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FBI Complains About Wiretapping Difficulties Due To Web Services

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the wait-wait-let-me-find-my-tiny-violin dept.

Communications 228

c0lo writes with news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is lamenting the difficulty in executing wiretaps because of "web-based e-mail, social-networking and peer-to-peer services." "President Barack Obama's administration is debating ways to deal with Web-based services not covered by traditional wiretap laws, including incentives for companies to build in surveillance capabilities, said Valerie Caproni, general counsel at the FBI. Many Internet services are not covered by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which requires traditional telecom carriers to allow law enforcement agencies real-time access to communications after a court has issued a wiretap order, she told members of a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. But Caproni told lawmakers she was not asking for expanded CALEA powers. And she stopped short of calling for rules requiring Web-based communication providers to build in so-called back doors allowing law enforcement access to their software, although she said she's optimistic the US government can find incentives for companies to 'have intercept solutions engineered into their systems.'"

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Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257116)

Is anything sacred?

Re:Awesome (2)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257634)

My comments to them might be:
Cry me a river.
Build a bridge.
Jump in.

we should make it easier for them (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257118)

The FBI needs to have easy access to everything - to keep up safe. All sites need to provide the FBI with all user data.

Re:we should make it easier for them (2, Funny)

Pennidren (1211474) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257236)

The FBI needs to have easy access to everything - to keep up safe. All sites need to provide the FBI with all user data.

Why stop there? Open up your homes, people! Place your possessions on your front lawn, just in case the FBI needs to come by and make sure you aren't a 'bad guy'.

in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of homes (3, Informative)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257244)

in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of homes and apartments.

Re:in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of hom (1, Funny)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257378)

Have they banned curtains yet?

Re:in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of hom (4, Insightful)

SudoGhost (1779150) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257434)

If you don't have anything to hide, why buy curtains?

Re:in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of hom (2)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257480)

Some people need curtains to stop showing us what they look like nekkid. Some things should simply remain a mystery. In regards to the FBI... how can the government simply bribe companies to provide back doors for the FBI? (And if the FBI has one, so do hackers...) Cocksucking lawyers. I hate them all.

Re:in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of hom (1)

black6host (469985) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257510)

"If you don't have anything to hide, why buy curtains?"

Exactly. Those with curtains must surely be cretins quite capable of crime. Their criminality must be curtailed. Time for the big scanners, where curtains would be no protection. Don't have it today? Don't worry, it will be here sometime. All this talk should surely be nonsense, but give it a bit of time. There are those who would much prefer it. (Yes, yes, of course: "Peeping Toms" would love it ) But total transparency really means the gov't should be able to see what you're doing, not that you should know what they're doing.

Re:in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of hom (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257546)

And curtain makers, whether or not they have curtains in their homes, should be sent to gitmo.

Re:in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of hom (1)

BrightSpark (1578977) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257422)

This is the Government-based peer-to-peer networking in action!

Re:in the UK the cameras can see in to alot of hom (1)

DarkTempes (822722) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257592)

And all the cameras see is a raging alot [blogspot.com] staring back at them.

I see your dumbass joke and raise you one, fucker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257712)

And all the cameras see is a raging alot [blogspot.com] staring back at them.

Or a giant niggerdick going down your throat while you hum to increase the stimulation. A lot of giant niggerdick.

Re:we should make it easier for them (2, Insightful)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257432)

It definitely sucks that they want access to communication they can't get to right now. It's difficult, and it should be, to want to let them in. I think there are good arguments for giving them the power, and good arguments against. In favor of it, it would allow them to catch more criminals more easily. I think that's an easy positive most people would agree with. The drawback, however, is that the system could be abused (Anyone have research on wiretapping abuse? I think that'd be fairly relevant). We put a lot more of our personal information on the internet than we do on phone lines. Here's what I think: restricting FBI access just because it's a different medium than phones is silly. If you're going to restrict their access, do it on the grounds that the access they get should be the same across all communication media. If they need a court order even to begin thinking about installing the tap, then they should need that court order for a phone line or tapping into a Skype account. But giving them full phone access and no internet access is only going to help criminals trying to avoid detection. Be consistent, that's all I'm saying.

