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Ex AT&T Tech Says NSA Monitors All Web Traffic 566

Sir Tandeth writes "A former technician at AT&T, who alleges that the telecom giant forwards virtually all of its internet traffic into a 'secret room' to facilitate government spying, says the whole operation reminds him of something out of Orwell's 1984. Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown program, whistleblower Mark Klein told Keith Olbermann that all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company's San Francisco office — to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access. 'Klein was on Capitol Hill Wednesday attempting to convince lawmakers not to give a blanket, retroactive immunity to telecom companies for their secret cooperation with the government. He said that as an AT&T technician overseeing Internet operations in San Francisco, he helped maintain optical splitters that diverted data en route to and from AT&T customers. '"
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Ex AT&T Tech Says NSA Monitors All Web Traffic

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  • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:07PM (#21300725) Homepage Journal
    You can read Klein's April 2006 statement in his own words here [wired.com] and there are pictures of the secret room at AT&T here [wired.com].

    Very scary stuff.
    • by cavtroop ( 859432 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:13PM (#21300831)
      and there are pictures of the secret room at AT&T here [wired.com] Hmm, interesting. Two pictures of random signs that could be anywhere, and two pictures of the front of the building. None of which show anything remotely interesting. Incriminating stuff, that :) Not that I don't think they do this, just that the pictures are....underwhelming...
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Well, it seemed like the last time I looked at those pictures, there were more of them. Of course, they were of the outside of the secret room, and not of the inside, but anyway, there were more. My tinfoil hat is going on now.
    • by PhreakinPenguin ( 454482 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:13PM (#21300839) Homepage Journal
      So if I post 4 images of the EXTERIOR of the main AT&T building, can I get modded informative too?
    • pictures of the secret room at AT&T here.

      That link shows a bunch of photos a building's exterior. Not exactly the secret stuff spy movies are made of.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by erroneus ( 253617 )
        Oh yeah? Go take pictures of important buildings in the middle of the day across town and see if you don't get questioned by the police after a few hours?
    • by purpledinoz ( 573045 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:17PM (#21300889)
      What's worse is that this will be justified under the guise of anti-terrorism. As bills get passed to erode the freedom of American's, I'm watching the US slowly descend into totalitarianism. Lets face it, Americans just don't care. And why should they? They live comfortable lives, entertained with Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. If they follow the rules, they won't get hassled. Things will have to get pretty bad until people wake up and realize what has happened.
      • by Threni ( 635302 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:30PM (#21301115)
        > What's worse is that this will be justified under the guise of anti-terrorism.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_SHAMROCK [wikipedia.org]

        I'm not sure it's any worse than when it's justified by whatever the current bogeyman is. Could be terrorism, drugs, child porn, communism etc - it's always just a cover. Follow the money. Who gains from a powerful military, full prisons, terrible education and a fat, lazy corrupt police force?

      • by Luke Dawson ( 956412 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:32PM (#21301143)

        As bills get passed to erode the freedom of American's, I'm watching the US slowly descend into totalitarianism.
        Actually, it's a really clever way of defeating terrorism, one that the terrorists will never catch on to! You see, since they hate us for our freedom, if we eliminate all of these pesky freedoms, the terrorists will have nothing to hate us for anymore! See, it makes perfect sense :)
        • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:25PM (#21301887)
          But alas, they don't hate us for our freedom and never have. So we're very busily and efficiently solving the wrong problem.

          They hate us because we've been meddling in their governments, undermining their sovereignty, propping up dictators favorable to us, invading them when those propped up dictators fall out favor, all for our own national self interests.

          I know your post was intended to be funny, and was, but the irony of situation is even worse.

          Taking away our freedoms will never stop foreign terrorists from hating us for jerking their countries around. But it might well spawn an outbreak of domestic terrorism if they keep at it. The Unabomber was just a prelude, as the very type of stuff he lashed out about is coming to pass.

      • by darjen ( 879890 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:35PM (#21301197)

        What's worse is that this will be justified under the guise of anti-terrorism. As bills get passed to erode the freedom of American's, I'm watching the US slowly descend into totalitarianism.
        This is nothing new. It was all part of the neoconservative plan against communism before the Soviet Union fell. The new focus on terrorism is allowing them to continue their Big Government agenda. Lest you doubt what I'm saying, here it is straight from William F Buckley: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_F_Buckley#First_books [wikipedia.org]

        We have got to accept Big Government for the duration--for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged, given our present government skills, except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores. ... And if they deem Soviet power a menace to our freedom (as I happen to), they will have to support large armies and air forces, atomic energy, central intelligence, war production boards, and the attendant centralization of power in Washington...
    • by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:24PM (#21300985)
      While I doubt that they "save" all the traffic, it is entirely possible, that transmitted data is scanned for certain key words and the flagged packets are then investigated further. I think it isn't unreasonable to suspect that the ENTIRE web traffic moving in and out of the computers of some AT&T clients is recorded.

