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Real-Time Gmail Spying a 'Top Priority' For FBI This Year

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Government 283

Fnord666 sends this quote from an article at Slate: "Despite the pervasiveness of law enforcement surveillance of digital communication, the FBI still has a difficult time monitoring Gmail, Google Voice, and Dropbox in real time. But that may change soon, because the bureau says it has made gaining more powers to wiretap all forms of Internet conversation and cloud storage a 'top priority' this year. ... a 1994 surveillance law called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act only allows the government to force Internet providers and phone companies to install surveillance equipment within their networks. But it doesn't cover email, cloud services, or online chat providers like Skype. Weissmann said that the FBI wants the power to mandate real-time surveillance of everything from Dropbox and online games ('the chat feature in Scrabble') to Gmail and Google Voice. 'Those communications are being used for criminal conversations,' he said."

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Any communication channel (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288227)

'Those communications are being used for criminal conversations,' he said.

So is any mean of communication. Ever heard of the right to be left alone?

Re:Any communication channel (1)

DaHat (247651) | about a year ago | (#43288257)

They are leaving you alone... Or at least as far as you know :)

Re:Any communication channel (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43288713)

This time they will CALEA right.

CALEAv2 will make sure those pesky warrants won't be required. Or it'll use the FISA kangaroo court.

My Thoughts Exactly. (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43288317)

So are regular telephones, and cell phones, and Jitsi, and ICQ, and Yahoo Messenger, and AIM, and Jabber, and Google Talk, and Facetime, and Twitter, and even talking face to face. And let's not forget the U.S. Mail.

Re:My Thoughts Exactly. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288401)

You forgot the means of communication designed specifically to legally exchange criminal conversations and items - the diplomatic mail.

Re:My Thoughts Exactly. (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43288535)

And they can already tap telephone, cell, ICQ/AIM (not sure why they are listed separately), and some (most?) of the others. They are just adding one more to the list.

Re:My Thoughts Exactly. (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year ago | (#43288567)

... and any means of communication outside the jurisdiction of the FBI, like anything hosted in another country.

Re:Any communication channel (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288411)

So is any mean of communication.

Yep, that's why only Gmail is referenced in the summary...

Slashdot has sunk very low since Burson Marsteller/Microsoft started gaming it.

Re:Any communication channel (3, Interesting)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year ago | (#43288517)

Ever heard of the right to be left alone?

Yes, it's the title of an excellent documentry about Larry Flynt.

Re:Any communication channel (5, Insightful)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about a year ago | (#43288557)

"You have nothing to fear if you're not doing anything wrong." Sad how many people believe somehow justify the erosion of our rights with idiotic, short-sighted mantras such as the above.

Re:Any communication channel (4, Funny)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year ago | (#43288609)

Coming soon! FBI listening devices installed on water pipes.
'Cause you tap out out morse code on them and hear it further down the pipe in other rooms.

Who wants to make their lives interesting? (4, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#43288231)

Seems we could write a simple gTalk/gMail client that just sent random chatter back and forth. Get enough of them going and it would be near impossible to filter out the noise.

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288267)

* One of your own even says how it's done, & it's NO BIG TRICK to do the following here on /. to cheat the moderation system (I caught tomhudson = Barbara, not Barbie admitting to it (they're the same person)):


1.) Downmoderate using one of many sockpuppet alternate registered 'luser' accounts with mod points collected up (easily done by "pandering" to group think & modding one's Self (or should I say, SELVES, lol) up.

2.) Logout to preserve the cookie state & karma of said multiple sockpuppet accounts

3.) Troll, harass, & stalk (usually off topic with ad hominem attacks that are illogical in & of themselves) by ac posts


* The link above has "one of your own" illustrating how & why it's done... nuff said, & I didn't even do the saying of it!


P.S.=> You fail, and you must LOVE punishment... especially self-inflicted ones, having to go off topic & worse afterwards (like unjust downmods) - hey, you only did it to yourself... ... apk

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#43288465)

Or, y'know, they could just use stenography. I'm hoping the FBI logic is "we won't catch everyone, but we'll catch more," which is at least not pathetically Orwellian.

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (1)

J Story (30227) | about a year ago | (#43288633)

Or, y'know, they could just use stenography.

As I recall, steganography might not make you uninteresting to the authorities, because although the bits that get loaded with data might not be understood, there is a detectible difference between a picture, for example, that has hidden data and one that does not. If there is a reasonable suspicion that you're hiding something, presumably you can be compelled to give up the means of revealing it. That said, information can come in many guises. For example, in a MMORPG there might be significance in a character's location or equipment at any given time.

