Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FBI's Unknown Eavesdropping Network

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hiya-big-bro dept.

Privacy 362

An anonymous reader writes "Building off the design mandates of CALEA, the FBI has constructed a 'point-and-click surveillance system' that creates instant wiretaps on almost any communications device. A thousand pages of restricted documents released under the Freedom of Information Act were required to determine the veracity of this clandestine project, Wired News reports. Called the Digital Collection System Network, it connects FBI wiretapping rooms to switches controlled by traditional land-line operators, internet-telephony providers and cellular companies. It is intricately woven into the nation's telecom infrastructure. From the article: 'FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government's behalf. The network allows an FBI agent in New York, for example, to remotely set up a wiretap on a cell phone based in Sacramento, California, and immediately learn the phone's location, then begin receiving conversations, text messages and voicemail pass codes in New York. With a few keystrokes, the agent can route the recordings to language specialists for translation.'"

cancel ×

362 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well obviously... (0, Troll)

abolitiontheory (1138999) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397395)

This all runs on mac. .mac in fact, since it's separated from the internet. Point and click people. Point and click!

Sounds a bit too smooth (5, Funny)

kalpol (714519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397405)

This is the government - and the FBI. Somehow I can't believe it actually works as smoothly as that.

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (3, Insightful)

trybywrench (584843) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397523)

This is the government - and the FBI. Somehow I can't believe it actually works as smoothly as that.

exactly right. Frankly, i just don't think our gov. has it together enough to pull of something of this magnitude secretly. All the different people, organizations, and physical locations that would have to be in on the project just makes it unreasonable to expect the whole thing to stay under wraps. If this system exists at all then props to them for a pretty impressive piece of software/hardware (even if it lends itself to being used illegally).

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (3, Insightful)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397773)

Actually its pretty easy to keep something this large secret.. you make it modular, have 5 or 10 different contracting companies creating each module, which are seemingly harmless in the grand scheme of things, which each contractor kept in the dark about the others. Only a small select group of people would need to know the details for the big picture.

Those that use the service don't even need to see the big picture, only told they can point here and click there for their wiretapping goodness...

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (4, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397835)

Actually its pretty easy to keep something this large secret

All evidence to the contrary. Either the story is fake or it's not secret.

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397879)

you people crack me up. your argument is 'this cant be true, because if it were true, we'd know about it.' or 'this cant be so, because they couldn't keep something like this secret.'
 
you do realize that you're talking about it right now, right? hence, they couldn't keep it secret.

tally another one up for the conspiracy theorists that don't wear tinfoil hats, once again. maybe instead of mocking people for thinking 'what if' we should start mocking people for holding their hands over their ears yelling 'IT ISNT TRUE IT ISNT TRUE THE GOVERMENT LOVES US BUSH WANTS TO BAKE A CAKE FOR MY CHILDREN'

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397641)

Especially not if Sprint is administering the program for it.

Well, actually, that's not true. Sprint has pretty good technology, but plain suck at billing. But triple-billing the government isn't such a big problem.

Audit findings (4, Insightful)

kalpol (714519) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397721)

I posted, then actually RTFA....Page three lists some findings from an audit of the program - password problems, no individual logon IDs, a few other issues. This is what I do for a living, and it's been my experience (especially with government IT programs) that if you find problems such as these with logical access, it's likely there will be more general control problems such as developers with access to production environments, active IDs of terminated or transferred employees, and so on. The financial fraud element is probably not as much a concern with the FBI but there are other risks.

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (5, Insightful)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397779)

Hey mods: how, exactly, is this comment "insightful?" All it does is parrot standard /. groupthink ("Everything the government ever does sucks and doesn't work") without taking into consideration the fact that one of the highest-paying users of contract labor just might be able to afford top-notch engineers when they really care about results.

I mean, it's not surprising that they keep fucking up some things, [disasterhelp.gov] but surveillance of American citizens? Sadly, that's something I trust my government to do quite well.

Dictatorship? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397935)

Recently people have been saying that the U.S. government is becoming a dictatorship. That's certainly what a dictatorship needs, a surveillance system.