      Given this data, it is entirely clear that there is no reason to believe that any non-encrypted data is not going to be monitored, recorded, and traced.

      While we must try to abort this particular endeavor through the civil process, it is rather clear to me that it's likely to be a futile effort. The way I see it, as the technological capability for total surveillance draws closer, the government and commercial entities will not be far behind.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        While I doubt that they "save" all the traffic, it is entirely possible, that transmitted data is scanned for certain key words and the flagged packets are then investigated further.

        Ummm...not likely. Take a look at this interview with Klein. [cryptogon.com] He says:

        "I flipped out," he said. "They're copying the whole Internet. There's no selection going on here. Maybe they select out later, but at the point of handoff to the government, they get everything."

        The paragraphs above that explain what he means in technical terms (including details of the peering done here), but basically when the NSA gets it, they get everything. What the NSA does with it from there is anybody's guess, but saving every

    • Very scary stuff.
      It's getting quite worrying indeed. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am sure our goodie goodie's welcome our new NSA overlords, but they are becoming like the dirty old man at the toilet block - backdooring everything that comes past them. What happens though, when sugardaddy NSA isn't the only dirty old man at the toilet block, and you get every dirty old crim lining up for a go too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by UdoKeir ( 239957 )
      I'm not sure I trust this source. Not that I don't think this is/was happening, but this guy could be a deliberate plant to discredit any investigations into the NSA's actions. The Bush camp has done this kind of thing before. That document that came out during the 2004 election is a prime example. It was poorly faked, but actually contained accurate information: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/15/60II/main643768.shtml [cbsnews.com]

      But all people remember is that the first document that was made public was fake. T
    • by NoData ( 9132 ) <_NoData_@yahMENCKENoo.com minus author> on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:58PM (#21302831)
      Also, good interview with Mark Klein on NPR's All Things Considered.
      http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16088947&ft=1&f=1 [npr.org]
      One thing he mentions: The NSA likely has installations like this maybe a dozen of locations around the country.
  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:07PM (#21300729) Journal
    Come take a drink from the firehose!
    • > Come take a drink from the firehose!

      An optical splitter is like a piece of wire; in order to intercept any traffic off a fiber cable, you need to look at the information carried by all the photons.

      What hasn't (and never will) been established is to what extent the boxen in the s00per-s33kr1t room dumped petabytes the domestic-origin-to-domestic-endpoint packets on the floor before logging the terabytes of foreign-to-domestic (or domestic-to-foreign) traffic to storage, or if No Such Agency is filli

      • it's not stealing (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        The NSA didn't take anything, they just copied some bits. The original owners still have their copy so have suffered no loss.

        This being slashdot, that should be ok with most folks here.

        • by crabpeople ( 720852 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:04PM (#21302345) Journal
          A music or movie is widely broadcast, that is the point of it, to tell a story. If an artist wants to let no one hear his song, locks it in a vault, and it gets shared, then thats wrong. But if an artist is producing music to be heard, then they have no right to privacy in regards to that song now do they?

          You are somehow confusing the right to privacy with disseminating other peoples already released intelectual property. The issues are not even remotely similar. Of course this being slashdot, you have been wildly and incorrectly modded up.

      • by spun ( 1352 )

        it's also an interesting legal one: If a thousand gallons of water runs down the drain while you're drinking from a firehose, did you really drink it all?
        Well, if a Pope shits in the woods, then all bears are Catholic, so yes.
  • Encrypt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monstard ( 855195 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:07PM (#21300731)
    The future of internet is encrypted internet.
    • Re:Encrypt (Score:5, Insightful)

      by marcop ( 205587 ) <marcop@slashTWAINdot.org minus author> on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:13PM (#21300835) Homepage
      No. Why should I? The constitution is clear on this issue. The true answer is impeach those responsible and prosecute At&T. criminally.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Conception ( 212279 )
        Actually, the constitution isn't clear on this issue. In fact, it's clear on very few.
        • Re:Encrypt (Score:5, Informative)

          by 644bd346996 ( 1012333 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:21PM (#21300953)

          The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
          Clear enough? No warrant, no searches or seizures of my stuff. They are particularly prohibited from searching through all of my correspondence without a warrant.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Bryansix ( 761547 )
            Actually just to play Devil's Advocate here you could read that to mean that people's lives should not be disrupted nor should they be kept from their possesions because of a search without a warrant. On the otherhand the way ATT is doing this does not deprive you from the use of the data at all and so would not fall under this part of the Constitution. I'm not saying that this interpretation is right but it could be made.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Stanislav_J ( 947290 )

            No warrant, no searches or seizures of my stuff. They are particularly prohibited from searching through all of my correspondence without a warrant.