Re:we should make it easier for them (2)

TheReaperD (937405) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257568)

This is where the government's and courts' assertion that every law that currently applies in the US is null and void by adding the words '...with a computer' bites them in the ass. Irony that the reason the government took this position because they wanted to get around search and seizure, privacy and fair use laws.

Re:we should make it easier for them (4, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257672)

I think there are good arguments for giving them the power,

Such as? Despite what the media may try to represent, in real life there are few cases of "evil" people walking free because of legal protections when compared to the many people who have their constitutional rights abused because of this power. The right to expression is also followed by a right to secrecy just as the right to vote is followed by a right to secret ballot. Imagine how less free elections would be if everyone would know who and what you voted for (as ordinary citizens in elections, not as members of congress voting on bills). Just as the right to vote comes the right to be anonymous about what you vote for, so should the right to have secure and secret communication. Of course, just like you can tell everyone who you voted for, so can others hear, listen or read what you communicate, but the right to be anonymous (if one chooses) is needed to ensure a free society.

Re:we should make it easier for them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257446)

1. Pull down
2. Bend over
3. Grab Ankles
4. .... Now just stay quiet. No wimpering! You are doing your country a great service.....Bitch!

Re:we should make it easier for them (2)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257550)

5. PROFIT!

What about encrypted communications? (3, Interesting)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257120)

Would peer to peer services which offer end to end encryption like Skype be required to re-engineer their software to allow government wiretaps? This could be the end of personal use encryption as we know it.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257136)

Would peer to peer services which offer end to end encryption like Skype be required to re-engineer their software to allow government wiretaps? This could be the end of personal use encryption as we know it.

Only criminals use encryption. If you're not doing anything wrong, what is there to hide?

Re:What about encrypted communications? (5, Funny)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257162)

Would peer to peer services which offer end to end encryption like Skype be required to re-engineer their software to allow government wiretaps? This could be the end of personal use encryption as we know it.

Only criminals use encryption. If you're not doing anything wrong, what is there to hide?

Nothing, of course. Unless you're part of the goverment. In that case, you're hiding information to protect your citizens.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257200)

I hope you're being sarcastic..

Re:What about encrypted communications? (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257390)

Privacy on any level is about concealment, whether necessary or un-necessary, for good or bad. Youi can't have something and nothing to hide at once, shit, given human nature - and the nature of privacy, nothing to hide is impossible to begin with, but the idea of having something to hide and nothing to hide simultaneously, making P ^ ~P = true when logically impossible, makes my brain explode.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (0)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257298)

My fear is that some rule about a back door goes into effect, then open source software is deemed a risk because you can't hide a back door. So now they need new rules for what can be open source, of course many software publishers will want to help with those rules...

Re:What about encrypted communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257664)

It is not about what you've got to hide, rather it is about what they want to find.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257288)

re-engineer? Skype already has versions that can be tapped (mostly used in China but the work is already done).

Re:What about encrypted communications? (2)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257320)

Its fairly easy to design something to do what skype does. You will quickly have alternatives that are encrypted....

As for personal use encryption they tried that in the 1980s and we fought it and won. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clipper_chip [wikipedia.org]

Re:What about encrypted communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257624)

If you read your own link you'll see that that was in the early/mid 90's, not the 1980s.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257338)

I thought they could already decrypt skype..

Re:What about encrypted communications? (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257640)

Yes, there were stories about Skype Encryption being Broken [google.com] .

How true this is remains debatable because no one has yet demonstrated decoding a voice message.
Some reports suggest [voipsa.org] that the most you can do is determine that the content IS Skype, but not what is in it.

With enough computer power it might be easier to just decode the packet stream by brute force.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257354)

Skype has been on the Infandous Imperial Elite's "Must-Crack" list for a couple of years now. German Intelligence tried first and soon gave up. Then the DoD's DARPA publicly offered a US$50K reward to the black-hatter - *any* black-hatter - who could ably provide *any* Man-In-The-Middle (MitM) solution at all, sans physical access to the box in question.

