industryterm:encryption systems

  • - FSB: Not backing down over skype

    FSB: Not backing down over skype
    Andrei Soldatov

    The Deputy Head of the FSB Scientific and Technical Service, Alexander Andreechkin’s statement on the danger posed by the use of encryption systems in gmail, hotmail and Skype prompted a flood of comments from high placed officials. First came an anonymous comment from President Medvedev’s administration, making it clear his own position superseded Andreechkin’s statement. Then came the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, backing the FSB official and supporting the FSB initiative. Then came a statement from the FSB’s own Public Communication Center declaring that the agency had been misunderstood and that no one intended to ban anything.

    For some reason, this final statement led many people to decide that the issue had been resolved: an FSB official simply made a somewhat extreme statement, the President’s Administration had taken them down a peg or two, the FSB then distanced itself from the claim. The only area still causing confusion being Peskov’s statement, which provided new grounds for speculation about friction in the tandem.

    In reality, no one took anyone down a peg or two and the FSB in no way changed the position which it formulated back in the 1990’s.

  • The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) | James Bamford |

    Superbe enquête autour de la construction d’un nouveau #datacenter de la #NSA ; quelques extraits qui montrent que #Echelon est définitivement derrière nous :

    the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

    for the first time since Watergate and the other scandals of the Nixon administration—the NSA has turned its surveillance apparatus on the US and its citizens. It has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls

    For the first time, a former NSA official has gone on the record to describe the program, codenamed Stellar Wind, in detail.

    Binney left the NSA in late 2001, shortly after the agency launched its warrantless-wiretapping program. “They violated the Constitution setting it up,” he says bluntly. “But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in the way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.” Binney says Stellar Wind was far larger than has been publicly disclosed and included not just eavesdropping on domestic phone calls but the inspection of domestic email. At the outset the program recorded 320 million calls a day, he says, which represented about 73 to 80 percent of the total volume of the agency’s worldwide intercepts. The haul only grew from there.

    The software, created by a company called Narus that’s now part of Boeing, is controlled remotely from NSA headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland and searches US sources for target addresses, locations, countries, and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email. Any communication that arouses suspicion, especially those to or from the million or so people on agency watch lists, are automatically copied or recorded and then transmitted to the NSA.

    The scope of surveillance expands from there, Binney says. Once a name is entered into the Narus database, all phone calls and other communications to and from that person are automatically routed to the NSA’s recorders. “Anybody you want, route to a recorder,” Binney says. “If your number’s in there? Routed and gets recorded.” He adds, “The Narus device allows you to take it all.”

    After he left the NSA, Binney suggested a system for monitoring people’s communications according to how closely they are connected to an initial target. The further away from the target—say you’re just an acquaintance of a friend of the target—the less the surveillance. But the agency rejected the idea, and, given the massive new storage facility in Utah, Binney suspects that it now simply collects everything. “The whole idea was, how do you manage 20 terabytes of intercept a minute?” he says. “The way we proposed was to distinguish between things you want and things you don’t want.” Instead, he adds, “they’re storing everything they gather.”

    “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.

    a new secret war. But this time, instead of a bomb of almost unimaginable power, the weapon is a computer of almost unimaginable speed.

    “Remember,” says the former intelligence official, “a lot of foreign government stuff we’ve never been able to break is 128 or less. Break all that and you’ll find out a lot more of what you didn’t know—stuff we’ve already stored—so there’s an enormous amount of information still in there.”
    That, he notes, is where the value of Bluffdale, and its mountains of long-stored data, will come in. What can’t be broken today may be broken tomorrow. “Then you can see what they were saying in the past,” he says. “By extrapolating the way they did business, it gives us an indication of how they may do things now.”

    #DPI #surveillance #internet #etats-unis #cdp