            A warrant? That's so 20th Century.....

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by dnormant ( 806535 )
        You and GP are right. We have the right to our privacy AND the responsibility to protect ourselves from a crooked government.

        Encrypt your data and spank these lawless assholes.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by exley ( 221867 )
        That sounds awesome. In theory. But reality doesn't quite match up the idealism you show. What difference does the Constitution make when those in charge have shown quite clearly that they don't give a shit about the Constitution? I all but guarantee you that these guys are gonna get off scot free for all the crap they've pulled.
      • by o'reor ( 581921 )
        Somebody wake up this chicken and tell him the foxes have taken over the henhouse while he was sleeping...
      • by Gorimek ( 61128 )
        Criminal law is also very clear on burglary.

        That doesn't make it a bad idea to close and lock your front door.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by neoform ( 551705 )
      Who do you think controls the root DNS servers?

      If you're using public key encryption, it isn't that much work for telcos to act as an encryption proxy to whomever you're connecting to, which pretty much kills any encryption you're using.

      Only true way to stop spying is shared key encryption, which is completely unrealistic for broad use.
      • Re:Encrypt (Score:4, Informative)

        by 11223 ( 201561 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:54PM (#21301447)
        I'm afraid you do not understand how public key crypto works. If Alice has Bob's key and has personally verified that the signature of the key, communication between Alice and Bob is secure so long as the "hard problem" that the cryptosystem depends on (e.g. discrete log for RSA) is not broken. There is no proxying which can take place; Alice encrypts her traffic with Bob's public key before sending it to him.

        Is it possible you've confused public key cryptosystems in general with systems based on Diffie-Hellman key exchange that provide protection against eavesdroppers but not man-in-the-middle attacks?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by neoform ( 551705 )
          All digital signatures need to be verified with someone..

          If you're the government, how hard do you think it would be to tamper with those signature databases to make them match the man in the middle?

          RSA signatures work against your run-of-the-mill hacker, but does not stop telcos/gov from doing this.
        • Re:Encrypt (Score:4, Informative)

          by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:42PM (#21302717) Homepage
          I'm afraid you do not understand how public key crypto works. If Alice has Bob's key and has personally verified that the signature of the key, communication between Alice and Bob is secure so long as the "hard problem" that the cryptosystem depends on (e.g. discrete log for RSA) is not broken. There is no proxying which can take place; Alice encrypts her traffic with Bob's public key before sending it to him.

          The first bold part is what commonly makes the second bold part untrue.

          Unless Alice has personally verified that the key she has is in fact Bob's key and vice versa, then she doesn't know for sure that it's Bob's public key that she's using. If Alice just get Bob's public key off the internet itself, then Alice doesn't know that it was Bob Alice was talking too and it may actually be Charlie's public key that she received. If it is in fact Charlie's public key, then Charlie can act as a man-in-the-middle. Alice unknowingly sends a message to Charlie with Charlie's public key, he decrypts it, re-encrypts it with Bob's public key, then sends it on to Bob. Neither will ever know.

          People get around this by using certificates which come from a Certificate Authority whom they trust and who verifies that the keys you received are really Bob's keys and not Charlie's. The same problem shows up here, though, since at the point where Alice is communicating with the certificate authority over the internet, the CA is basically Bob and she's in the same boat.

          People get around this part of the problem by having the Certificate Authority's keys hard-coded inside their browsers and OSes. There are two problems with this, one general and the other specific. The general problem is that if you get your browser over the internet, once again you can't be sure that the CA's key is really the right key and that the MD5 hash is really the MD5 hash of the unmodified browser. The specific problem is that this whole article is about the government getting telecom companies to cooperate with their spying programs. The Certificate Authority's usually fall into that category, and it would be naive to assume that they haven't handed over to the government their private keys, in which case NSA-Charlie doesn't even need to feed you a fake CA key somehow, he can just flat out pose as CA-Bob.