See http://theregister.co.uk for chronology and related details; just search the site for "Skype" and there you are. Seems Dynamic Key Encryption, when executed on-the-fly in realtime, is one tough nut to crack hands-off. As for Skype Corporation ever being Judicially Forced to backdoor the product:

1) If it were so ordered, well there goes Skype Inc's entire business model. I reckon the matter'd be tied up in court for a while afore any breach i' th' hull ever be allowed, Cap'n. ;)

2) Trust our own homegrown Practical Privacy Providers to come out with a block-um-out add-on widgit right quick anyway, if ever 1) above be implemented. (It's only 65536 ports and there is little likelihood of hardship-in-identification, methinks.)

On reflection, this rises to mind: A really healthy resistance effort, once sparked and fueled by such intrusion attempts as this hypothetical instance, just might simultaneously stop the tap-stream, spoof the outbound IP addy *and* spue forth a fine smelly-brown stream of plaintext keywords of the "Spook-bait" persuasion. (Virginia Langley knows the vocabulary very well, of course.) Indeed: As the Imperial Criminal USAn Police Globalization State attempts each additional intrusive advance in its greedily tyrannical drive to Control Just Everything, more and more able and goodhearted Sovereign Forced-Underclass Citizens the world around shall surely take up the Rallying Cry from Heaven: "DON'T TOUCH MY JUNK!!!!"

Sorted! I'll get me coat now. And that is all! 0{:-)o

Re:What about encrypted communications? (3, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257444)

tap-stream

You seem to be assuming the way they would implement this is to have your client send a second copy of the stream to the FBI. Certainly that is the easy way to do it, but also the trivially detectable way -- the app is using twice as much bandwidth as it should and half the packets are going to some server in Virginia.

The smart way is to combine ISP-level wiretapping in with a back door that CCs the encryption key to the Feds so that they can decipher what they capture from AT&T. Skype already has to open a third party connection to look up the IP address of the peer you want to call, and it's pretty easy for a couple dozen bytes to get lost in the noise.

If you really want to be sure you better have the source and a binary compiled by someone you trust (like yourself).

Re:What about encrypted communications? (2)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257680)

tap-stream

You seem to be assuming the way they would implement this is to have your client send a second copy of the stream to the FBI. Certainly that is the easy way to do it, but also the trivially detectable way -- the app is using twice as much bandwidth as it should and half the packets are going to some server in Virginia.

Agreed.

There is already evidence that taps at ISPs and carriers have been used in the past, so as you suggest, placing backdoors in the client itself would be the hard way. Even if they did, what percentage of users would even notice twice the outbound packets were being sent? Especially if it were turned on only for parties under investigation.

The people who would be doing this probably have enough computer power to capture a stream and decrypt it at their leisure.

I speculate it might be easier to know when you arrive at a proper decryption key on a voice stream than it would be for a text stream.
Speech. Perhaps (a href=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkeFHT96TUA>Serene Branson simply was a decryption fail.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257392)

Would peer to peer services which offer end to end encryption like Skype be required to re-engineer their software to allow government wiretaps? This could be the end of personal use encryption as we know it.

They can't really stop personal use encryption at this point. Skype isn't fully open source, but that doesn't mean there can't or doesn't exist open source P2P encrypted communications software. And even if the official maintainers of that software were required to add a back door, the idea that no one would distribute a version with the back door removed is laughable. It's like trying to suppress DeCSS. Moreover, OpenSSL and OpenSSH are BSD licensed -- it's not like adding strong encryption to a communications app is rocket science. (Although for crying out loud, can somebody please fix the OpenSSL documentation?)

I would also expect Skype to strongly resist efforts to make them add a back door, if only because of the damage it would do to their reputation. Everybody knows that back doors are truck-sized security vulnerabilities that tempt black hats like chocolate cake tempts Michael Moore. People use Skype for confidential communications because it appears to be secure. Make it notoriously insecure and an alternative will appear which people will use instead.

