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FBI and Next-Gen P2P Monitoring 122

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the big-brother-wants-to-give-you-a-hug dept.
AHuxley writes "Can the FBI get funding to create a next-generation network monitoring and database system for P2P networks, web sites, and chat rooms? Could the FBI's Regional Information Sharing Systems (RISS) network be opened to more law enforcement agents across the USA? Will the tracking of p2p users via 'unique serial numbers' generated from a person's computer be expanded from its first use in late 2005? Is your p2p application or plug-in sending back your MAC address, firmware revision, manufacture date, GUID or other details?" Could this story submitter pose any more questions in his submission? Won't someone please think of the ... oh, never mind.
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FBI and Next-Gen P2P Monitoring

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  • by seramar (655396) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:51AM (#23127240) Homepage
    It's not the people who are slow. Their comments are just tied up in the RISS awaiting gov approval.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      Or they're busy changing all the filenames of their P2P files.
    • It's not the people who are slow. Their comments are just tied up in the RISS awaiting gov approval.
      In that case, those gov. approval folks should outsource the work to far east, low-wage countries? I've heard they're cheap & good at it.
  • Dupe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrvan (973822) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:51AM (#23127242)
    Senator Proposes to Monitor All P2P Traffic for Illegal Files [slashdot.org], it talks about the same plan by the same senator, and I don't see any new developments.

    Seriously though, how difficult is it to use the slashdot search engine with the capitalized words in the title? third hit... [slashdot.org]

  • by hansraj (458504) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @09:58AM (#23127284)
    will wonder why all the files have Joe Biden in the filename.
  • Who cares? (Score:4, Informative)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:02AM (#23127306)

    Is your p2p application or plug in sending back your MAC address, firmware revision, manufacture date, GUID or other details?

    apt-get install macchanger
    sudo macchanger -r

    I'm no computer scientist but isn't it fairly trivial for them to get your mac (or at least that of your router) from your network traffic anyway?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrvan (973822)

      I'm no computer scientist but isn't it fairly trivial for them to get your mac (or at least that of your router) from your network traffic anyway?
      If I'm not mistaken, MAC never leaves the immediate network, ie your router gets your mac, the next hop that of the router, and so on, but the final destination only gets the mac of the last router in between
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm no computer scientist but isn't it fairly trivial for them to get your mac (or at least that of your router) from your network traffic anyway?

        If I'm not mistaken, MAC never leaves the immediate network, ie your router gets your mac, the next hop that of the router, and so on, but the final destination only gets the mac of the last router in between

        You would be correct. A MAC (Media Access Control) address is a local identifier only. In fact it only really applies to switching, not routing. Unless a piece of software on your computer is sending it "home" then it would be rather difficult to obtain your MAC address. Also, it is by no means a unique identifier. It's a well known fact that manufacturers of network devices regularly cycle MAC addresses. It's uncommon, but not unheard of to end up with two devices on a network with the same MAC.

        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          It's also quite easy with most network cards to get them to use another MAC than what was originally on the card. You can basically assign whichever number you want as your MAC address.
  • by conureman (748753) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:03AM (#23127308)
    In the olden days, when I was a kid, we happened into dealing with the F.B.I. Subsequently, I know to engage a large supply of salt anytime I read about any investigation that has been tainted by their crime lab. Think of the children and send more money. Yeah. Knowing their proclivity to abuse/disregard the law, I don't really see the upside to this.
    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      In the olden days, when I was a kid, we happened into dealing with the F.B.I. Subsequently, I know to engage a large supply of salt anytime I read about any investigation that has been tainted by their crime lab. Think of the children and send more money. Yeah. Knowing their proclivity to abuse/disregard the law, I don't really see the upside to this.

      Your personal stock portfolio is simply extremely deficient in companies that profit from the slave labor of the 'prison industrial complex'. More schemes l

  • All Fear, No Facts (Score:4, Informative)

    by houstonbofh (602064) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:03AM (#23127310)
    Heavy on fear, but light on facts... And with so many popular torrent programs open source, all of the sneakiness is no longer possible. No magic serial, or mac address in my torrent program. Oh, and it is encrypted.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The encryption on torrent transfers doesn't do shit as far as protection goes. Anyone connected to the same torrent will be connected to you and know what you're doing.