          It is fundamentally impossible to share cryptographic keys securely over an insecure communication network. This is known as "the key exchange problem", and it's really, literally, impossible to fix. The only way to truly be secure when exchanging keys is for Alice and Bob to step outside the insecure network and physically meet in person, and exchange keys and verify that the other person has the correct key.

          So if you're really so paranoid that you feel you must encrypt all your communications to keep the government from spying on you, just remember this, and find an off-line way to exchange public keys with everyone you wish to talk to.
  • Well, I guess we know where all that traffic got diverted to, then.
  • Whoa (Score:5, Funny)

    by yamamushi ( 903955 ) <yamamushi@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:08PM (#21300743) Homepage
    Thats a LOT of porn!
  • I am somehow not convinced... how many TB of data would a major provider like that move in a day? Those would have to be some moby servers...
    • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:15PM (#21300859)

      I am somehow not convinced... how many TB of data would a major provider like that move in a day? Those would have to be some moby servers...
      That it is all forwarded through that secret room doesn't mean that they look at it all. Perhaps they have some algorithm, some system or filter, for determining what they want to look at closer...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by arsheive ( 609065 )
      Yes, they would. But this is also the frickin' NSA...

      Not to mention that they're only looking at certain type of packets I'd imagine... ignoring streaming video and the like and focusing on email, instant messaging, slashdot posts...
    • Consider that the gov't agency has a blank check in the name of "national security" - you don't think they have massive storage capabilities?

      A petabyte of storage from EMC^2 is $4m. It's not that much of a stretch to believe they have 10-20 of these things sitting in that room...or even something bigger/better...
  • It won't belong before the RIAA wants the NSA's records for sueing file sharers. And sadly as much help as the FBI gives the RIAA, it might happen without a fight. :-)
  • Nothing for you to see here. Please move along

    Seriously ( FBI/NSA/DHS SUCKS ) who would have thought they would try to monitor the ENTIRE internet? Certainly not George Orwell. Makes you wish Dueling politicians were a more common day occurrence, doesn't it? I'm sure we could even manage to use sports stadiums rather than the Whitehouse lawn. Talk about reality tv...

    As they stand back to back, sports center anchors are whispering into their mics, telling the audience the voting history of each combatant, theorizing what a loss on either side would mea

    • by Skiron ( 735617 )
      The best thing to do is (e.g.) for every legit mail you send to Mum, Dad or whoever, send a few to seemlying dodgy addresses (like .cn, .kr etc.) with a made up code like garbage [sszzv sheehuu sww asdh qquei ajjs msdjuu 2jshhe ... ...]

      If enough people do this, then all mails will be unreadable due to the noise level (let alone them trying to crack a code that is utter garbage).
    • What does fascist mean here? I'm not saying we're not headed for a terrifying society, but the word "fascist" seems to get thrown around a lot, and it seems to have a meaning equivalent to "authoritarian". If you mean authoritarian, just say it.

      That rant being said, it's pretty damned clear that the politicians and their bureaucratic underlords/overlords have decided to test once again the bounds of using public safety as an excuse to reduce rights. The Founding Fathers knew this, and hoped that the Cons
  • by StefanJ ( 88986 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:15PM (#21300867) Homepage Journal
    You know, those little pamphlets full of fine print that get shoved in your bill and promptly thrown away because they're purposely made to be obscure and hard to read?

    If there's no "we allow an obscure government agency look at everything you read, write, say and listen to without court order or accountability" clause, can we sue the fuckers?
  • Just because they dont have the space to store all the data doesn't mean the data isn't being re-directed. They could be sifting through the data for specific ip address's and activity types, and selectivly backing what they want from the whole pile.
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:20PM (#21300949) Journal
    ..but with extra "bad" and no "joke".
  • Olbermann? (Score:3, Funny)

    by MarsDefenseMinister ( 738128 ) <dallapieta80@gmail.com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:25PM (#21301027) Homepage Journal
    Come on, that Countdown program is just about as biased left as you can get. I guess bias for the liberal side is called news, and bias for conservatives is an outrage, requiring an attack dog like Media Matters. It's a good thing that Fox News exists, or there would be no conservative voices in the media at all.
    • Re:Olbermann? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by QCompson ( 675963 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:39PM (#21301235)

      Come on, that Countdown program is just about as biased left as you can get. I guess bias for the liberal side is called news, and bias for conservatives is an outrage, requiring an attack dog like Media Matters. It's a good thing that Fox News exists, or there would be no conservative voices in the media at all.
      No kidding. Remember in the run-up to the Iraq war when the Bush administration couldn't get their agenda across to the american people because all the lefty news outlets refused to parrot their claims? Oh wait, that's right. Pretty much 99% of the American media (including the highly "liberal" New York Times) spent the years 2002-2004 mindlessly repeating the administration's talking points without doing any independent reporting.