People are making jokes about this! There's plenty of evidence of corruption; it's not like this is the only evidence.

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20398111)

Psh I bet they have a helpdesk/sysadmin staff that gets emails asking why they cant connect >_

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (1, Troll)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398141)

Hey mods: how, exactly, is this comment "insightful?" All it does is parrot standard /. groupthink ("Everything the government ever does sucks and doesn't work") without taking into consideration the fact that one of the highest-paying users of contract labor just might be able to afford top-notch engineers when they really care about results.

Everything the Government does does suck and fail to work. And the FBI has a history of sucking out at tech projects; Google around for the Virtual Case File system. $170 million essentially piled high and lit aflame.

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397793)

I've got to say it sounds damn cool. More Hollywood than gov't....

If it works I guess "Well done!"

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (4, Funny)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397895)

INT CUBE FARM FBI BUILDING AGENTS SMITH JONES

                    Agent Smith
          "Okay, Abdul must be on this one"

Smith clicks mouse.

"..can't believe Sheila had the nerve to.."

                    Agent Smith
          "Okay, Abdul must be on *this* one"

"..then my man Mafu, he gave dat bioch wat for.."

Agent Jones ROLLS EYES.

                    Agent Smith
          "Okay, Abdul must be on *this* one"

so it goes...

Re:Sounds a bit too smooth (1)

DJ Jones (997846) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398107)

Truthfully, this whole seamless eavesdropping network only works well in the greater Wichita, Kansas region. But they're working on expanding it...

Hollywood? (4, Funny)

Durrok (912509) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397407)

Are you kidding me? The Bourne Ultimatum and The Simpsons Movie were actually on to something?

Ah hell why not.. (-1, Redundant)

MrACarter (1140351) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397409)

In Soviet Russia surveillance systems click you!

Re:Ah hell why not.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397923)

Since you ARE relatively new, you need to know that a decade ago, that was funny. Not any more. Please, do something useful; come up with that contributes or shut up.

And it actually works? (4, Interesting)

kalirion (728907) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397425)

Am I the only one surprised the government was able to pull a project like this off? Or is this just propaganda to make us think they are more competent than they really are?

Re:And it actually works? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397553)

Am I the only one surprised the government was able to pull a project like this off? Or is this just propaganda to make us think they are more competent than they really are?
Well, personally, no, I'm not surprised. All of the available evidence pointed to this capability -- the warrantless wiretap program, Bush's involvement in the program, AT&T's involvement in the program, etc. The only thing that surprises me is that it's the FBI and not the NSA.

Re:And it actually works? (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397849)

Why would the fact that its the FBI and not the NSA surprise you... Technically, keeping tabs on American citizens is actually the purview of the FBI, not the NSA. I suspect Bush went to the NSA instead of the FBI simply due to the controls in place, the NSA is very good at keeping secrets, where as things happening in the FBI always seem to be made public at some point.

Re:And it actually works? (1)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397583)

I'm actually convinced that the "dumb" government we see is just a front for the secret "smart" government working behind the scenes somewhere.

Re:And it actually works? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397597)

You have it backwards: The incompetence is the propaganda. Think about it this way. Which does the media get to easily report?

Re:And it actually works? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397871)

You have it backwards: The incompetence is the propaganda.

Well, we did manage to elect a party for six years, campaigning on the premise that the government is too incompetent to do anything, so they have good reason to believe the propaganda works.

P. J. O'Rourke:

The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

Not linked to my communications system (1)

genkael (102983) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397433)

You'll never get it attached to my top-of-the-line tin can and string system!

Re:Not linked to my communications system (0, Flamebait)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397485)

I hear they have sattelite-based laser microphones [wikipedia.org] that can lock onto the string. Point-and-click interface too. About as believable as TFA...

Re:Not linked to my communications system (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397557)

The article is very well-sourced by FOIA docs and interviews with at least one of the companies in question. Do you have a particular reason to find this unbelievable, or are you taking the classic /.ism "Every single thing the government does sucks and doesn't work" too closely to heart?

