Email tapping by ISPs, forwarder addresses, and crypto proxies

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at
Thu Jul 29 09:36:32 PDT 2004

"Remember that the spookfabs don't have to contend with *economics and

Damn, this is precisely where I wish Tim May was still around.

Certainly, the Spooks have their own fabs, and I don't think they even hide 
this fact (I doubt they could, ultimately). And certainly, the Spooks crank 
out all sort of special ASICs using their own IP as well as some 
store-bought stuff they drop onto their designs.

However, where I have some BIG doubts is whether their fab is X generations 
ahead of the most advanced commercial fabs. Frankly, I bet they have a 
pretty good fab that was modified by a commercial vendor to support small 
production runs. This fab, however, does not utilize cosmic rays for etching 
or whatever. It's probably 0.13 microns at best (wait...I think Taiwan Semi 
and a couple of other places are one step ahead of this). This limits what 
they can do with a chip or chipset, and implies that they won't be orders of 
magnitude better at opening up LOTS of traffic.

(In non-troll mode.)

>From: "Major Variola (ret)" <mv at>
>To: "cypherpunks at" <cypherpunks at>
>Subject: Re: Email tapping by ISPs, forwarder addresses, and crypto  
>Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 21:34:59 -0700
>At 03:52 PM 7/27/04 -0400, Tyler Durden wrote:
> >Variola wrote...
> >>In the *public* lit.
> >
> >Well, perhaps but perhaps not. Burst-mode signaling, transceivers, and
> >networking technology are a good example. If you see DISA, NSA, and
> >all working with the acknoledged experts inthe academic field, and if
> >see them spending $$$ on burst-mode testbeds, then it's clear that
>there are
> >some issues they haven't solved.
>You're right on this, I admit.  Its clear that things like smart dust
>and gait recognition and
>autonomous cruising across the desert are not things the Beast has yet.
> >There just happen to be
> >physical limitations. But I have zero doubt that the NSA can't make a
> >that is siginificantly more efficient than what I can buy off the
>I'm not one to dispute physics.  However most professional skeptics
>(eg cryptographers) grant the adversary anything from 2 to 10 x the
>COTS tech.  Do you *really* think the NSA's DesCrack was built
>with old Sun chassis like Gilmore, Kocher, et als???
>Remember that the spookfabs don't have to contend with *economics and
>They can use *radioisotopes*.  Subs can lay independant cable.
>Not a lot of folks walk along the undersea cables,
>to say nothing of how bribable telecom folks are.
>Conservativism sometimes means being liberal in modelling others'
>Be Useful -the Baron

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