jya at pipeline.com
Sun Jan 19 06:50:17 PST 1997
"At the New Frontier of Eavesdropping." Markoff.
Many phone companies are now rushing to introduce new
digital services that provide better sound quality. But
when security standards were set for the new systems five
years ago, technical experts from the Government
discouraged the phone companies from building in coding
systems that would be difficult to break. Moreover, the
phone companies themselves decided that real privacy was
not a major issue. "Time to market turned out to be more
important than real security," said John Gilmore.
Indeed, in recent weeks the supposedly secret formula for
scrambling digital wireless phone calls was posted to an
Internet mailing list. That virtually insures that hackers
will soon create a way to modify scanners like the one the
Martins used, making digital calls just as vulnerable as
analog calls are today. "There's a period in which privacy
prevails over surveillance, but it's never for very long."
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