Re:Not linked to my communications system (1)

Magada (741361) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397609)

there you go, making me lump you into one of three (nasty) categories
- the delusional (something like this wouldn't happen in the USA
- the flamebaiter
- the spook astroturfer
these are declassified gov't docs TFA is talking about. what's not to be believed?

Re:Not linked to my communications system (1)

Tango42 (662363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397811)

They managed it in the Simpsons...

hmmm (2, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397439)

*Dusts off tinfoil hat* Are we supposed to cower in fear because of this supposed interior spy network? Remember: we answer to the government and the government answers to Smith & Wesson.

Re:hmmm (3, Insightful)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397605)

Remember: we answer to the government and the government answers to Smith & Wesson.
Unfortunately for the handgun enthusiasts, when the government answers, they get to use the real [wikipedia.org] weapons. [wikipedia.org]

Re:hmmm (2, Informative)

faloi (738831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397749)

Unfortunately for the handgun enthusiasts, when the government answers, they get to use the real [wikipedia.org] weapons. [wikipedia.org]

Only if they convince the military to go along with it. If the military, or enough of it, says what the government is doing is wrong... But the military has been ordered to do, and done, a lot of things [reason.com] I wouldn't have done when I was in.

Re:hmmm (2, Informative)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397993)

Only if they convince the military to go along with it.

Hasn't been that [wikipedia.org] difficult [wikipedia.org] before, and I can't see why it would be now.

Re:hmmm (3, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397927)

Yea, those F-16 sure work like magic against IED's and snipers in gutters. A citizen militia on its home turf is damn nigh unbeatable - even Mussolini's early successes against the the Camorra and the 'ndrangheta only served to push them further underground. Such organisations can only be defeated by being wiped out entirely, all at once, along with the population that supports them. The other alternative is to deprive them of a reason to exist as paramilitary orgs by involving them (for real) in the above-board political game, like the Brits did with the IRA, i.e. to grant them at least a partial victory.

Re:hmmm (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398123)

Yea, those F-16 sure work like magic against IED's and snipers in gutters. A citizen militia on its home turf is damn nigh unbeatable

I'm not arguing that. If there was a widespread insurrection of handgun enthusiasts against the government, it would be a bloody stalemate, not a victory for the government or the revolutionaries.

It's one thing to assert that an armed populace can foil a government's operations away from its centers of power, but it's quite a step to assert that said populace can actually strip that government of power with the tools at their disposal, which is how I read the original post.

Unless, of course, they get the military to go along with them, which would take some serious violation of the Second Amendment, judging by the folks I met in the service.

So... (1)

JustinKSU (517405) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397451)

So shouldn't it now be "FBI's known Eavesdropping Network"?

Re:So... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397513)

It was unknown at the time of writing at Wired, apparently. Sensational news and all that, you know.

The KGB and Stasi. . . (4, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397461)

would be proud. To think they spent all those decades defending their spying on their citizens to promote stability and security and here we are following their example.

What's really funny is I distinctively remember Reagan boasting to the world how open our society was, how our citizens could move about freely without presenting papers and didn't have to worry about their conversations being recorded by the state and used against them.

Oh well, it's for our security so it must be good! After all, if you have nothing to fear, then this won't affect you. If you complain, the terrorists win. We can't have that, can we?

Exactly! (5, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397539)

The same generation of people who shoved anti-USSR pro-USA propaganda down my throat in school are the ones trying to make the USA like the 1980s USSR they hated so much. "The USA is the best country because we have freedom of speech, and the government doesn't spy on you." they said. Now-a-days political speech at conventions is squealched and the government lackies can spy on the people with no need to get a warrant or create any other paper trail that could help a wrongfully-targeted citizen defend themself.

We're not USSR yet, but we seem to be trending in that direction.

If we give up all our freedoms, will the terrorists stop hating us?

Re:Exactly! (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397667)

The FBI has been tapping phones since day one. In the US they must have a court order to do it. The fact that they use modern technology to do it just seems logical. This network shouldn't be a shock or frankly all that scary as long as they still require a court order to do it.
As far as any restrictions on political speech? Not that I have seen. I am not fond of the patriot act but your rant is a little over the top.

Except that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397671)

... "Reagan" ...

