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Communications Encryption Government Privacy The Internet

Use Tor, Get Targeted By the NSA 451

An anonymous reader sends this news from Ars Technica: "Using online anonymity services such as Tor or sending encrypted e-mail and instant messages are grounds for U.S.-based communications to be retained by the National Security Agency, even when they're collected inadvertently, according to a secret government document published Thursday. ...The memos outline procedures NSA analysts must follow to ensure they stay within the mandate of minimizing data collected on U.S. citizens and residents. While the documents make clear that data collection and interception must cease immediately once it's determined a target is within the U.S., they still provide analysts with a fair amount of leeway. And that leeway seems to work to the disadvantage of people who take steps to protect their Internet communications from prying eyes. For instance, a person whose physical location is unknown—which more often than not is the case when someone uses anonymity software from the Tor Project—"will not be treated as a United States person, unless such person can be positively identified as such, or the nature or circumstances of the person's communications give rise to a reasonable belief that such person is a United States person," the secret document stated.'"
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Use Tor, Get Targeted By the NSA

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  • non-issue (Score:5, Informative)

    by TCM ( 130219 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @12:26PM (#44071033)

    You are supposed to use HTTPS only over Tor anyway and transmit no identifying data in other cases, respectively. Tor already assumes the existence of such an adversary as the NSA, so what's the story here?

  • Here's the catch, (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 21, 2013 @12:28PM (#44071053)
    " Where the NSA has no specific information on a person's location, analysts are free to presume they are overseas, the document continues." []
  • by jamstar7 ( 694492 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @12:39PM (#44071193)

    Aren't they violating the millennium act? I suppose that's only if they try to circumvent an encryption scheme....

    It's the government doing this. That makes it legal, sorta. At least it is sorta legal if you wanna bag them terrorrorrorrorrists.

    Personally, I think the terrorrorrorrorrists already won.

  • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Friday June 21, 2013 @12:45PM (#44071275) Homepage Journal

    yeah, the encrypted data bit is interesting (who doesn't use opportunistic TLS on SMTP these days?) but here's the bigger problem:

    Section 5 -- Domestic Communications (U)

    A communication identified as a domestic communication will be destroyed upon.
    recognition unless the Director (or Acting Director) of NSA specifically determines, in writing, that: (S) ...

    (2) the communication does not contain foreign intelligence information but is
    reasonably believed to contain evidence of a crime that has been, is being, or is about to be committed such communication may be disseminated (including United States person identities) to appropriate Federal law enforcement authorities, in accordance with 50 U.S.C. l806(b) and l825(c), Executive Order No. 12333, and, where applicable, the crimes reporting procedures set out in the August 1995 "Memorandum of Understanding: Reporting of Information Concerning Federal Crimes," or any successor document. Such communications may be retained by NSA for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed six months unless extended in writing by the Attorney General, to permit law enforcement agencies to determine whether access to original recordings of such is required for law enforcement purposes; (8)

    That's it, no questions left, the NSA is involved in domestic surveillance of US Citizens for law enforcement purposes. It's as if the Church Committee never existed.

    Considering the ease of writing those two required letters and the current state of law breaking in the United States [], it's easy to see how bureaucrats could take the guidelines as written and 'reasonably determine' that all domestic communications need to be stored in perpetuity.

    Assuming anything else is to assume a level of generosity and restraint on the part of the intelligence agencies that each day we find ourselves more foolish to do.

  • by matrim99 ( 123693 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @01:17PM (#44071591) Homepage
    Because of the Fourth Amendment.
  • by H0p313ss ( 811249 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @01:28PM (#44071703)

    What is human right and human freedom that USA Government have been actively accusing other countries of lacking whereby they are spying on their own people in their own backyard? Its a disgraceful joke

    You can't handle the truth. []

    They've been doing it for decades through their intelligence partnerships with various NATO allies. The predecessors of these systems were already in place, the post-9/11 paranoia allowed them to ramp it up to unprecedented levels all over NATO.

    For example, Canada has the same rule, a Canadian agency cannot spy on Canadians without specific legal orders. However the U.S. can spy on Canadians, and Canada can spy on Americans. Quid quo pro.

    As soon as you have a covert agency in any country is will find some way to dirty itself because most of the time they cannot discuss their operations with politicians.

  • Re:US Citizens Only (Score:5, Informative)

    by Urban Garlic ( 447282 ) on Friday June 21, 2013 @01:44PM (#44071895)

    As a naturalized US citizen who actually took a small quiz on this, I am honor-bound to point out that the fine quotation you have provided is actually from the Declaration of Independence, and not the Constitution. While it certainly reflects the aspirations of the founders, and may well represent my or your best hopes, it's not actually the law of the land. The constitution is clearer about its jurisdiction.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.