stupid", just in more words. I'm used to reading through lots of bullsh*t so this won't work either, sorry Joe.

Not really. Modern intelligence analysis is based on a target-centric approach. Target-centric intelligence analysis, even when utilising a great wealth of open-source intelligence data as outlined in the June 21st, 2005 congressional hearing on the subject requires target acquisition capabilities that pre-exist the intelligence collection capability. Part of the fundamental failures in the US intelligence community in the lead-up to the September 11th, 2001 attacks was information saturation- too much unspecific, uncultured and largely ineffectual data. The idea of "grab everything and then sort it" is a very Cold-war mentality which works pretty well with electronic intelligence gathered specifically from targeted individuals and nation states but is fundamentally flawed when it comes to accurate and timely assessment and dissemination of intelligence collected from the open-source macrocosm that is wider society. My issue with your comments is that you appear to have formulated an argument which doesn't correlate logically with taught or operational intelligence practice. I questioned your understanding of the intelligence cycle and modern intelligence analysis techniques because your argument doesn't appear to acknowledge how the intelligence cycle works, nor does it accurately portray the most effective ways of gathering targeted, specific intelligence on subnational violent actors- who are the primary security threat to the US mainland. One of the strongest arguments against your thesis is that it doesn't actually make sense unless you suspend the accepted knowledge of how intelligence analysis works- instead it required a Hollywood cultured understanding of intelligence which doesn't actually reflect reality.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
Surprise surprise, suddenly when confronted with direct proof for the points made by those retired agents, ex AT&T employees and journalists Mr. self proclaimed intelligence analyst doesn't know what I'm talking about and tries to redirect the conversation.

Direct proof of what? I only said I had no familiarity with the specifics of the Boston bombing intelligence response, or to the specific allegation that recorded conversations were used as evidence and that this is somehow proof of an existing capability to store all communications data of all kinds. You appear to be seriously misunderstanding my responses; whether intentionally or otherwise. You also seem to seriously over-estimate the quality of your own sources and the extent to which they actually support your thesis. You have an ex-federal agent who says that the US has a great deal of capability in determining content and data from phone communications- big surprise. An AT&T operator saying that intelligence agencies are drawing down huge quantities of data to support investigative capabilities- hardly earth-shattering news. And a noted constitutional lawyer with a history of speaking out against all kinds of perceived violation of civil liberties speculating about the capabilities of the US intelligence apparatus- how astonishing. None of these people have actually produced the same argument you have with the possible exception of the latter- but he talks more in terms of capability than actual active operational usage. You've made the fundamental mistake of extrapolating comments and extending them to what you see as a logical conclusion. As evidenced here, handily:

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
QUOTE
Meanwhile, investigators in the Boston bombing case want to find out what Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his wife discussed when he phoned her a few hours after the FBI released photos of him and his brother as suspects in the deadly attack, a separate law enforcement official said Thursday.

From http://www.usatoday....ombing/2129289/
And that's precisely the point, how can they do it if they hadn't saved it? They said themselves, I have to repeat this because you ignored it so conveniently, that they had NOT been looking into the Tsarnaevs despite the repeated warnings they had gotten from foreign agencies.

So then enlighten me now, how the f*ck can they access the content of the phone conversations if they haven't saved them specifically? The only way is to save them all indiscriminately. No idea for how long, I assume there must be a point at which data that is deemed useless gets deleted. Still...

There is nothing in this comment which says that they are trawling through electronic records of the call in order to find this data. That is merely your interpretation. I provided you with a list of other ways in which it would be perfectly possible to obtain the same data content without recording the entire conversation. How can they access this information? Well, the first port of call would probably be interrogating Tsarnaev's wife. There are clearly numerous other ways in which this information could be obtained- external third parties, for instance. The actual phrasing of the comment itself seems to indicate investigators calling on members of the public and existing individuals with known relationships to Tsarnaev in order to obtain this information. If they were interrogating a huge federal database of every conversation ever, why would they "want to find out" about it? Surely they'd already know?

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
No I did not. Echelon was not the first time anyone thought of "keywords" or filtering data using them, even though you appear to think so (or actually I doubt you do, you'd just like to get others to believe it so it seems like you were pointing out actual errors in what I wrote to try to weaken my arguments). But I'm used to you claiming I said things I never did by now, at least you manage to keep a straight face doing it, respect where due.

I never said it was- that was your inference from my comments. I said it was the first time that it became part of a wide-ranging conspiracy theory that entailed the drawing down of all communications data. But nice job of not actually addressing the point I've made.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
Well, they're not conspiracy theories anymore once they're proven no?

Are they? I'm pretty sure it hasn't been proven that the government are slurping up all communications data inside the US borders.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
Like Echelon... as for "keyword theory", for some reason I can't find anything on that via Google, only related to marketing and such. I seriously doubt Echelon was really the first time in human history anyone came up with the idea to look for some specific keywords in a text. Actually every child does that when "reading" a book for school, they just look at what seems interesting and make up the rest as they go along to save time. The motives are different but the idea is the same.