Dumbocrap Clinton didn't rescind any of it. You've been reading too much lieberal propaganda.

Re:Except that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20398045)

I knew some idiot would blame Clinton. We can't be critical of His Holiness Reagan without attracting the ire of the inquisition.

Re:The KGB and Stasi. . . (2, Informative)

Pentavirate (867026) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397685)

Of course everyone realizes that there are legal uses of wiretapping, right? This just makes it quick and convenient when they get the court authorization.

My livelihood is based off of making it easier for the government (specifically the military) to get information. There should be no doubt that the government could develop such a system because the govenment doesn't really develop it. They contract it out to companies that have the expertise, in this case Sprint.

If it's Unknown... (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397473)

If it's an unknown network, how does anyone use it?

Re:If it's Unknown... (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397919)

If it's an unknown network, how does anyone use it?

Unknowingly.

Brilliant! (2, Interesting)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397475)

What a great functionality to build into America's communications systems. I'm sure that with the vigilant efforts of our brave corporate defenders of freedom, [wikipedia.org] our proactive government security experts, [wikipedia.org] and our craven [wikipedia.org] enablers [wikipedia.org] of fascism, [wikipedia.org] nothing will ever lead to this ability being abused.

Slashdiot Idiocy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397857)

This is stupid. Do you only want the government to only implement a system or technology that has no room for abuse or imperfections? I love how slashdotters set an impossible standard so only "perfect" laws or systems should be used.

By the way, using your logic, shouldn't we just ban p2p since it's being abused for copyright violations? Yeah, that's what I thought. I just OWNED your ass.

Oversight (2, Insightful)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398109)

It isn't so much about perfect systems, it about governmental oversight. Technology like this is scary when put in modern context, in which oversight of the government is methodically being stripped, leaving nothing but unchecked power.

The checks and balances are being removed, one by one, and *that* is the scary part.

As for the P2P, there's a huge difference between the citizens of a nation, and the government of a nation. Also, I wouldn't mind of the government violated copyright, so why should I care if a citizen does?

What's up with all the anonymous cowards defending intrusive governmental programs?

And just when is the warrant issued? (5, Funny)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397495)

Forgive me for being old-fashioned and naive, but I was under the impression that law enforcement had to present a judge with probable cause before somebody could be wiretapped in the USA. Or is that, like, SO 20th century? Do we now have one-click warrants? Maybe Amazon should sue.

You realize, of course, the majority of the time this facility will be used to obtain free service from phone sex lines...

Re:And just when is the warrant issued? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397673)

I was under the impression that law enforcement had to present a judge with probable cause before somebody could be wiretapped in the USA.

Still do, at least according to TFA:

Randy Cadenhead, the privacy counsel for Cox Communications, which offers VOIP phone service and internet access, says the FBI has no independent access to his company's switches. "Nothing ever gets connected or disconnected until I say so, based upon a court order in our hands," Cadenhead says. "We run the interception process off of my desk, and we track them coming in. We give instructions to relevant field people who allow for interconnection and to make verbal connections with technical representatives at the FBI."

Good? (1)

eli pabst (948845) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398009)

I say good for them. If they have a legal right to tap someones phone and have obtained a warrant from a judge, then I'm glad that they're able to do the wiretapping as efficiently as possible. It's the warrantless wiretaps that I have a problem with.

Re:And just when is the warrant issued? (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397675)

No problem the system is also equipped with the AutoFrame (TM) option. With one click, it can insert the word 'Mohammed' into any phone conversation.

Poor man's Echelon (4, Interesting)

pegr (46683) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397499)

I wrote a quick n dirty guide to building your own Echelon system here [slashdot.org] . It's amazing how easy it is.

My take is this: Privacy is dead. The only way to keep the playing field level is to make sure everyone has access...

Privacy is dead? (2, Informative)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397585)

Don't we have encryption...?

I guess the main problem is getting everybody to use it.

This being slashdot I guess I should mention a certain monopolist who stands in the way of mass adoption of pretty much anything.

Re:Poor man's Echelon (2, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397683)

Um, setting up one PC to record one phone line, and then speculating that maybe you could run the audio through NaturallySpeaking to generate keywords is rather a long way from building a "poor man's" Echelon.