Of course, that isn't to say that this proposal is puppies and unicorns and nobody needs to oppose it. People who demand good security -- including criminals -- will use software that has good security and no back doors. But there is still a need to protect innocent fools from organized criminals. Making the software that the average fool uses substantially less secure has the potential to make organized criminals much more effective -- remember, most people aren't terrorists, so intentionally creating a vulnerability that impacts both stupid innocents and stupid criminals will disproportionally impact the innocents because there are more of them.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (2)

_ivy_ivy_ (1081273) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257486)

security vulnerabilities that tempt black hats like chocolate cake tempts Michael Moore.

This is clearly a nominee for the metaphor of the award.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257692)

There is also IPSec. You don't need to build encryption into any app. Just setup IPSec and you can use plain, old SIP with asterisk.

Keep in mind that encryption is both authentication *and* encryption and IPSec provides for both. Authentication is to verify whom you are talking to and encryption is to prevent eavesdropping regarding what you are talking about. Quite simple, really.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257584)

Didn't the FBI make headlines not too long ago for not quite demanding but not quite asking nicely for crypto backdoors?

Re:What about encrypted communications? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257586)

Would peer to peer services which offer end to end encryption like Skype be required to re-engineer their software to allow government wiretaps? This could be the end of personal use encryption as we know it.

Any time someone offers you an encrypted service where you don't have the option to set your own encryption key
you need to view it as encryption as a minor inconvenience to eavesdroppers, and nothing more.

Nothing on any service like skype can assumed to be truly private. Best you can do is encrypt your email with
some strong encryption and hope your correspondent does as well. A wiser choice might be to never commit
to a computer record that which you may need to keep secret.

You don't need to be involved in any nefarious stuff to use encryption. I've ordered several things via emai
with credit cards, and I always send it encrypted.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (1)

ChiRaven (800537) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257646)

Actually, if I remember, there WAS a serious proposal to that effect back in the 1990's, when a federal law making anything more than a certain level of encryption (I believe it was 128-bit, but I could be wrong) illegal, and providing for penalties for anyone producing or distributing software that contained any such ability.

Re:What about encrypted communications? (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257742)

Would peer to peer services which offer end to end encryption like Skype be required to re-engineer their software to allow government wiretaps?

Ahahahahaha! You kill me, you really do.
https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Skype#Security_and_privacy [wikimedia.org]

Bohoo (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257128)

Oh cry me a river!

Re:Bohoo (5, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257246)

Oh cry me a river!

You'll need an Environmental Impact Statement before you can do that, citizen.

Re:Bohoo (5, Funny)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257270)

That's worth several lolz but then you'd have to deal with OSHAs noise level regulations... :)

Fuck that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257132)

Why don't we just skip to the part about Thought Police and having mandatory spinal cord antenna?

Re:Fuck that (3, Funny)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257274)

Shhhh! The spine IS an antenna, dammit.
That's what makes the tinfoil hat so important.

Re:Fuck that (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257570)

Being as serious as I can about the matter, this isn't entirely impossible.

If we can reverse-engineer the spinal neurotransmission protocols we should be able to use the larger of the spinal nerves to conduct a TEMPEST-style interception of their transmissions in real time...

Too bad the human nervous system is mostly black-box technology, or I could just download the datasheet.

Police work is not SUPPOSED to be easy (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257138)

If police work is easy, it means you're living in a police state.

They're here to serve us, not the other way around. History shows that when you give the FBI increased investigative powers, those powers are used not to prevent the next 9/11 or OKC bombing, but to spy on dangerous subversives as Martin Luther King and John Lennon. [nytimes.com]

With power should come responsibility, or at least accountability. The FBI has shown neither.

Re:Police work is not SUPPOSED to be easy (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257202)

Now that they don't need a warrant to wire tap, they want the actual process of executing the wire tap to be just as mindlessly easy and convenient. After all, why shouldn't it be? As it stands, there is absolutely zero value given to civil liberties and especially privacy so why put any hurdles between them and the people they want to violate? Hell, maybe once there is truly zero impedance from A to Z in tapping anyone at any time for any reason, immediately and without effort . . . just maybe people will get pissed enough that they attack the real problem, which isn't making sure it's difficult for them to execute on the technical end, but very difficult to acquire tapping rights on the legal end, to begin with.