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#43288729)

More like "we won't catch everyone, but we'll catch morons"

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (5, Informative)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#43288743)

they could just use stenography

Stenography is shorthand, not to be confused with steganography, which Wiki even points out. The only reason I know this off the top of my head is because I'm a stegosaurus.

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#43288499)

This project [] but for gTalk/gMail as your browser opens?
That would be very neat :)

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (2)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43288625)

Get enough of them going and it would be near impossible to filter out the noise.

I don't think you understand the way that these folks work. If you do that, they will just ask for more funds to be able to add more power to their listening-in operation. Oh, to do that, they need to raise your taxes just a touch.

Re:Who wants to make their lives interesting? (5, Interesting)

MiG82au (2594721) | about a year ago | (#43288737)

WTF, have none of you heard of OTR (Off The Record) IM encryption? You can't use it through the gmail interface, but you can use Google's IM network (which uses the jabber protocol) with third party IM clients which support OTR. What passes through Google's servers is then encrypted gibberish.

And you should not be using this just when you want to have a secret conversation; you use it all the time so that anybody snooping understands that you disagree with the principle of snooping, even when you have nothing to hide.

Are you a terrorist? (1)

pablo_max (626328) | about a year ago | (#43288793)

You sir are obviously a terrorist and will be treated as such.

Seriously though, do you really think the creator of such an app would not be treated as such?

I can hear the criminals conspiring... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288237)

I can hear the criminals conspiring. They are everywhere. They are conspiring in games of scrabble. They are even using mind rays to talk, and I can hear them. The only thing that makes them stop is the foil hat and the power of crystals.

Re:I can hear the criminals conspiring... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288321)

Don't forget the power of TimeCube

anonymity (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288247)

soon it'll be hard to an anonymous coward

Re:anonymity (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288347)

Well, you are half right

Re:anonymity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288597)

in fact , you're only labelled AC. If you post enough times you'll find that the system has remembered you enough to count how many times you've posted that day and start blocking you. This mean they'll have a record of your IP address at least and a good analyst would be able to pick out various AC's writing styles also linking their posts.

In other words, increase your vocabulary, change the phrasing in your various AC posts, use or misuse punctuation to create more variance.

Its things like this (3, Interesting)

toygeek (473120) | about a year ago | (#43288249)

That cause me to consider bringing email back home. I switched to gmail several years ago because running a mail server was just too much of a pain in the neck. Then again, maybe running my own smtp/pop server would make it easier to be eavesdropped on by the FBI and their ilk.

Re:Its things like this (5, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43288343)

No matter if you use gmail or your own server, smtp with remote servers usually goes in plain text. What you must do, gmail or not, is encrypt the mail itself (i.e. with pgp)

Re:Its things like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288525)

smtp with remote servers usually goes in plain text

It's sad that this is still true in 2013.

Re:Its things like this (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43288545)

Unfortunately, this requires that you convince others to do the same and that's not going to happen.

Re:Its things like this (3, Informative)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year ago | (#43288607)

No matter if you use gmail or your own server, smtp with remote servers usually goes in plain text.

That is becoming less true. Many servers (including GMAIL's) support SMTPTLS. Unfortuanately, the lack of certificate validation (because few mailservers have signed certificates) makes them open to man-in-the-middle attacks, but not to simple packet sniffing.

Re:Its things like this (2)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43288541)

You can protect your email, as long as it stays on your own server in your own home under your own control and isn't connected to the internet.

Encryption is a pretty good option, until they classify encryption as being a criminal tool that is illegal simply to posses, the same way possessing some tools of the criminal trade already are.

Privacy is a losing fight. The best we can do is hold them at bay a little longer, but every passing year (and especially every generation of more subservient and less questioning sheep) brings us a new tide of government incursion that slowly erodes the beach of privacy and personal liberty. I think it is inevitable that this is the course of all governments, given time. We've had ours for a couple hundred years. Now we move on to the next phase and become more European, I suppose. Maybe we'll get the long lunch times, in return, though.

Re:Its things like this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288621)

Encryption or any other tool used to protect your privacy is already listed as one of the indicators that you are a terrorist per the latest FBI pamphlet on how to spot a terrorist. Being overly concerned about your privacy, predominantly using cash for your purchases, frequently claiming your rights under the Constitution or other laws, hoarding food or other supplies all can get you labelled as a potential terrorist.

Doomsday preppers are digging their own graves. Just by preparing for the worst, they bring themselves into the radar.

Re:Its things like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288647)

If you're really concerned with your privacy, just flood them with all sorts of random crap that makes it hard to pick out what you're actually doing. Considering how many dumb asses there are out there that are actually interested in things like the Jersey Shore, it shouldn't be too suspicious if you choose wisely.