When you've managed to capture your whole neighborhood's phone traffic and can pick keywords out of fifty or a hundred people's phone traffic, (which NaturallySpeaking won't do without training) call me.

Re:Poor man's Echelon (1)

pegr (46683) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398077)

When you've managed to capture your whole neighborhood's phone traffic and can pick keywords out of fifty or a hundred people's phone traffic, (which NaturallySpeaking won't do without training) call me
 
Sure, I can do that... That is, if I don't mind the risk of a felony conviction. (FBI types don't have that issue, obviously...) I bet you could do it with a single PC as well.

The point was not how to build a large scale system. The point was that building a large scale system is fairly easy to do. I'm sure the feds a) farmed out the job, and b) paid way too much for it because it sounds "hard" to an IT novice!

Privacy is Dead (1)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397929)

Privacy is dead. The only way to keep the playing field level is to make sure everyone has access.

This is exactly the point made by a book by David Brin: The Transparent Society [davidbrin.com] . As bugging gets cheaper and easier, maintaining current standards of privacy is going to become increasingly unrealistic. What we really should be doing, he argues, is enabling people to "spy" on their supposedly publicly accountable government.

Corollary (1)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398027)

Self replies are lame, I know - but there's an important corollary to this trend: If fighting for privacy is doomed to be a losing battle, then you should instead be fighting for a society in which you have an unchallenged right to whatever political thought or harmless-but-embarrassing habit you think you need privacy for.

In short - a culture in which people who have done nothing wrong really don't have anything to hide.

Re:Poor man's Echelon (1)

robably (1044462) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398017)

My take is this: Privacy is dead. The only way to keep the playing field level is to make sure everyone has access...
Your take is wrong. Just because privacy is hard doesn't mean it's dead. If you're going to fight "to keep the playing field level" then it is better to fight FOR privacy, not against it. The government will always have more eyes and ears, more computing power, and more political power than private citizens, so even if everyone has access to everything the government still "wins" and you still lose. They are the ones deciding what is bad, not you.

So uhhh.... (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397515)

Whats google doing with their darknet purchases again?

Subject (-1, Redundant)

dashyaoo (1143463) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397519)

This is the government - and the FBI. Somehow I can't believe it actually works as smoothly as that. --

We will click for you (0, Troll)

likes2comment (1021703) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397521)

Just move your mouse. We will click it for you. No need to register. We know who you are. http://www.militarylawsuit.com/ [militarylawsuit.com]

It's not unknown anymore! (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397529)

I think it's safe to say most everyone knows about it now. As long as a warrant is required to set up the bugging, I don't have a big problem with it.

I just can't shake the nagging suspicion they've gotten a little slack on the warrant thing lately. Bugging someone's phone without a warrant is spying. Spying on Americans, regardless of the perceived justification, is not protecting the public, it's undermining everything this country stands for.

Well, that's the problem (1)

beamin (23709) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397763)

According to the Bush administration, a warrant is NOT required to set up the bugging. They've been doing warrantless eavesdropping since October of 2001. Read How Would a Patriot Act? [amazon.com] for more.

Re:It's not unknown anymore! (2, Informative)

will_die (586523) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397807)

It has been known about for a long time, thing has been in place since the mid-1990s. Heck the FBI even runs a site [askcalea.net] where you can ask them questions about it and produce a newsletter.
What is new is all the technical information and the advanced state the software is in.

Warrant? (2, Interesting)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397531)

I note that the description of how the system works does not have anything about "Insert Warrant Here", or "Oversight occurs here". In fact, the words "warrant" and "oversight" are conspicuous only by their absence in the article.

Re:Warrant? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397719)

If you read as far as page 3 of TFA, it does. The companies in question would leave themselves wide open to suit otherwise:

Randy Cadenhead, the privacy counsel for Cox Communications, which offers VOIP phone service and internet access, says the FBI has no independent access to his company's switches. "Nothing ever gets connected or disconnected until I say so, based upon a court order in our hands," Cadenhead says. "We run the interception process off of my desk, and we track them coming in. We give instructions to relevant field people who allow for interconnection and to make verbal connections with technical representatives at the FBI."