Keyword analysis theory is pretty well known. Advertising is based almost solely on it. And yes, it is used in intelligence analysis. But not how you seem to think it is. Remember, conventional SIGINT (that is, communication data as opposed to FISINT and subordinates like TELINT and MASINT) is intrinsically tied with cryptography and cryptanalysis. The people for whom interception may be worthwhile tend to use code and go to great lengths to obfuscate their activities, because they tend to have a relatively strong awareness of intelligence gathering capability and activity combined with the desire to not get caught. Keyword analysis has been utilised when codes used by organisations are known- one of the most famous ones in relation to violent Islamism is the discussion of weddings as a coded precursor to planning and perpetrating suicide bombings in particular- but this requires a pre-existing knowledge of the organisation which you don't possess by vacuuming up all the data available and running it through a slightly more intelligent version of Wolfram Alpha.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
Blah blah blah dude,
More blah.

How riveting and engrossing. One would almost think you'd run out of argument to make?

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
If you have the space just gather everything, that makes no extra effort once it's in place.

See, this is fundamentally incorrect. Let me explain:

Intelligence analysis is an art. It is scientific, but is not purely empirical. It is as much about cultural and human terrain analysis as it is anything else. Analysts work with an operational and strategic goal in mind- the strategic goal usually relating to the target on which intelligence is gathered, and the operational goal being the specifics of what ever macro-level analysis they are engaged in. You cannot just simply give a team of analysts a huge quantity of data and say "find bad stuff". That's not how it works. Hence my repeated reference to the requirements of pre-existing knowledge. The "find bad stuff" fallacy is kind of what happened to the US intelligence community at the end of the Cold War, once their primary strategic adversary ceased to exist. Analysts have different areas of expertise. There is no real "catch-all" analyst. As we've already established, you can't really electronically sift communications information stored in bulk without human analysis. In order for that human analysis to take place, you need a strategic goal, and an operational goal for the analysts working on the project to aspire to- that's how you measure success. It is fundamentally flawed to think that intelligence analysis is the art of finding a needle in a haystack- which is what you seem to be implying it consist of. It's actually the art of finding a particular needle in a shoebox full of needles, and then explaining why that needle is important, and making predictions and assessments about what it has stitched in the past and may sew in the future. Analysis operates inside defined borders and boundaries- it's when you start crossing borders and spreading too much data too thinly amongst an analytical team that you wind up having problems. As I've said numerous times, large quantities of data actually inhibit the ability to analyse them.

An example, if you will. Say you are a theoretical physicist who wishes to do an assessment on the validity of an experiment, it's potential implications and what findings other related experiments might have to it. You've got your data set- the experiment itself; your operational goal- to assess validity; and your additional corroborative sources- the other related papers and journals. You might have to hunt around through numerous journals in order to find valid experiments and you might have to analyse and assess their worth in the context of your strategic goal, but you have a point of focus. This seems totally logical, does it not, and that's largely how intelligence analysis works. Now, try doing the same if your data set and related experiments are still present, but are stored on something like JSTOR for which you have full access but no search function. You've got to manually sift through all the articles on anthropology, Greek history and media management theory in order to find your data set and sources. Seems a bit silly, doesn't it? That's how you seem to imagine intelligence analysis works.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
I don't know what you're referring to by "shotguns", I assume "cases" or something?!

My mistake, typing on a phone without proof-reading.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
But this I'd like you to explain. How exactly can you collect intelligence by using keywords? That just makes no sense, unless you mean "there's a folder on the table, it says BOMB on top, maybe I should read that". But I doubt that happens very often.

Simple- by already possessing a decent understanding of the organisation which you are targeting, and knowing what keywords they are most likely to use. Intelligence analysis feeds strategic understanding, and strategic understanding focuses intelligence analysis. Hence the importance of things like theology, politics, human terrain analysis, sociology and anthropology in the world of intelligence.

QUOTE (baguvix_wanrltw @ Monday, May 6 2013, 02:04)
Again, ask Schneier for example.

Schneier, as in the cryptographer and security researcher Bruce Schneier? He's been pretty vocal in his statements that human-based macro-sphere applied intelligence analysis is vastly superior in all ways to automated intelligence trawling. In fact, in his essay Homeland Insecurity, he said categorically that increasing the amount of intelligence gathered inhibits the ability to accurately and effectively analyse it. Which is what I've been saying all along. And what accepted intelligence analysis theory says. And what all intelligence agencies that are vaguely competent in their role do.

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#28

Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:59 PM

conspiracy theorists make me laugh. They supposedly have all the answers and are enlightened but all they do is bitch about it on the internet (Where they are presumably being monitored by the government they despise so much).

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#29

Posted 06 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

QUOTE (orbitalraindrops @ Monday, May 6 2013, 15:59)
conspiracy theorists make me laugh. They supposedly have all the answers and are enlightened but all they do is bitch about it on the internet (Where they are presumably being monitored by the government they despise so much).

BUT THEY ARE SPREADING THE TRUTH!

Yeah, it's a beautiful irony, alright.

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#30

Posted 06 May 2013 - 04:06 PM

The FBI............ is watching you masturbate.




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