Re:Its things like this (2)

MiG82au (2594721) | about a year ago | (#43288751)

Do you really think an automated snooper cares if you throw mostly crap at it? It's not like they'd bother having sweatshops full of employees snooping on you manually. Computers have unlimited attention spans; I thought a /. poster would know better.

Also talking (5, Funny)

waynemcdougall (631415) | about a year ago | (#43288253)

The FBI has also learned that talking face to face us being used in nearly every criminal activity of two or more people (gangs). Henceforth all conversations must be recorded on your official government recorder, which will relay all conversations in real time.

Until you receive your recorder, refrain from I monitored conversations except in the designated monitored talking booths.

Re:Also talking (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288351)

Official government recorder? It's called a cell phone.

Re:Also talking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288391)

...Henceforth all conversations must be recorded on your official government recorder, which will relay all conversations in real time..

On the bright side, free cellphones for everyone!

Re:Also talking (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about a year ago | (#43288507)

...Henceforth all conversations must be recorded on your official government recorder, which will relay all conversations in real time..

On the bright side, free telescreens for everyone!

Re:Also talking (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43288419)

I keep repeating: when we are all in a cage, we will all be "safe".

Re:Also talking (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about a year ago | (#43288577)

I keep repeating: when we are all in a cage, we will all be "safe".

That's when they put a tiger in the cage with us.

Re:Also talking (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43288629)

Or keep shaking the cage to see what falls out of our pockets that they might want.

Re:Also talking (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288643)

Look up FEMA camps for the definition of safe in the future.

Re:Also talking (1)

MoronGames (632186) | about a year ago | (#43288679)

I keep saying "hug box" because it sounds better. Who doesn't want a hug?

Re:Also talking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288691)

Henceforth all conversations must be recorded on your official government recorder, which will relay all conversations in real time.

Nah they'll just ask Google etc to hand over the records for Google Glasses and similar.

Maybe the real reason why Microsoft bought Skype was to make Skype easier to tap by the Feds.

Re:Also talking (2)

formfeed (703859) | about a year ago | (#43288853)

The FBI has also learned that talking face to face us being used in nearly every criminal activity of two or more people (gangs). Henceforth all conversations must be recorded on your official government recorder, which will relay all conversations in real time.

These government recorders are called OnStar (has been used to listen in) and cell phones (probably depending on the brand, but some apparently can be activated without user control).
- And that's why I only meet my people on a windy day at a stormy beach walking several feet into the sea with a symphony orchestra playing Beethoven while they are driving up and down the beach on two-stroke scooters tossing chain saws.

Re:Also talking (1)

twebb72 (903169) | about a year ago | (#43288909)

True, but the FBI has recently issued translators for pig Latin -- rendering your face to face encryption technology useless!

Just a warrant, that's all I want! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288255)

You can have all the power in the world, but I am forced to strive to encrypt more precisely because of this approach. Honor the forth amendment, its words AND intent. Give me the paperwork, get the data. Demand to get the data without a piece of paper, I will blatantly act to encrypt. Pretend you have magic papers that cannot be argued against? Expect to find /no/ data.

Your paper is secret? So are my IM's/E-Mails/Twittered cock shots to my constituents.

One of those falls in to the legitimate realm of non warranted data access. Guess which one? This is not a hard problem if you don't have to contort yourself to answer it.


Re:Just a warrant, that's all I want! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288441)

Honor the forth amendment, its words AND intent.


The Forth amendment? Oh geez, I forgot how to write in Forth... I am terrified!


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288917)

(in Yoda voice) You will

The Government wants more control! (1)

Laxori666 (748529) | about a year ago | (#43288281)

News at 11.

Some conversations are for illegal activities (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288283)

Just like *some* FBI/CIA/DHS/and other 3 letter acronym agents are criminals.

With that thought process, we should have 24 hour, open, video and audio recordings of every second of every government agent's life open to the public for the "good of the people" since if even ONE agent is a criminal, then they must all be criminals, isn't that the kindergarten mentality the FBI is using for this stunt?

FBI agents - go to the courts with your "suspicions" get yourself a fucking warrant, then go ask google and others to give you access.

Until then, keep the fuck out of our privacy. It's expected, and protected by the constitution of the United States - you know, that pesky little document you swore to uphold and defend, not mutilate and destroy.

Any FBI (CIA or other agency) agent that doesn't go along with this is a constitutional terrorist and should be sent to Gitmo with no chance of parole.

BitMessage (5, Informative)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about a year ago | (#43288295)

Fuck That Shit []

Re:BitMessage (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43288639)

OMG! The first rule of BitMessage is not to talk about Bitmessage!!