Re:Warrant? (1)

Apocalypse111 (597674) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397875)

Well, technically my statement was correct in that the word "warrant" isn't in there... but you are right, there is a provision for oversight there. I read to about the end of page 2 and pretty much gave up, then I just ctrl-f'ed for the words I mentioned. Still, I'm not exactly thrilled at how easy this makes it seem.

Simply a Technology Upgrade (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397545)

It's kind of sad that "Nerds" would be scared of a simple technology upgrade. The government has been legally tapping the communications of certain citizens for decades. All this report shows is that the government has streamlined and updated the process to better interface with newer technology.

Some of you fear the government a little too much... as in it makes you irrational.

Re:Simply a Technology Upgrade (1)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398031)

Some of you fear the government a little too much... as in it makes you irrational.

And some of you trust the government a little too much... as in it makes you blind.

Re:Simply a Technology Upgrade (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398097)

It's kind of sad that "Nerds" would be scared of a simple technology upgrade.

Not really at all afraid. "Nurds" already know not to trust the ISP, that is why ssh, VPN, PGP, IPSec etc when they are communicating with others. I use these all the time for remote working.

But sometimes do it plain text (/.), you know a Fed will look at this message if I mention Bin Laden. Presuming they are really looking for him.

I am beginning to wonder if government fears it's own people.

Known since 2003 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397577)

http://telephonyonline.com/access/web/telecom_spri nt_lands_government/ [telephonyonline.com]

"Sprint is supplying the backbone for the FBI's Digital Collection System Network (DCSNet), linking multiple bureau offices across the country. No contract value was released. For the National Guard, Sprint is replacing the armed services' ATM network, supplied by MCI, with the native IP architecture. The deal is valued at $18 million for the first year and $36 million over five years."

Can you hear me now? (0, Offtopic)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397581)

pigs

A little mixed (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397599)

On the one hand, this is great. The more a law enforcement officer can get done with their time, the better. Plenty of crime goes unaddressed because it is "too small". The FBI, for example, won't talk to you about interstate computer crime unless you can prove a minimum of $10k of losses. And because they're busy, the effective threshold is much higher.

On the other hand, the US government has recently been a little cavalier about my rights, and there are historical periods where they've been a fair bit worse, like the Second Red Scare [wikipedia.org] . It's enough to make me want to get a bunch of disposable prepaid cellphones, just in case.

I'd feel a lot better if there were some rule about public posting of eavesdropping records. E.g., that within 10 years after any eavesdropping incident, the government is obliged to publish who ordered it, why, and who accessed any data from it. As Brin points out in The Transparent Society [wikipedia.org] , the problem isn't so much surveillance as secret, one-way surveillance.

It's about time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397601)

Good for them. Nice to see technology being put to an efficient use. This is the kind of thing that can *prevent* another 9/11. I have nothing to hide. If they want to listen to me book a flight to Pakistan and Iran to go on a rug buying trip, so be it. If it stops *one* hijacking*, *one* bombing, then kudos and good work! I'd much rather have my tax dollars go to this than some Clinton-era "oh we can't do anything" bumbling idiocy.

Said the spider to the fly (5, Funny)

Tony (765) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397709)

I have nothing to hide.

Of course you don't, Anonymous Coward.

Whiner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397907)

Jesus, when did conservatives become such fucking whiners?

"Oooo, some people died! Mommy Bush, press me to your cold hard bossom and protect me from those bad men!"

If you want to be a crybaby whinerpants, fine. Volunteer to have your phone tapped. But you're like the annoying younger sister who, when outside playing with the big kids, falls and skins her knee and runs to the house, and so everybody else is called home, too.

Me, I realize it's a tough world out there, and people die every day. You know why they die? Because of traffic accidents and heart disease and malnutrition and cancer and AIDS and other people killing them.

The stupidest thing we can do is react to 9/11 like we're scared. That just says, "Hey! Terrorism works!" It only works because we let it work, dorkhead. And your stupid fucking mentality is part of how it works. You want to talk about providing comfort to the enemy? Well, you're doing it. You're telling them, "Hey! Your terrorism works. See how scared I am? I'm willing to give up everything it means to be American just because a few thousand people died several years ago."