      All the encryption really does is keep ISP's from throttling you unless they throttle all encrypted traffic (which some do).
      • Hence Peer Guardian 2...

        http://phoenixlabs.org/pg2/ [phoenixlabs.org]
        • by kdemetter (965669)
          Hate to break it to you , but that won't help you much. PG2 only prevents their clients from sending and receiving data , but they can still see your ip. So they can still go after you , but they won't have proof that you downloaded/uploaded something , since no data was sent ( i guess it depends on interpretation of the law ). If you really want to be safe , use a darknet or a private tracker
        • MagikFS [sourceforge.net]
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dgatwood (11270)

        All it takes is indirection to make it so that it does, though. Make the P2P client randomly choose whether to look locally or ask its neighbors. Make it lie randomly and say "I don't have it" at all times to mask the ability to use probability to determine whether you are serving locally-stored data or just passing on the request even with knowledge of how many peers your node has and generating hundreds of requests using a modified client. If nobody is doing that already, color me surprised....

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by archeopterix (594938)

          If nobody is doing that already, color me surprised....

          Paint yourself half-unsurprised then. MUTE [sourceforge.net] filesharing does something similar. A client communicates directly with a small number of peers and nobody can tell whether a request (or response) comes directly from their neighbor or is merely relayed, so you get plausible deniability. Uh, and it uses an interesting algorithm for routing, similar to one used by ants in real life.

      • Theres the old snake oil of PeerGaurdian and the sort,

        i also set my number of conected peers fairly low (~30), i do it prevent my isp picking me up when i start up my torrent program (to get linux distros and OO.org OFC), but it has the advantage of leaving me much less exposed to peers, at the cost of much slower d/l rates!
    • by Robocoastie (777066) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:21AM (#23127664) Homepage
      It's just the typical Democratic party cry wolf "we gotta do something!!!!" syndrome again. In this case it's also putting Sen. Biden back in the spotlight after his poor performance in the Iowa caucus. Political moves aside though let's think about what they are really asking. What is child porn? The government even lacks a definition of "porn" much less child. I have a serious problem believing that "child porn" is an epidemic requireing the black helecoptors so to speak. What likely is popular though is teen-fascination which psychiatry has an entirely different definition for. Our society in fact is geared toward that even between cheerleaders and dancers being just short of being nude, Disney channel turning tweens into glamored up pop stars, and shows like Dawson's Creek, Gossip Girls and the like having more adult themes than Desperate Housewives. This is nothing new though; in fact society used to marry their women off between 14 and 17 anyway. My point is I really wonder if real child porn actually is as bad as the fear mongers claim or if people's collective conscious is simply equating teen-fascination with it when they hear of those cases (which has increasingly been from female teacher - male student lately). The result of which is the "we gotta do something!!!" panic which then grants the government sweeping powers to do all kinds of spying with a fictional and ultimately false pretense.
      • by PPH (736903)

        It's just the typical Democratic party cry wolf "we gotta do something!!!!" syndrome again.

        I thought the Democrats were all out producing the child porn and the GOP trying to stop it. Or prevent a child from being irreversibly harmed by seeing Janet Jackson's tit.

        The Democrats want to track your financial transactions. Whatever the current administration puts in place now will be directed next year against that extra lunch you put on your expense account.

      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        What likely is popular though is teen-fascination which psychiatry has an entirely different definition for. Our society in fact is geared toward that even between cheerleaders and dancers being just short of being nude, Disney channel turning tweens into glamored up pop stars, and shows like Dawson's Creek, Gossip Girls and the like having more adult themes than Desperate Housewives.

        'Kiddie porn' is usually defined as images of a possible sexual nature of any person below the age of 18. So, hold off on

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @05:22PM (#23129940) Journal
          Let's face it, we all need to publicize this as what it is: a witch hunt and a power grab. Folks see the words "child porn" and automatically think of the sick bastard that rapes an 8 year old. What they don't realize and what we need to be telling our friends, relatives, and coworkers at every opportunity is they are using these laws in truly insane ways. Like who in their right mind would have thought they would charge a 15 year old and 16 year old for taking pics of THEIR OWN BODIES and sending it to each other? That is truly f*cking insane.


          And IMHO we need to go back to the way it was when I was a kid when we had two distinct groups-Jailbait and sick bastards. Jailbait was anyone consenting between the ages of 14-17 and sick bastards was an adult having sex with anyone under 14. But sticking an 18 year old as a child molester for having sex with a 16 year old is just too insane for words.


          And of course the more important thing for the FBI is the power to "monitor" everything going across the net. How long do you think it will be after this that the feds are kicking down doors for those "illegal terrorist pirates"? The way they are trying to link copyright infringement with terrorism makes me think it will be a year or two at the most. This is a damn scary time to be an American, and sad to say I don't see anything coming that will change the path we are on. The corruption is just too deep for something like voting or reforms to fix. But that is my 02c,YMMV.