Trolls (4, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#43288299)

I hope the FBI figures out that the various trolls in online chats are actually terrorist speaking in code.

Re:Trolls (5, Insightful)

Angrywhiteshoes (2440876) | about a year ago | (#43288475)

Trolls??? Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Coast Guard (USCG), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Border Patrol, Secret Service (USSS), National Operations Center (NOC), Homeland Defense, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE), Agent, Task Force, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Fusion Center, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Secure Border Initiative (SBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Air Marshal, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Guard, Red Cross, United Nations (UN), Domestic Security, , Assassination, Attack, Domestic security, Drill, Exercise, Cops, Law enforcement, Authorities, Disaster assistance, Disaster management, DNDO (Domestic Nuclear Detection Office), National preparedness, Mitigation, Prevention, Response, Recovery, Dirty Bomb, Domestic nuclear detection, Emergency management, Emergency response, First responder, Homeland security, Maritime domain awareness (MDA), National preparedness initiative, Militia, Shooting, Shots fired, Evacuation, Deaths, Hostage, Explosion (explosive), Police, Disaster medical assistance team (DMAT), Organized crime, Gangs, National security, State of emergency, Security, Breach, Threat, Standoff, SWAT, Screening, Lockdown, Bomb (squad or threat), Crash, Looting, Riot, Emergency Landing, Pipe bomb, Incident, Facility, HAZMAT & Nuclear, , Hazmat, Nuclear, Chemical Spill, Suspicious package/device, Toxic, National laboratory, Nuclear facility, Nuclear threat, Cloud, Plume, Radiation, Radioactive, Leak, Biological infection (or event), Chemical, Chemical burn, Biological, Epidemic, Hazardous, Hazardous material incident, Industrial spill, Infection, Powder (white), Gas, Spillover, Anthrax, Blister agent, Exposure, Burn, Nerve agent, Ricin, Sarin, North Korea, Health Concern + H1N1, , Outbreak, Contamination, Exposure, Virus, Evacuation, Bacteria, Recall, Ebola, Food Poisoning, Foot and Mouth (FMD), H5N1, Avian, Flu, Salmonella, Small Pox, Plague, Human to human, Human to ANIMAL, Influenza, Center for Disease Control (CDC), Drug Administration (FDA), Public Health, Toxic, Agro Terror, Tuberculosis (TB), Agriculture, Listeria, Symptoms, Mutation, Resistant, Antiviral, Wave, Pandemic, Infection, Water/air borne, Sick, Swine, Pork, Strain, Quarantine, H1N1, Vaccine, Tamiflu, Norvo Virus, Epidemic, World Health Organization (WHO and components), Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, E. Coli, Infrastructure Security, , Infrastructure security, Airport, CIKR (Critical Infrastructure & Key Resources), AMTRAK, Collapse, Computer infrastructure, Communications infrastructure, Telecommunications, Critical infrastructure, National infrastructure, Metro, WMATA, Airplane (and derivatives), Chemical fire, Subway, BART, MARTA, Port Authority, NBIC (National Biosurveillance Integration Center), Transportation security, Grid, Power, Smart, Body scanner, Electric, Failure or outage, Black out, Brown out, Port, Dock, Bridge, Canceled, Delays, Service disruption, Power lines, Southwest Border Violence, , Drug cartel, Violence, Gang, Drug, Narcotics, Cocaine, Marijuana, Heroin, Border, Mexico, Cartel, Southwest, Juarez, Sinaloa, Tijuana, Torreon, Yuma, Tucson, Decapitated, U.S. Consulate, Consular, El Paso, Fort Hancock, San Diego, Ciudad Juarez, Nogales, Sonora, Colombia, Mara salvatrucha, MS13 or MS-13, Drug war, Mexican army, Methamphetamine, Cartel de Golfo, Gulf Cartel, La Familia, Reynose, Nuevo Leon, Narcos, Narco banners (Spanish equivalents), Los Zetas, Shootout, Execution, Gunfight, Trafficking, Kidnap, Calderon, Reyosa, Bust, Tamaulipas, Meth Lab, Drug trade, Illegal immigrants, Smuggling (smugglers), Matamoros, Michoacana, Guzman, Arellano-Felix, Beltran-Leyva, Barrio Azteca, Artistics Assassins, Mexicles, New Federation, Terrorism, , Terrorism, Al Queda (all spellings), Terror, Attack, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Agro, Environmental terrorist, Eco terrorism, Conventional weapon, Target, Weapons grade, Dirty bomb, Enriched, Nuclear, Chemical weapon, Biological weapon, Ammonium nitrate, Improvised explosive device, IED (Improvised Explosive Device), Abu Sayyaf, Hamas, FARC (Armed Revolutionary Forces Colombia), IRA (Irish Republican Army), ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna), Basque Separatists, Hezbollah, Tamil Tiger, PLF (Palestine Liberation Front), PLO (Palestine Libration Organization), Car bomb, Jihad, Taliban, Weapons cache, Suicide bomber, Suicide attack, Suspicious substance, AQAP (Al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula), AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan), Yemen, Pirates, Extremism, Somalia, Nigeria, Radicals, Al-Shabaab, Home grown, Plot, Nationalist, Recruitment, Fundamentalism, Islamist, Weather/Disaster/Emergency, , Emergency, Hurricane, Tornado, Twister, Tsunami, Earthquake, Tremor, Flood, Storm, Crest, Temblor, Extreme weather, Forest fire, Brush fire, Ice, Stranded/Stuck, Help, Hail, Wildfire, Tsunami Warning Center, Magnitude, Avalanche, Typhoon, Shelter-in-place, Disaster, Snow, Blizzard, Sleet, Mud slide or Mudslide, Erosion, Power outage, Brown out, Warning, Watch, Lightening, Aid, Relief, Closure, Interstate, Burst, Emergency Broadcast System, Cyber Security, , Cyber security, Botnet, DDOS (dedicated denial of service), Denial of service, Malware, Virus, Trojan, Keylogger, Cyber Command, 2600, Spammer, Phishing, Rootkit, Phreaking, Cain and abel, Brute forcing, Mysql injection, Cyber attack, Cyber terror, Hacker, China, Conficker, Worm, Scammers, Social media