      But still, it's a good thing we have Fox News. Otherwise where would I get all the newest info on my favorite celebrities (what's that silly Paris up to today)? Or how I would know which ethnic/religious/political group to direct my hatred towards?
  • by __aailob1448 ( 541069 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:33PM (#21301155) Journal
    The NSA are the good guys, therefore, any traffic monitoring they do will be used to catch the bad guys. Since we are good guys*, we have nothing to fear.


    *Unless you smoke weed, use p2p or jaywalk, in which case you're a bad guy and you deserve to go to jail.

  • ALL Internet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2017q4@virtual-estates.net> on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:37PM (#21301219) Homepage Journal

    forwards virtually all of its internet traffic

    This reminds me of that anecdote from years back about a question asked by a clueless user on how he can "download all of the Internet" at once and take it with him...

    Seriously, are we supposed to believe, that "virtually all" of AT&T Internet traffic passes through one facility in San Francisco? It is likely, they have the same rooms in all major nodes, though...

    Which brings us back to those earlier laws obliging phone companies to maintain equipment in all central offices, which would allow the government to eavesdrop on anybody's phone calls. Sure, the police needed a warrant to actually perform the eavesdropping. But the equipment and the facilities ("secret rooms") are always there.

    What they most likely don't need a warrant for is the statistics — did the number of calls to so-and-so suddenly increase? Did he call such-and-such after this-and-this called him?..

    Most likely, NSA is looking for similar things on the Internet — there is a lot of insight to be gained from simply knowing, which sites get more traffic in (possible) correllation with certain events... And then, again, there is a need for the equipment to always be there, so that warranted intercepts of the datastreams can be performed too.

    Yes, this is prone to abuse. No, it can not be effectively audited by the public without "compromising" (or even "jeopardizing") "the mission". The only relief comes from the knowledge, that any evidence illegally collected still can not be used against anyone in the court of law...

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @05:50PM (#21301381) Homepage Journal
    After all the bills and executive orders they put through to increase the authority of the president and his office, unwarranted wiretapping stuff, 'enemy combatant' joke, guantanamo, no-fly lists and such, you thought they would leave internet alone ?

    Thats bush & co for you. No surprise at&t is the name that comes up with them. after all, its 'for the boyZ', right ?
  • Credentials?! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yhetti ( 57297 ) <yhetti.shevix@net> on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:00PM (#21301543)
    I'm not going to claim it's not happening, but this is not the guy to listen to. I don't want to be a dick about this, but he's not a network engineer, he's not a network admin, he's not a data specialist...he's a cable splicer. He does VDV work for AT&T. Is it possible, if not likely, that he maybe doesn't have a complete understanding of how all the tubes work past Layer 1? (And just to really be a dick about it, every VDV person I've met claims to be a data network expert because they lay the wires. Ask one why Ethernet is limited to 100M by spec and watch the fun.)

    With only 20 of those facilities, and just in AT&T locations, the fibertaps wouldn't even have a significant percentage of traffic going through them. Do some traceroutes; do some ping tests; Try it from different providers. They would have to be routing all traffic through those points. Your ping times would know, and the global BGP tables would know.

    I have a comfortable tinfoil hat. What I *could* be easily convinced of is that the NSA has taps on all oceanic fiber. That's much easier to do, since there's not all that many. And...frankly, they should be. We pay them a lot of money to keep us safe. A *lot* of money. But I don't think this is the guy to listen to regarding something this big and damning.
    • Re:Credentials?! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:06PM (#21302355)
      Considering I WORK for AT&T, I would give him far more credit than any engineer
      or planner this company employs. They are engineers in title only. If you want
      to know how things work within a Central Office, go ask the folks who work in it.
      They have far better insight than the planners do.

      The ONLY other possible explanation for having a room full of equipment locked up
      would be a co-located company. It's not uncommon for other carriers to have
      equipment in the office that's unaccessible to AT&T and vice versa.

      However, none of them require a government clearance to gain entry. Just a
      simple key. Nor are they usually hidden from view. They simply put up wire cages
      to restrict access to the rooms in question.