          P.S. As someone who was hit on VERY hard by a cop pretending to be a 14 year old in a WINDOWS REPAIR chat room I used to run, I can tell you they WILL use entrapment and will do WHATEVER it takes to make an arrest, legal or not. I finally had to say "leave me the hell alone I don't mess with jailbait. Stop or I will ban your I.P." Before "she" came clean and told me who he was and what he was doing there. So of course I banned the I.P. range for his police department. ;-)

          • Like who in their right mind would have thought they would charge a 15 year old and 16 year old for taking pics of THEIR OWN BODIES and sending it to each other? That is truly f*cking insane.

            Yes, it is criminally insane. I'm not familiar with the case, but I assume these teens are labelled as sex offenders now? This needs to go to the supreme court, srsly. It is the people who arrested/harassed these teens that need to be punished.

            Brought to you by Windows Vista,now with SP1 -We're sorry.But hey,Win 7 will rock! We promise!Please don't buy an Apple!

            Why would Microsoft care if you bought an Apple? More than likely you would still purchase MS Office and even Windows XP/Vista to run in bootcamp. It'd even benefit them since you would pay retail instead of OEM prebuilt-system price.

            • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

              by hairyfeet (841228)
              Actually they are labeled as child pornographers now, if you can believe it. Pretty much guaranteeing they will never have a job outside of meth lab worker, since nobody will hire either one after a background check. Oh, and let us not forget that a "rickroll" that goes to the FBI honeypot, even though there isn't any actual kiddy porn there and all you would see is a black corrupted DRM video, will get you 10 years and a permanent label of child molester, since the FBI isn't even bothering to record referr
              • by icedevil (450212)
                P.S.-Since I don't have much experience with Macs, maybe someone could tell me-Is there something similar to Crossover on Linux for Macs? It would be nice if I could play Return to Castle Wolfenstein and a few other games while I killed time between classes. I'll probably keep a frankensteined XP gamer rig offline just for gaming, but Wolfenstein plays better on my laptop under Linux than it does on Windows so I was just curious if there was anything similar. Thanks and have a great weekend!!!

                There is cross

          • This just means you and your smart friends will have to develop legal technologies to protect yourself from entrapment.

            I think entrapment is the whole point of this. Not only can you be entrapped by a cop into being a pedophile, but you can also be sent an illegal file by a cop and then arrested for accepting it.

            So figure out a way to make it more difficult for yourself to be entrapped, or just expect to be entrapped.
    • by jd (1658)
      Heavy on fear, but light on facts

      Strictly speaking no facts were presented. The questions do not state that anything is happening or true now, nor do they imply that if the suggested precursors and conditions are met that the event will happen. "Could" is a marvellous question if you plan on FUD, because almost anything COULD happen and cause-and-effect is left for the reader to infer. If I eat a cheezeburger, a meteorite COULD land on top of me, but unless McDonalds have gravitic weaponry installed, ther

      • by rohan972 (880586)

        This exemplies to me why critical thinking, high-level language skills and logic should be core subjects in any education system.
        And history. You need to be able to put events in their historical context.

    • If you use a software random number generator, it's not really random.

      Encryption would be a start, but you need hardware encryption.

    • There is a steganographic file system in development for linux called magikfs. If you value your privacy, you'll want to check it out.

      MagikFS [sourceforge.net]
  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:10AM (#23127338)

    Can the FBI get funding to create a next-generation network monitoring and database system for P2P networks, web sites, and chat rooms?
    I beg your pardon, but chat rooms? People still use those? I thought those phased out about 10 years ago....
    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:32AM (#23127450)

      I beg your pardon, but chat rooms? People still use those? I thought those phased out about 10 years ago....
      At this point I bet it's nothing but feds posing as kids trying to catch other feds posing as peds. Not a single person in the room isn't drawing a federal paycheck.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        I beg your pardon, but chat rooms? People still use those? I thought those phased out about 10 years ago....

        At this point I bet it's nothing but feds posing as kids trying to catch other feds posing as peds. Not a single person in the room isn't drawing a federal paycheck.

        In the interest of accuracy I submit that there are also bots pitching webcam sex shows.So: Feds posing as kids, Feds posing as peds and Bots posing as hotties pitching sex shows. Sound about right?