Re:Trolls (1)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about a year ago | (#43288611)

That'll keep the bastards busy. Is that your email sig? Wouldn't it be fun if every email message contained all of that?

Re:Trolls (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288759)

i be fucking your ugly mother. community service you know? stops her getting horning and rolling down town smashing shit. w00t!

God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288319)

God says...
personages instinct upwards filling expounding Forthwith
ointments resting helpful augmenting cutting honest destined
traces atrocious ordinary horror Author sin washing enticed
usefully Etexts panted urge fig-tree accord Give friend
serpent waking Verily since inward deluding Where I'm_done
judging fastidiousness undo don't_you_love_me

This Country is Going to Hell (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288331)

And the most frightening (or maybe depressing? disgusting? angering?) things about it are how quickly it's happening in a little backlash there is from the general public.

The thing is, any modernized country in the world has the same access to this type of technology and could be proposing similarly oppressive actions ... and yet most of them are not.

What is so chronically wrong with Americans that the ones in charge pull shit like this and everyone else puts up with it?

Re:This Country is Going to Hell (1)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about a year ago | (#43288345)

The other guys are far worse, but it's not public.

Re:This Country is Going to Hell (0, Troll)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43288461)

The general public is currently mesmerized by gay marriage and who killed Emmanuel Goldste-er Bin Laden, with a little bit of fiscal fear thrown in to stimulate healthy shouting matches of "republitard/democrap" to drain any excess energy. They really don't care about shit like this. They want to be told that if they work like good little drones they will live the American dream buying a home they can't afford and leaving enormous amounts of debt to their children. Their coddled, pampered children raised in kid-safe environments and fattened on redundant, non productive smart-phone technology, who will have no idea what happened to their world when the Chinese come to collect the debt they are owed.

Re:This Country is Going to Hell (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288875)

And the most frightening (or maybe depressing? disgusting? angering?) things about it are how quickly it's happening in a little backlash there is from the general public.

Joe R Public keeps telling his buddies at the bar that The Man can not take away his rights so long as he still has one carton of .308 left.

They really believe that.

But they'll never open that carton.

They already have it (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288333)

Rest assured- the NSA is already slurping unthinkable amounts of Internet traffic, and storing the results on various shadow-Google installations (massive database and search engine facilities using Google's hardware and software designs). What is happening here is that the FBI (and other public facing enforcement agencies) want to use such data openly in court. To do this, they have to pretend the intelligence gathering is not already happening (and has been for more than a decade), and will be implemented in the near future- 'legal' and above board.

Most of how the ordinary citizen is tracked is a national secret. For instance, almost no-one knows the extent to which motor vehicles are monitored by reading the RFID tags present in the rubber of the tires. Instead, the government works hard to make you think most tracking is done by (very visible) camera networks. The under-road RFID reading strips are 'invisible', and vastly more reliable and cheaper than the cameras. The cameras are mostly used to associate a license plate and/or vehicle image with the RFID 'fingerprint'.