Of course, by then, it's probably also too late.

Re:Police work is not SUPPOSED to be easy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257408)

Remember, folks. This is now OBAMA'S FBI. Where are all the cries of, "Fascist!" and "ZOMG Nazi!" now?

Gitmo still open? Check!

US Gov't still conducting warrantless wiretaps on citizens? Check!

US Gov't still in bed with mega corporations? Double check!

Still bogged down in 2 sandy 3rd world shitholes populated by diaperheads that hate us? Check!

Re:Police work is not SUPPOSED to be easy (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257574)

Bush is still clearly and secretly in charge. What better cover than the bumbling idiot he appears to be to most of the world?

As always ... (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257436)

Fascism begins when the efficiency of the Government becomes more important than the Rights of the People.

And it is always sold the same way.

They want to "protect" you from the "enemy".
So you need to do your part and give up some rights (just for a little while) to make it easier to find the "enemy" hiding among you.

If you aren't supporting their team ... that means you're
a. supporting the "enemy's" team
b. delusional / stupid
c. secretly hate us and really are hoping the "enemy" wins

Re:Police work is not SUPPOSED to be easy (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257450)

With power should come responsibility, or at least accountability. The FBI has shown neither.

A story that goes back to ancient times. Can anybody point what has changed since then? They have that power because the people give it up with the hope that they can enjoy such power themselves in some fashion. The FBI and other authorities reflect our own vicarious desires.

On behalf of all blackhats of this planet (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257168)

allow me to say this:

"PLEASE! WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR IT!"

Ok, on a more serious note, how long do you think 'til such a backdoor will be sniffed out and abused by people with even less concern for constitutional rights and fewer qualms to abuse such a privilege?

Think about it for a split second. What qualities would such a backdoor have to have? First, it would have to work with all such providers, every single network, and you may rest assured that it will have to follow some standard and possibly even be accessible with a single set of login credentials. And second, the provider would of course not be allowed to monitor or even log such an access to keep them from possibly noticing such an access (of course, only to make sure that no "inside man" could warn the bad guys).

Can anyone, or everyone, here see the possible value for MUCH worse guys?

Re:On behalf of all blackhats of this planet (1)

iter8 (742854) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257662)

Single point of failure. If the FBI can get in the backdoor, so can lots of others.

Re:On behalf of all blackhats of this planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257706)

I know other nation's would love this. Not only would the FBI have access, but as soon as any decent hacker gets access, every nation that has any spying interest on the US could gain access to personal conversations, business dealings, business transactions, maybe even certain government info that goes over the wire.

Hell, we think patent trolling is bad. Now it'll be who pays off who to gain access to which routers to spy on your business competitor.

And given the government mandate for electronic medical records, combined with mandatory FBI access for monitoring, makes me wonder what's really going on here. Wanna blackmail someone? Apply some dirt on them to pressure them to accept that plea bargain?

Remember, this is the same gov that promotes the need of "cybersecurity" where the military networks are supposedly compromised remotely at times. Think of the tie-in--bounce off some mandated government backdoors through some corporate routers, compromise the military networks, and pretty soon, we won't have a need for Wikileaks.

Dear FBI: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257170)

Fuck off.

Love, a concerned PRIVATE (in all meanings of the word) citizen.

Re:Dear FBI: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257600)

what are you trying to hide that you think we don't already know about?

Didn't we feared China and others doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257176)

Maybe these makers don't want to sell their devices on China.

On second tought, they may already doing and have them ready for US consumption now.

God says... (1)

Trivial Solutions (1724416) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257194)

God says...
rejoice Soon hell calamity X actual knottiness proud bawler
shadow greeted goad smile descending eat wheel faileth

Tax breaks might work (4, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257196)

If I was an evil politician, I would create and leverage US tax law to provide the economic incentive to those that provide ease-of-wiretapping features into their products. I could sell the bill as a way to further save lives and money as a result of less time and effort spent capturing communications.

But, I'm a nice guy. So I could never run for office.

MiguelFromMars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257218)

Where it says to "Automatically share my personal information with identity thieves, sex predators, psycho exes, and the government" Yeah, you're gonna want to uncheck that box.