      All it will take is an audit of the fibers in question and the splitters. If the
      splitters actually exist on the backbone fibers and they route into that room, then
      AT&T will have some explaining to do. Simple as that.

      The theory I've kicked around is this type of equipment will have a specific eqpt
      code in the databases AT&T uses. ( Assuming it's inventoried at all. Though the
      word document produced indicates that it might be ) Shouldn't be all that tough to run
      an eqpt scan against a Central Office CLLI code to see if it shows up in the
      inventory. . . .

      Just a theory mind you ;)

      Now as to the percentage of the internet comment I saw earlier.

      Do you actually believe this is the ONLY office this type of setup is installed in ?
      Please. If this gear is what we all think it is, then the major Toll buildings
      ( read that the major hubs ) will likely ALL have this gear installed in it. It's
      just a matter of figuring out which offices have been compromised. Probably easy to
      spot. Find the biggest serving office in any given city and start your search there.

      It's also doubtful they are saving the Internet in real time. It's more than likely
      a scan and flag type setup. It's likely not even done on site. It's far more probable
      that the redirected traffic is shipped out another fiber that is directly connected to
      an NSA office in the region.

      For the encryption comment:

      The day we start encrypting everything on the net will be the day you see the bills
      popping back up to keep those ' terrorist tools ' out of the hands of the average

  • by twifosp ( 532320 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:05PM (#21301621)
    To all the posters saying this would be too difficult to monitor and analyze:

    No it wouldn't. It's called sampling. Red flags and segmenting certain layers and patterns. You don't have to store a fraction of the traffic data to analyze it and store what you need.

    I won't say what I do, but I do it for a fortune 50 company, and I personally analyze an obscene amount of internet traffic. I do all this with a few servers and a workstation. Now I can honestly I say I have probably analyzed .5% of the internet's traffic (doesn't sound like much, but it is). With the differnet software we use and the relatively small amounts of hardware we use, I can easily imagine scaling that to 100% without too much problems. You'd need a lot more people, better alogorithms, and much more processing and storage space. But it's definitely possible.

    And you don't even need to do 100%. As I pointed out before, you can segment your data and sample it for what you are looking for. Or data mine samples if you don't know what you are looking for. Find the flags you want, and apply that accross the whole traffic spectrum.

    Pretty scary. Allthough my first thought is that this is used for counter-terrorism activities, I can't help but think that's instead used for political purposes as well. Who knows. Big brother indeed.

  • by Tiger Smile ( 78220 ) <james AT dornan DOT com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @07:01PM (#21302313) Homepage
    The American public and media will react to the lack of sexiness in this story with the kind of outrage you might express when you see a long line at the grocery store checkout. Americans will sit on their increasing asses and watch it all happen, and unlike the frog in the beaker, American will turn up the heat all on their own. You only need to utter the nine from 9/11 and they scream "How much can I give you to feel safe again!?" (I borrowed that from Family Guy)

    In any case, stop you damned moaning?! This story is false because it fails to ask you what the f**k you are going to do about it? If nothing you are the problem! I'm going to do the norm. Write a litter. How that hell is this the "Home of the free?" Were monitored more than a Jewish school in Germany in the 1930's. Okay, Hitler was bad, and he was worse than this, but he sure would have thought it a damned nice item.

    I'm not even going to insult you by listing all we've lost in freedoms. That would be whining. Lost. That sure as hell is the wrong word. we gave away freedoms like offerings to a pagan god(and not one of the cool ones). We burned them by the bushel. Can you buy a house without showing ID? How easy is it to wire funds. Oh, we'll catch a few, but we'll have to except being tracked watched and ID'ed any time we want to do something.

    All that, rather than solving the problem. All the fuss. All the paranoia. All the tracking, monitoring, and so on. It's got the be the biggest sexual fetish for the inner fascist bubbling to the surface of America.

    Do something to stop it, or I'm pointing at you and saying "You are all for it. You are fascism's little cheerleader, By saying nothing. You did this."
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday November 09, 2007 @08:08PM (#21302919) Homepage Journal
    The NSA has implemented what has GOT to be the BIGGEST PORN GATHERING SYSTEM OF ALL TIME, and all we can do is bitch and moan about how our rights are being infringed? We should be hitting the agents at our nearest branch office up for copies! Hey secret agent man, I got 4 empty 1tb drives here, how about topping me off? Aww yea, me likey teh nasty!

    I am SO never getting a job with those guys...

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982