The more data the state can grab about the sheeple, the more data it wants to grab. In the early part of the 20th century, there was a reluctance to create or properly fund 'intelligence' agencies, because it was found such agencies always grew like a cancer, and never recognised lines they would not cross. After WW2, with the rise of the cold war, all sides threw caution to the wind, and began this '1984' style nightmare. Before the age of the microprocessor, tech limitations prevented the 'tumors' from growing beyond a certain size. Now the amoral psychopaths these agencies employ desire all of us be placed under 24 hour surveillance.

Only new societal rules can now save us. An addition to the constitution, or a new Commandment. "Thou shall not pre-emptively spy upon a citizen for any reason or cause."

You will be told (by the monsters) that if you are innocent, you have nothing to fear, or a (massive) loss of privacy is a small price to pay for (maybe) improved law enforcement. Ordinary people (especially after schooling) are easily fooled by such arguments. The same ordinary people only finally appreciate the danger when everything goes wrong (you end up in a nation ruled by the Soviets or Nazis, for instance). People in ex-Nazi ruled, and then ex-Soviet ruled nations love to vote in freedom loving, privacy respecting governments- at least until they forget again (see Holland for a sad example of this phenomenon).

Re:They already have it (4, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#43288455)

I thought the first paragraph was interesting. Then I thought the second paragraph sounded foilhatty. Then I googled "rfid tires" and the first article is almost a decade old: []

Michelin hopes manufacturers will pay a little more for tires with RFID transponders, because it makes the tires easier to track. The microchip stores the tire's unique ID, which can be associated with the vehicle identification number.

And more recently: []

For the moment, the technology will be used solely to track tire usage in Moto2 and Moto3. Tiny RFID chips will be built into the official Dunlop tires during the manufacturing process, each programmed with a unique identifying code.
Sensors in pit lane (shown in the photo here on the Dunlop website) will monitor when each tire leaves pit lane, and when they return. Using the database which maps which tires have been allocated to which riders, Dunlop can keep precise track of which tires have been used when, and for how long.

Anyway, it still feels a bit on the hatter side to think the government is currently monitoring who has what tires, but it is definitely something I could see it becoming interested in and something that could actually be done.

Am I crazy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288339)

This seems like a fairly trivial thing to deal with if you are a commited criminal. Set up a system whereby all that they can get is encrypted messages. I have a key, you have a key and anyone else needs to break the encryption. We could share keys in person or through encrypted messages in encryted messages.

Maybe I've been reading too much Slashdot. :/

TG (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288353)

Thank God I learned l33t speak as a the EffaBeeEye won't ever know my s3cr3t communications about warez to get some good w33d and me @ss@$1n@t10n plans.

You people should know better than to support this. Shame on you.

Re:TG (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43288451)

i wonder what they think of things like fat pizza and family guy

APK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288357)

I wonder what the Fed's make of apk's ramblings?

Re:APK (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288837)

They think he's one of the good guys.

I hear criminals also use the Post Office (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288361)

Yet, they wouldn't be trying to open your physical mail. It's amazing how now that it's digital, your privacy doesn't exist.

Re:I hear criminals also use the Post Office (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43288439)

careful what you say on slashdot... they are listening

Re:I hear criminals also use the Post Office (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43288477)

You mean the mail where the DVD with the keys for the OTP encryption was sent? No my brother-in-revolution, they do not.

In the other hand (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43288365)

Mail encrypting should be a top priority to world population. "Those communications are being intercepted by criminal government agencies,' we say.

Tongues (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288377)

18 I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.

20 Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is written:

“With other tongues
        and through the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people,
        but even then they will not listen to me,
says the Lord.”[e]

22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and inquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!”

tongues (king james) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288393)

14:18 I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 14:19 Yet
in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding,
that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in
an unknown tongue.

14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be
ye children, but in understanding be men.

14:21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other
lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not
hear me, saith the LORD.

14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but
to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that
believe not, but for them which believe.

14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place,
and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are
unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 14:24
But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one
unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 14:25 And thus
are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his
face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

United States Postal Service (1)

lemur3 (997863) | about a year ago | (#43288405)

if they suggested looking in every letter we sent.. im imagining people would be pretty upset

how is this any different ?

because email can fly around the net in plain text?

are we gonna see a story that says "FBI SCANNING ALL POST CARDS.." ..bleh.

Re:United States Postal Service (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43288559)

You overestimate the American public.

The majority of people would respond: "Well, if they say it'll make us safer, then that's what we have to do. We all have to do our part and sacrifice just a little bit if we want to be safe from terrorists".