Everything changed after 9/11, all right. We all became pussies.

Who cares (2, Insightful)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397615)

Really who cares. Americans have been too busy watching America's Next Top SomethingOrOther to give a rats ass about their civil liberties. Started off small and now its escalating. While I doubt the FBI is using this for the nightmare scenarios depicted by those who can't see a need for it (not I said CAN'T see a need for it) I dislike the thought, but I do see where there would be a need for it. The potential for abuse from a system like this is what's scary to me, not the fact that its in use. So while everyone cries foul AFTER the fact, remember there have been many rambling on about this for years. I did it in 2000 when Carnivore was released [64.233.169.104] , I rambled on about CIPAV [infiltrated.net] and always take the time to support the efforts of groups like EFF and EPIC. One person like a little privacy maniac some would say. For me means little, I'm aware of what can be done to my privacy, but I'm also aware of how to truly retain a portion of my privacy. Its when this becomes outlawed as it has been done in Germany [darkreading.com] will I truly get fed up and move out the US. While the rest of normal America focuses on the important things in life like Bratney Spears, Americas Next Stupid Reality Show, Whats Oprah Doing Now crap.

Re:Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20398143)

you sound exactly like me. i've been harping on this for years now.

for a minute i was kind of freaked out that i found someone else that understands the importance of this, but, after dwelling on that for a second i am completely terrified that you are the only person i've ever heard that actually saw it for what it was. its kind of like we are in this huge sci-fi world where we are the only two people left that understand the doom that is about to befall the masses as they sift through sports scores and celebrity gossip.

if you haven't, yet, watch a documentary by adam curtis called 'the power of nightmares', in particular note what sayyid qutb thought about america in the late 40's.

as for me, id like to get my ccie and kick it america style because i love networking and all things computer related, but, i can honestly see myself moving to some very remote location in canada to live out my days in peace, isolated from the insanity that is quickly approaching.

oh, also, if you haven't seen this, watch 'the money masters' by a guy named bill still.
a good read on all of this also is 'the secret terrorists' by bill hughes.

Aiieee, my tax $$$! (2, Insightful)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397617)

FBI wiretapping rooms in field offices and undercover locations around the country are connected through a private, encrypted backbone that is separated from the internet. Sprint runs it on the government's behalf.
My god, the expense. Hang the surveillance. Why the hell is a private backbone necessary for something like this?

Re:Aiieee, my tax $$$! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397947)

>>Why the hell is a private backbone necessary for something like this?

must be a lot of terrorists in the US, lol

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397657)

Now how do we hack it?

Telemarketers.... (1)

xgr3gx (1068984) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397687)

Can we use this to clobber telemarketers and phone scammers? That would be great.

if Hollywood has told me one thing... (1)

stud9920 (236753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397711)

...it's that instant caller location presentation does not exist, one minute of uninterrupted call is required. If I hang up after 58 seconds, they know jack shit. Even more, what's holding me from using one of those fancy UNTRACEABLE CELL PHONES ? Anyway, as long as they don't use their multiple angle, real time satellite imaging, and as long as they don't use their TRANSLTR computer to decrypt my arbitrary long key messages, I'll be fine.

So you want to vote for who? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397725)

FTA;
T"he law that makes the FBI's surveillance network possible had its genesis in the Clinton administration."

Another reason why a pass on Hillary might be a good idea.

Sample question (-1, Offtopic)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397739)

"Many people observe stars using: A) a telescope B) a microscope C) an x-ray tube D) a synthesiser"

I wonder how many 16-year-olds answer this question correctly and think, "Wow! I could be an astronomer!"

Time to move (2)

boyfaceddog (788041) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397823)

Its official. The US of A is now an Official Police State (TM). Soon you will all be given your Federal IDs and fingerprinted at birth. This will stop the terrorists.

That's right you sheep, just stand there and take it.