This is terrible! (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257222)

The poor little FBI is having trouble spying on people (court order or not). Let's all show our love for them and help them out!

Re:This is terrible! (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257266)

The poor little FBI is having trouble spying on people (court order or not). Let's all show our love for them and help them out!

If they ask nicely, they can have my Capn Crunch secret decoder ring. But they have to be nice about it.

Re:This is terrible! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257398)

"Let's all show our love for them and help them out!"

Um, you still fly the "Friendly"(sic) Skies...? But perhaps we might celebrate 'em all in some other way than allowing yet another top-down intrusion scheme... I got it! Let's help throw the Bureau a BAKE SALE! (Hold up on them fine Alice B. Toklas brownies, is all.) ;)

Maybe the attitude'll soften a bit once a certain series of Controlled Demolitions that took place with NO DEMOLITION PERMIT, about a decade back in downtown Manhattan, is at LAST treated to proper MOM-based Genuine Forensic Procedures. Once the Greedy Golden Lily-white (but for one and *she* ain't white by a long shot) high-hand "l33t"(sic) perps of THAT mass murder are brought to justice at LAST, a modicum of public trust will surely be restored. Until then: Nuh-uh.

Hint: Read your EP Heidner and catch the Abundance of Clues from Public Documents, Smart Gentle Literate Audience! Until that wee touch of Official Work Left Denied and Undone is at last done - and Done Right at that, fwiw - THIS Smart Gentle Literate Complex Systems Analyst has little respect for the integrity of said Bureau.

No cowards here. Just ain't signed in. And that is all! 0{:-|o

Incentives, huh (2)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257228)

although she said she's optimistic the US government can find incentives for companies to 'have intercept solutions engineered into their systems.

I wonder if the FBI considers "not facing bankrupting fines and legal harrassment" an incentive...

Re:Incentives, huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257396)

Because you see, if we can't find incentives, we'll have to find alternatives, and we don't want that, do we?

By the way, how's the business and family doing?

Re:Incentives, huh (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257580)

"That's a nice little website you have there. It'd be a shame if something happened to it. Y'know, like it suddenly being taken down because it has copyrighted material on it."

But, fortunately, the FBI never accidentally takes down websites. And, if they did, I'm sure they'd be really sorry. But these things happen, you understand...

Incentives? (1)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257234)

"she said she's optimistic the US government can find incentives for companies" Dammit, time to open my Yandex.ru e-mail account I guess.

A few reasons (4, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257248)

I can think of about 84,000 good reasons we don't want to make pushbutton law enforcement any easier than it already is.

Watching people is supposed to be resource intensive, that's what makes sure they only do it when it's absolutely necessary.

Here's an idea, I will build in a police API to tap the web messages BUT it will automatically CC all requests to the EFF, ACLU, and Wikileaks. By using the API they agree to the CC up front.

I'm guessing it will be the world's least used police back door.

Re:A few reasons (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257582)

I can think of about 84,000 good reasons we don't want to make pushbutton law enforcement any easier than it already is.

Alright, what are they?

Re:A few reasons (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257734)

You jest, but you just described a relatively effective system. I would exclude Wikileaks though, as they've demonstrated amply that they disseminate information and damn the consequences, whereas the ACLU or EFF (or similar localised entity) would be well placed to determine whether it's something to cry foul about or leave alone due a legitimate need for secrecy (for example, an actual terrorist). It would serve the needs of making it relatively painless to tap if there's a need, but still have that transparency and accountability while still maintaining secrecy if it's needed.

Not in the US (3, Insightful)

Jane_Dozey (759010) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257252)

Many Internet services are not covered by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA)

They do realise that even more Internet services are not even in the US....right? Or does their jurisdiction actually extend to other countries now?

Re:Not in the US (1)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257636)

The internet is run (owned) by the US government. They really do think they have the right to spy on everyone, everywhere.