Learn historical magnitudes (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43288409)

> 'Those communications are being used for criminal conversations,' he said."

"Boy, I'll say," said the Founding Fathers.

the real criminal conversations... (2)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#43288433)

...are going on in washington

This shit UNDERMINES surveillance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288443)

What is so amazing about CALEA and future updates to it, is that it mandates that providers be technically insecure.

If a provider is known ahead of time to be technically insecure, then the security problems transcend whatever you happen to think of your government. Presumably it's insecure against criminals too. And other governments (remember, no matter where you live, your government is not the only government or big player).

And then, if it's known to be generally insecure, you can't rely on it for anything, except as a transport for your tunnel.

Thus, given rational actors (*), the problem goes beyond mere fear, paranoia, and cipherpunk dystopias to people realizing that they really do need to encrypt everything, as a simple matter of common sense. You have to do it, just to have some safety against .. well, check your spamtrap for a sampling of the kind of people you need to worry about. They're out there.

So you're going to encrypt, whether your concern is Big Brother or anyone else. And it's just plain irresponsible for anyone to build a communications protocol which doesn't encrypt, so a protocol which is vulnerable to its providers' service known insecurity, is a big sign of lack of quality.

And so Big Brother gets nothing except ciphertext gibberish, even in the unthinkable situation where he does have a warrant. (CALEA is just Congress' way of saying "ha ha, got you!" to all the judges who sign warrants.) All because Big Brother told everyone that the Internet is insecure, not as a matter of bad luck or clever crooks, but because it's legally required to be insecure. Sure, we all know it's insecure, but we're feebleminded faithful trusting little things who prefer to live in ignorance of that. And here we have the US government, getting in our faces like a drill sergeant yelling, "PRIVATE, DID YOU JUST SEND PLAINTEXT?"

If I didn't know better, I'd think this was some kind of public service educational campaign. And a good one, too.

(*) Aye, the flaw in my whole argument.

The car analogy (Hi, Slashdot!) is that the city council passes a law that every car door must be trivially openable by paramedics, using a $5 key that's for sale at Walmart. And so the issue is thrust into everyone's face that no lawfully-available car doors really lock in any reasonable sense of the word, so everyone reluctantly adds a secondary security system to their car, just to keep common thieves out. And thus, whatever motivation the city council had, is undermined, since the police and paramedics and whoever else, can't break into cars as easily as they could before.

Read last line dumb ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288453)

2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and
destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and
shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 2:13 And shall receive
the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot
in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves
with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 2:14 Having eyes
full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable
souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed
children: 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray,
following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of
unrighteousness; 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass
speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.

Sure it was 1994 and not 1984? (1)

quax (19371) | about a year ago | (#43288479)

Or did Orwell just get it wrong by ten years.

Re:Sure it was 1994 and not 1984? (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43288645)

I don't think that the current year is what you think it is.

What are the alternatives? (1)

three27 (806894) | about a year ago | (#43288481)

What are the alternatives for email services? While I tend to fall under that "nothing to hide" category, that doesn't preclude my desire to maintain the right of privacy. Since I am not willing to run my own mail server, Can someone share some advice on which alternative mail services to use?

Re:What are the alternatives? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43288565)

None. Everything you do online is transmitted over lines owned by a corporation and, therefore, likely tapped at the backbone.

Skype (4, Interesting)

snowtigger (204757) | about a year ago | (#43288489)

It's hardly surprising that Skype isn't mentioned. It's widely believed that there are already backdoors in Skype. Skype has "declined to confirm" that there are no backdoors.

From the Wikipedia Skype Security article []

Security researchers Biondi and Desclaux have speculated that Skype may have a back door, since Skype sends traffic even when it is turned off and because Skype has taken extreme measures to obfuscate their traffic and functioning of their program.[26] Several media sources have reported that at a meeting about the "Lawful interception of IP based services" held on 25 June 2008, high-ranking but not named officials at the Austrian interior ministry said that they could listen in on Skype conversations without problems. Austrian public broadcasting service ORF, citing minutes from the meeting, have reported that "the Austrian police are able to listen in on Skype connections".[27][28] Skype declined to comment on the reports.[29]

Take it a step further (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288493)

With the excuse of "these services are used for criminal conversations", the FBI and other organisations will soon be able to plant bugs in every household as that's where criminal conversations sometimes take place as well. Why not tag everyone so you know where every Citizen is at all times?

Outrage! (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | about a year ago | (#43288497)

Americans at least should be outraged by this, as well as all of the other wiretapping bullshit that has gone on since the Patriot act. While I would guess that most Americans have no idea what 'mens rea' is, they should all understand the concept of innocent until proven guilty.