        • by blitziod (591194)
          step 1 create chat bot for feds to use to pose as kids step 2 create chat bot for feds to use posing as peds step 3 PROFIT!
        • by jamstar7 (694492)
          Ah, yes, Dalnet...

          Where men are men, so are the women, and every 'horny 14 yr old virgin' is a Fed. Yup, sounds about right.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        At this point I bet it's nothing but feds posing as kids trying to catch other feds posing as peds. Not a single person in the room isn't drawing a federal paycheck.

        Chat rooms are from what I've understood fairly active. When I grew up (god, I sound like an old fart already) the chatrooms were full of us nerdy boys. These days pretty much everyone is on some IM, though I gather it's mostly by contact lists I'm sure the chat rooms are doing fine. In fact, due to the change in demographics I'd guess the ratio of feds as opposed to real girls has gone down. Plus back then webcams and digicams didn't exist, were horribly bad or hidiously expensive plus you didn't have the

      • by ask21900 (1256406)
        Welcome to the internet... Where the men are men, the women are men and the children are FBI agents.
    • by MulluskO (305219)
      It's been covered on Slashdot, http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/16/1918204&from=rss [slashdot.org] : people still use NNTP to pirate material, IRC too.

      It wouldn't surprise me if someone out there is using Gopher to pirate material.
    • by Devv (992734)
      While the critical mass moved away a small portion of the community had already become a part of the system.
      They spend all their time in the chat rooms answering the same trivia questions for all eternity.
  • If the FBI really wants your MAC address, they can do it the old fashioned way:

    Get a warrant to tap the ISP they think you are at and a warrant for your billing information, listen in for awhile to make sure you aren't being joe-jobbed or pwned/bounced-off-of, then raid your house and seize all your computers and routers.

    Your MAC address will be somewhere in that pile of equipment.

    My MAC address is Oak Brook, IL 60523.
    • If the FBI really wants your MAC address, they can do it the old fashioned way: Get a warrant...
      Warrants? We don't need no steenking warrants...
  • Go on, take down my MAC address, 1. I'm in Canada, we don't serve your DCMA'ing kind here. 2. My router changes MAC addresses routinely, I made that change a long time ago.
    • your router MAC isn't the one you need to change, it's your cable/FiOS/DSL modem's MAC. and good luck getting your ISP to validate new MACs on your say-so...

      oops.
      • But how are you going to get that MAC? His computer only holds its own MAC, and the MACs of equipment directly connected to it (ie his router).
    • ehh 1) child porn has nothing to do with DMCA (which many of us US Citizens see as an illegal law anyway)and 2) Canada has an extradition policy and your mounties take crime more seriously than we do.
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Except that the mounties specifically said that they weren't going to target file sharers, because they have much more important things to worry about.
  • Let's hope so (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04NO@SPAMhighpoint.edu> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:19AM (#23127390)
    Maybe if they do start monitoring all that traffic, people will get a clue and start using Tor for all their internet traffic. Especially their plaintext passwords. Dangerous business, letting the FBI know where those plaintext passwords are going. Better encrypt them with Tor!

    Anyone wonder how many exit nodes the NSA already runs? That'd be a far better(easier?) approach than monitoring "normal" traffic since I suppose the interesting stuff is already going through Tor, though in a typical hour-long scan I can't find any really "interesting" unencrypted web traffic at my exit node.

    Folks surfing porn? Plenty. Plenty of Chinese blogs with plaintext passwords, too. But even those Chinese blogs are benign and not something that would be censored by their gov't (I think). Based on the pictures and my basic proficiency with Chinese, it's either folks just fooling around with Tor or it's steganographic.
  • Answers (Score:4, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @10:24AM (#23127416)
    AHuxley:
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes
    Yes

    CmdrTaco:
    Yes

    Hope that helps everyone.
  • How unique is a MAC address? Can't a given manufacturer reuse old addresses since they only need to be unique within the local network?
    • by mrvan (973822) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:14AM (#23127642)
      I think they are globally unique, and since they are 6 bytes long the supply is practically infinite (256^6 = 216x10^12, ie every person can have something like 30,000 mac addresses)

      Come to think of it, it's a bit silly that they used 4 bytes for the address that has to be globally unique and 6 bytes for the one that only has to be locally unique...
      • by vertinox (846076)
        I think they are globally unique, and since they are 6 bytes long the supply is practically infinite (256^6 = 216x10^12, ie every person can have something like 30,000 mac addresses)

        Considering how trivial it is to defeat MAC address security for wireless, it wouldn't be hard to spoof it at random or just use someone else's you got while war driving.
        • by SRA8 (859587)
          Try using that as a defence. It will go way over the typical jury's head.
          • by vertinox (846076)
            Defense? If you do it right, you won't be the person in front of the jury. ;)