It's already here. (2)

sharkbiter (266775) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257256)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_warrantless_surveillance_controversy

The NSA has been tasked with the domestic spying on America's own citizens by executive order. While I don't understand how said agency can decipher all the communications that criss-cross American territory on top of all the data that goes through satellites, cable, fiber to foreign destinations on top of all that, is beyond me.

http://insidecharmcity.com/2007/06/25/nsa-power-supply-problems-continue/

Perhaps, this explains all the recent power hits we've been experiencing here in MD lately...

its because of fed.gov I run my own mail server (3, Informative)

Indy1 (99447) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257258)

When the fascists at the NSA and FBI started their massive domestic spying program (Echelon, Carnivore, etc), I decided to make their lives harder and run my own mail server. While they can still snoop on the big boys (yahoo, aol, msn, etc), at least email from my end is safe, and if I send emails to non US based mail servers over SSL, theres at least some chance the fascists cant read the traffic.

Re:its because of fed.gov I run my own mail server (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257356)

Or you could just use end to end encryption. PGP or S/MIME are pretty easy to set up...

Re:its because of fed.gov I run my own mail server (2)

DirePickle (796986) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257556)

Hard to get other people to use PGP/GPG/whatever, though.

Re:its because of fed.gov I run my own mail server (1)

forand (530402) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257616)

You are aware that your emails are sent in plain text unless you only send email to people whose servers support an encrypted connection? Most do not.

Re:its because of fed.gov I run my own mail server (4, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257750)

You are aware that your emails are sent in plain text unless you only send email to people whose servers support an encrypted connection? Most do not.

STARTTLS has been around for awhile now. Are you sure that "most" servers don't support it?

A lot of larger financial institutions are even beginning to require other companies they do business with to enforce TLS encryption when communicating with them (so, for example, if you do business with JP Morgan/Chase, they want you to configure your outgoing SMTP server to refuse to deliver mail to JPMC's servers if a TLS connection fails, bouncing the message to the sender instead of falling back to plain text).

Re:its because of fed.gov I run my own mail server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257758)

So that mail server is overseas or otherwise outside the FBI's jurisdiction?

The Irony Gets Thicker (5, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257292)

And here we are seeing a wave of democracy sweeping the Arab world, facilitated in part by these very technologies. At the same time, the U.S. government is positioning itself to prevent those very tools being used against it.

There are still those here who will say that it's hyperbole, but the same tipping point is approaching here. Our real rulers (hint: neither political party, but those behind both) are getting nervous and moving to keep their grip on our society. They have perpetrated the most massive theft in the history of mankind, absconding with trillions of dollars of our money, selling our children into a lifetime of debt servitude while theirs party on; they know it, and we know it, and they're starting to realize that we know it too.

Re:The Irony Gets Thicker (4, Insightful)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257368)

There are still those here who will say that it's hyperbole, but the same tipping point is approaching here. Our real rulers (hint: neither political party, but those behind both) are getting nervous and moving to keep their grip on our society. They have perpetrated the most massive theft in the history of mankind, absconding with trillions of dollars of our money, selling our children into a lifetime of debt servitude while theirs party on; they know it, and we know it, and they're starting to realize that we know it too.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." -- Thomas Jefferson

The emphasis is mine. It is interesting that this quote is most often seen cut off after 'patriots'. Who might have a vested interest in seeing that the public stops thinking of rulers being made to pay for growing oppressive?

Re:The Irony Gets Thicker (2)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257648)

The big question is what will it take till we pull an egypt on these guys. Just how far must the fascists push us till we break out the torches and pitchforks? It would be extremely ironic if the middle east became the last bastion of freedom in the world while we slip into a fascist/military dictatorship.

Re:The Irony Gets Thicker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257736)

And here we are seeing a wave of democracy sweeping the Arab world

Oh please, those Arabs have no plans, no leaders and no democracy. This Egypt thing is not like the US Revolution or Israel or Gandhi and India.

It is more like the French Revolution where the commoners replaced Louis for Napoleon, except in Egypt they have no Voltaire.

Freedom Box. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257294)

http://wiki.debian.org/FreedomBox

Inspired by Eben Moglen's vision of a small, cheap and simple computer that serves freedom in the home. We are building a Debian based platform for distributed applications.