What's the Hubbub, Bub? (1)

LinkDeath (45212) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397851)

As staunch a privacy advocate as I am, I can actually see this being of use. I mean come on, it would be nice if the FBI could wiretap at a moment's notice in case of an emergency. However, that being said, there should be some VERY stringent guidelines and, even more importantly, independent oversight of the process. There's no way the same people who issue and enforce the wiretaps should also be in charge of overseeing the legality of the process.

I've always said that the government might have the very best of intentions for not abusing the powers they give themselves, and they might even mean it and might not ever abuse those powers! That being said, who's to say the next administration, or the one after that isn't going to abuse those overly-broad powers you've now given the government. There should ALWAYS be appropriate oversight and control of these programs. Our government was built on a whole system of independent checks and balances. It was a good idea then and it's still a good idea now.

The more things change (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397863)

Col. Mustard: What is J. Edgar Hoover doing on your phone?
Wadsworth: I don't know! He's on everybody else's. Why shouldn't he be on mine?

Re:The more things change (1)

LinkDeath (45212) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398137)

Clue ftw! Yes!

NWA (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397889)

NWA called it like it is: "Fuck tha police"

Seems to quick to me... (1)

SeePage87 (923251) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397911)

immediately learn the phone's location
I've seen 24, and I assure you, it's not immediate. It takes just a little longer then you have to get a precise location, but just short enough to narrow the area sufficiently to find them at the exact end of the hour.

Ms CLEO at it again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20397925)

I knew it! The design was mandated by Ms CLEO.

"Route the recordings to language specialists..." (4, Funny)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397943)

...and is greeted by a recording saying

"I'm sorry. All of our Arabic language specialists are busy assisting other agents. Your call is important to the nation, so please do not hang up. Stay on the line and you will be assisted by the next available language specialist. The estimated waiting time for this call is six months and twenty-seven minutes"

followed by an overcompressed .mp3 of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons."

Where's OSAMA? (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20397945)

All this spying on Americans, justified by "the hunt for Osama bin Laden". But instead of catching him, Bush invaded Iraq. Said he doesn't spend much time thinking about Osama, doesn't think catching him is important. 6 years since 9/11/2001, and where's Osama?

It's more important to Bush to spy on Americans than to catch Osama, because catching Osama might mean the "temporary suspension" of American rights (including Habeas Corpus [wikipedia.org] , when Bush says so) could end, leaving Bush with less power.

Now let's watch the trollMods try to suppress me for telling the simple truth.

WHERE'S OSAMA?

judicial review (1)

drDugan (219551) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398005)

I have no problem with this system. I think it is GREAT that those charged to protect our interests (our government) has the ability to catch criminals efficiently. What I DO have a problem with is the lack of an independent judiciary to oversee the use of this power, and the absurd lack of transparency with its existence and use. Without these, this is simply another tool for enabling tyranny.

More and more rights lost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20398075)

'Point-and-click' surviellance, yet another infringement on our rights by the gov't. Add it to the ever-growing list of violations:
They violate the 1st Amendment by opening mail, caging demonstrators and banning books like "America Deceived" from Amazon.
They violate the 2nd Amendment by confiscating guns during Katrina.
They violate the 4th Amendment by conducting warrant-less wiretaps.
They violate the 5th and 6th Amendment by suspending habeas corpus.
They violate the 8th Amendment by torturing.
They violate the entire Constitution by starting 2 illegal wars based on lies and on behalf of a foriegn gov't.
Support Dr. Ron Paul and save this country.
Last link (unless Google Books caves to the gov't and drops the title):
America Deceived (book) [iuniverse.com]

I hope... (2, Insightful)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398103)

... That they have accurate records as to who has been tapped, by whom, on who's authority, Who accessed the information
and the warrant under which such actions were taken

DCS-5000 tracks you? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 7 years ago | (#20398157)

So the Narus STA 6400 is telco wide and the DCS-5000 is just for you?

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2006 /05/70908 [wired.com]

Abe Simpson could tell you all about Project SHAMROCK.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_SHAMROCK [wikipedia.org]

Rethink the interweb/sat or mobile phone.
Then they cannot track you, send a guided bomb down (Dzokhar Dudayev)
or blow your head off (Yehiya Ayyash "the Engineer").

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?