Email tapping by ISPs, forwarder addresses, and crypto proxies

J.A. Terranson measl at
Sun Jul 18 18:50:20 PDT 2004

On Sun, 18 Jul 2004, Tyler Durden wrote:

> JA, ya' gotta good point here. Or at least, this sheds a lot of doubt on
> things.
> But then again, the purpose of GIG-BE may be precisely to move an optical
> copy (use a $100 splitter) back to processing centers where the traffic is
> stored. In this case, they won't even be trying to break it down to circuits
> prior to storage...they may instead dump the raw OC-Ns directly onto some
> kind of fast storage medium and then sift through it later.
> The idea of duplicating all optical traffic seems a little farfetched,
> though, but I bet everything from the cable landings may soon get swallowed
> whole, if it isn't already.

Note that this is totally not the scenario we had under discussion (i.e.,
the intercepts being done at the ISP level).

If you were to ask me if Mr. Fed. was currently capable of (a)
intercepting offshore, say 3-4mi off the formal landings, (b) splice into
transatlantic fibers and send the copy down their own fibers, all of it
underwater, well, that would be a different discussion entirely.  One
we seriously discussed just after a pair of buildings became a pair of
dust factories.

I *firmly* believe this is possible, if not probable, at least on a large
scale (although probably not on a complete scale).  When the towers came
down and the feds were asking everyone to volunteer to host carnivores, we
all thought they gave up *way* too easily when turned away (at least the
were turned away where I worked - my understanding is that this was not
universal).  Subsequently, we discussed, mostly as an academic excersize,
whether we believed this was possible - and the consensus was a resounding

To listen offshore, just prior to making land, is *doable*.  Completely.
Now, three years and hundreds of hours of federal agencies interaction
later, I'd be surprised if this wasn't at least part of the problem that
NSA has with data saturation:  Are we deaf, or is the volume too loud?


> -TD


J.A. Terranson
sysadmin at

  "...justice is a duty towards those whom you love and those whom you do
  not.  And people's rights will not be harmed if the opponent speaks out
  about them."      Osama Bin Laden
	- - -

  "There aught to be limits to freedom!"    George Bush
	- - -

Which one scares you more?

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