Freedom Box is about:

        * privacy
        * control
        * ease of use
        * dehierarchicalization

Vision Statement

We live in a world where our use of the network is mediated by organizations that often do not have our best interests at heart. By building software that does not rely on a central service, we can regain control and privacy. By keeping our data in our homes, we gain useful legal protections over it. By giving back power to the users over their networks and machines, we are returning the Internet to its intended peer-to-peer architecture.

In order to bring about the new network order, it is paramount that it is easy to convert to it. The hardware it runs on must be cheap. The software it runs on must be easy to install and administrate by anybody. It must be easy to transition from existing services.

Freedom through a straw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257410)

But WTF does it do!?

Re:Freedom through a straw? (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257526)

It imposes freedom on all those that would dare to oppress it!

Re:Freedom through a straw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257536)

http://freedomboxfoundation.org/goals/

Re:Freedom Box. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257504)

There is the new site:

http://freedomboxfoundation.org/

and you can donate [kickstarter.com] .

Re:Freedom Box. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257560)

>dehierarchicalization
*spits tea everywhere*
I think that the use of this word should be rethought.

Quite simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257348)

All they need to do is ask China how to do it.

The Backdoor Exists Already. (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257404)

Here's how it works:

1. Identify the individual you want to spy on.
2. Identify the web services you want to spy via.
3. Obtain the SSL certificates of the web services.
3. Gag & Order the certificate authorities named in the SSL certs to create the FBI/NSA a new fake trusted cert.
4. Use the unwarranted wire-tap systems already in place to "Man in the Middle" any connections the individual makes to the web services you wish t spy on.
5. Return the fake cert to the individual, and re-encrypt the data to the web service using the real cert.
6. Spy on the individual as much as you like.
7. ...
8. Oppress!

Note: If the CA is not a US company, then simply use Verisign or other US company to creat the fake certs -- No one checks to see if the cert is actually the one that the domain normally uses...

CAs can make certificates without the domain owner's permissions -- As long as the certificate authorities don't need the domain owner's permission to generate certificates the SECURITY THEATER of SSL will remain intact.

Also Note: FF > Preferences > Advanced > Security Tab > View Certificates > CNNIC ROOT
This is the root certificate that China will use in these types of MITM attacks.

P.S. Remember when a large portion of the Internet was "accidentally" routed through China? [slashdot.org]

Re:The Backdoor Exists Already. (1)

Kernel Krumpit (1912708) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257468)

Thanks. Deleted instantly as a matter of course.

Re:The Backdoor Exists Already. (4, Informative)

bendodge (998616) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257516)

No one checks to see if the cert is actually the one that the domain normally uses...

I do! Via Perspectives [cmu.edu] . I've very, very rarely had it alert me to anything, but it could be extremely useful the one time it does.

yea no... (3, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257470)

My companies solution to this was to ship the entire email nightmare over to Google, let them deal with it. In fact, if law enforcement were to REQUIRE we do something anyway I'd think we'd just drop email all together. It's not profitable, we can't charge for it, it's nothing but a headache. So basically law enforcement would just be force ALL email off shore.

sad/happy (1)

it5complicated (1951824) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257644)

Am I supposed to feel happy that I can preserve my privacy or should I feel sad that FBI is reduced to complaining about its own incompetence and asking to be spoon fed?

FBI, you've got your work cut out for you. (1)

exentropy (1822632) | more than 3 years ago | (#35257694)

"The FBI is concerned about about criminals running loose because the agency can't execute a wiretap", Caproni said. "That criminal may be a massive drug dealer, they may be an arms trafficker, they may be a child pornographer or a child molester."

Don't worry, the Muskegon County Prosecutor has got you covered! He's already found one of those pesky child molesters, no wiretap required.

Shock!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257796)

You mean,in spite of the abus....err, empowerment of authority granted by the Patriot Act, they STILL can't connect the G@#d@^&#d dots?

Do I laugh? Do I cry? Do Iaugh until I cry?

Meh, pass me another cold one please. Obscurity theatre is so entertaining these days.....

cheers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35257804)

Good article, thanks for sharing... ;)

Kamagra [kamagraojelly.com]

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