            But in seriousness, you could have your lawyer have an internet expert (a teenager) demonstrate how to break into a wireless router with Mac address security.
      • Which is of course why we're trying to change to using 16-byte globally-unique addresses.
      • by fizzup (788545)
        It makes sense that the MAC address space should be bigger than the IP address space, because you need one IP address at a time, but once a NIC is made the MAC address should be unique forever just in case it's resurrected out of a junk box and added to an ethernet 20 years on.
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        I have seen a duplicate from the same manufacturer, on totally different models ( even generation ) of boards. Really made for a head scratcher on the network. By then NICs were cheap so i just broke it and tossed the 2nd one in the trash. But it was still weird. ( i think it was SMC )

        Besides, you can change the MAC on most current NICs, or just emulate a different one using a VM. ( this gets around serialized motherboards, or CPUs even )

        Now, embedded serials in your TPM chip, that might be harder to get ar
        • MACs are not 6 unique bytes long. They are 2 3-byte sections. The first 3 bytes are non-unique and identify the manufacturer. The last 3 bytes are given to each NIC, for about 16 million possible values per manufacturer. However, some NIC makers can easily exceed 16 million NICs made, so they either have to get a new manufacturer ID or start re-using MAC addresses.
    • I think you are correct. I've heard that some manufacturers reuse MAC addresses instead of getting more of them from whoever issues them, but I can't quote any sources
  • by mich.linux.guy (1271564) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:08AM (#23127614) Journal

    Is your p2p application or plug in sending back your MAC address, firmware revision, manufacture date, GUID or other details?"
    This is exactly why Open Source Software is so important. Even though the average user may not have the skill to examine the code for breaches of trust, there are many in the community that can and do. These breaches are fixed or made public and public opinion will decide whether or not the P2P application is trustworthy.
    Closed source applications from companies like M$ can't be trusted in this way.
    • by pwizard2 (920421)
      Packet sniffing would also be a way to find out.
      • That's true, unless it was encoded somehow. This might be done to compress the size of the message.

        • It's as simple as designing a steganographic protocol into either the file system, or the file sharing application.

          Example, you want to send me an a file, on your Linux machine you combine 10 files into one big PDF file. The PDF file looks like a legit file with text, images etc, and the file name is also very boring, but associated with this file we both know a secret word known only between us.

          The only way I can decrypt it into the correct file out of the 10 files you combined into it is if I know the exa
          • A quick google shows that there was a project started. See http://stegfs.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
            I'm not sure what you mean when you say,

            Linux, the so called Free Software Operating System
            • by elucido (870205)

              What I'm saying is, Linux is not as free as it could or should be. Linux has gone commercial.

              Granted, Linux is more free than Windows, but thats not really saying much.
  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:12AM (#23127632)
    The last time the FBI tried to build a large piece of custom software, a case-file management system [cnn.com], they ended up spending 170 MILLION dollars over 3+ years for software which basically did nothing useful (a complete failure). The only way that this will work is if the FBI contracts someone else to build it for them and even then the chances of failure are high unless they are willing to deal with criminals (i.e. Russian hackers who write the software for worms and spammers) to get it done which will happen about the same time that hell freezes over. The one good thing about governments when it comes to controlling the populace is that they are inefficient. If the government spent our tax money efficiently and effectively on surveillence and authoritarian enforcement actions then we would already be living in 1984 [wikipedia.org].
    • by daigu (111684)

      Reminds me of that t-shirt quote:

      Heaven: where the police are British, the cooks French, the mechanics German, the lovers Italian, and it is all organized and run by the Swiss. Hell: where the police are German, the cooks British, the mechanics French, the lovers Swiss, and it is all organized and run by the Italians.

      Reality: where the police are Italian, the cooks German, the mechanics Swiss, the lovers British and it is all organized and run by the French.

    • Then again, a few public failures would be a very good way to hide some surveillance successes from the public. Always be wary of an incompetent police agency, or a friendly lawyer.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iminplaya (723125)
      ...unless they are willing to deal with criminals...