There is no reason for all of these Government agencies to have unlimited access to your personal life without a warrant. None what so ever. If you believe the propaganda and rhetoric, shame on you for being ignorant. Just think, in 7 months the new NSA super computers will be cracking away at your encryption as well, so even that won't be safe.

Combine the FBI, CIA, DHS, ATF, and FEMA resources and you have an army big enough to take on the US Military and more intelligence for a domestic war. Speaking of which, the DHS this year purchased 1.2 billion hollow point bullets (add in other Government agencies and you have over 2 billion rounds of killing bullets, not target bullets). Hmmm, still you find nothing odd with them snooping into _everything_ you do? How about the 1,300 armored vehicles they purchased last year by DHS? Still nothing? Anyone remember the 2011 defense spending bill with the clauses allowing indefinite detention of US citizens without warrant, trial, etc...? How about NSA, DHS, FBI, and CIA drone programs operating domestically? How about the lack of transparency in all of these agencies we were promised over 4 years ago by the then candidate now President, and before that by GWB? Anyone else know about why FEMA has been building dozens of "Relocation Camps" in the US? There is footage of one at least, but of course all of them are denied.

Look at all of that shit, then combine with the fact that the main stream media has become pure propaganda. Suddeny those conspiracy theories really don't seem so whacky do they? It's well passed the time when we should be waking up the neighbors, protesting for change, and voting in new leadership based on Socrates' principles and not politicians!

Re:Outrage! (0)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about a year ago | (#43288663)

Americans should be outraged by a lot of things. And everybody thinks it's a different list of things.

Re:Outrage! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288717)

Americans should be outraged by a lot of things. And everybody thinks it's a different list of things.

Like public kissing, public nudity or something else the salafists would be proud of, too...

Re:Outrage! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288829)

... And everybody thinks it's a different list of things.

That's the problem. As someone mentioned in a different story, "... once you start down the path of violence, it becomes cyclical." Meaning we must judge a society by its shield against violence.

Do the police shoot first and question later?
Do the judges protect monied interests more than individual freedoms?
Does the public-access media report 'the haves' story more than 'the have-nots' story?

If you answered 'yes' three times, you are living in a totalitarian or fascist nation.


Aryden (1872756) | about a year ago | (#43288519)

To the agents reading this from whatever government agency you may belong to: GO Fuck Yourselves.

Your paper is secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288627)

Your paper is secret????? So are my IM's/E-Mails/Twittered cock shots to my constituents.!!!!!!

douchebags (1)

malbosher (795323) | about a year ago | (#43288635)

Gotta be a real douche bag to work for those people.

Lots of problems, but I always think of this one (1)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#43288697)

Ubiquitous Internet surveillance under color of national security: Because the Congressional exemption for Insider trading attracted too much attention, and prior knowledge of material information under seal of Top Secret is one helluva moat. Ka-CHING!

Isn't Echelon and The NSA spy room enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288715)

Isn't The NSA spy room [] (which splits the internet and makes a "copy" of all data running through that route to a huge hard drive to analyze by the feds), and Project Echelon [] Enough? (which is another wire tapping program) . These perverted assholes aren't happy with just having all the internet routed, the need your encrypted communications as well. And since gmail is httpS (usually by default) this makes their wiretapping schemes a lot harder. This is why they need an explicit law to legally tell Google to "Allow us monitor all your communications or pay a hefty fine (or even be shut down)" for not complying this this Law. You say Google "don't be evil", but you fuckers don't even understand the position(s) Google gets put in by this "evil" force in the world that is diametrically opposed to freedom and free thought.

Imagine how many unemployed people there would be in there world if there was no completely fake threat like terrorism. Imagine what they would do with their pathetic lives? Would they ever contribute anything useful to humanity other than their snooping, surveillance state, constant perversion, and terrorist boogeymen?

Slippery slope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43288761)

Those communications are being used for criminal conversations.

How do they know? This is guilty until proven innocent. The important question, how can this be a slippery slope? Will they argue 'Those cars are being used for criminal conversations.' or 'Those cars are being used for criminal deeds.', indicating the need for a tracking device on all cars. It already exists de facto, through cell phones. Does Sat-Nav have wi-fi back-doors?

WebRTC (1)

caspy7 (117545) | about a year ago | (#43288791)

Another reason for WebRTC to take off.

I don't understand. (1)

_Ludwig (86077) | about a year ago | (#43288885)

What's the difficulty? Get a warrant and Google/Dropbox/Skype/etc will hand over any data covered by it. Couldn't be simpler. Why waste time and effort with all this extralegal surveillance?

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