      The authorities use criminals all the time to catch other criminals. Most snitches are criminals themselves looking for a way to stay out of prison. It shouldn't surprise you at all if they employ Russian/Chinese hackers. And I consider their surveillance and authoritarian enforcement actions to be pretty efficient. If you want to break them down, you need to get the authoritarians to go after each other. Use the same methods that work so well on us.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      You think that's bad? The Canadian gun registry [wikipedia.org] cost $2 BILLION. All for a database to track who owns a gun. You could probably put together a similar application in a matter of weeks.
    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      The only way that this will work is if the FBI contracts someone else to build it for them and even then the chances of failure are high unless they are willing to deal with criminals (i.e. Russian hackers who write the software for worms and spammers) to get it done which will happen about the same time that hell freezes over.

      Take a page from the 'War on Drugs'. A lot of 'anonymous tips' are from paid informants or people who were picked up in a sweep and threatened with prosecution unless they turned i

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:18AM (#23127654) Homepage

    Here's the actual bill. [loc.gov] $60 million per year. 15 cosponsors.

    This is another piece of Bush Administration "security theater". Write to your representatives in Congress and your Senators to get them to put this money into fighting spam and computer crime.

    • I don't see how this bill is the Bush Administration's fault.

      Sponsored by: Joe Biden [D-DE]

      Cosponsored by:
      • Sen. Evan Bayh [D-IN]
      • Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-CA]
      • Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-OH]
      • Sen. Hillary Clinton [D-NY]
      • Sen. Byron Dorgan [D-ND]
      • Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL]
      • Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT]
      • Sen. Tim Johnson [D-SD]
      • Sen. Frank Lautenberg [D-NJ]
      • Sen. Blanche Lincoln [D-AR]
      • Sen. Barbara Mikulski [D-MD]
      • Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R-AK]
      • Sen. Barack Obama [D-IL]
      • Sen. Charles Schumer [D-NY]
      • Sen. Ted Stevens [R-AK]

      Per

  • I didn't see anything in either article about the question of offshore trackers and peers.

    Can the FBI legitimately scan, say, The Pirate Bay, to discover the IP addresses of supposed child-porn torrenters? Obviously if the person is downloading the material to a computer in the US is liable under Federal laws, but was the evidence obtained legally if it's based on scanning a foreign tracker?

    Giving the FBI unfettered access to monitor the entire global Internet raises profound questions about the meaning of
    • Why would it be illegal to connect to a foreign tracker to gather evidence of a crime? Its perfectly legal.
      • by yuna49 (905461)
        Maybe; maybe not.

        The FBI's jurisdiction ends at the water's edge. Scanning an offshore tracker might be considered as gathering "foreign intelligence." That's been the bailiwick of the CIA and NSA, and off-limits to the FBI for decades. It's true that the reorganization of functions after the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security has made these distinctions less clear.

        What makes it more complex is the absence of any prior evidence of guilt before the scanning occurs. If the purpose is to d
        • by arminw (717974)
          ...it's "perfectly" legal....

          Anything is perfectly legal if you can get away with it. The FBI and other government agencies are more likely to get away with something than an individual.
    • by Hatta (162192)
      There's no child porn on the pirate bay.
  • Is anyone else worried?
  • anti-child porn activists urged the Senators to increase the FBI's budget for combating child porn online

    Oh yeah? So what did the pro-child porn activists have to say about that?

    Oh. Nothing? I guess NAMBLA doesn't have a lobbying firm. Yet.
  • I predict that soon, all p2p filenames will change to include more patriotic themes.

    Maroon 5- The FBI is Great.torrent
    Hot Sexy Babes (Not Really, It's the State of the Union Address!).torrent

    And the FBI will wonder why illegal file-sharing has almost disappeared but the distribution of pro-government materials has skyrocketed.

  • I don't think freedom advocates have even begun to fight on this front, the major battle begins when people start creating false positives (with reprecussions).

    Flaws like the flash vulnerability mean that even without the complicity of GNU or Microsoft the majority of communications are open to inspection.

    I'm curious to see what would happen if there was a decentralized push for better communication security.
  • wait wait wait, before the government impedes on yet another failed government venture, can one point out to me what government programs have actually worked? Social security is in the toliet, medicare is set to go belly up this year, nothing they do is right, and they want to do more? This is like having an employee at your company that just fails at everything he does, maybe it's not his fault, but sooner or later you have to make a decision, let him go or keep him aboard and let the company fall apart. T

    • Ultimately this just means you have to design good software. Design a steganographic protocol for P2P and a steganographic file system for linux. That would be a start.

      One example of a protocol I can think of off the top of my head is a stego P2P protocol where I sent you a file with a secret word associated with this file, the file looks like an ordinary legal PDF file, you can even read it, but if you enter the secret word the PDF file decrypts into the real file.

      You could even add unlimited layers so tha

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