Can Skype be wiretapped by the authorities? (fwd from em at

Justin justin-cypherpunks at
Mon May 10 18:09:39 PDT 2004

John Young (2004-05-11 00:09Z) wrote:

> Brian Dunbar wrote:
> >> Like it matters. Do you really think that the government would really 
> >> allow Intel and AMD to sell CPUs that didn't have tiny transmitters in
> them? 
> >> Your CPU is actually transmitting every instruction it executes to the 
> >> satellites.
> >
> >That's a subtle bit of humor, right?
> Whenever this truth is repeated, first revealed here in 1992 by a person
> who worked at Intel in its early days when it was desperate for government
> contracts, it is taken to be humorous. 
> ...
> What remains of this story on the Internet is a bowderlized version of 
> the original truth, sometimes commingled with Tempest apochryphia -- 

Truth like this?

>From cypherpunks at MHonArc.venona  Wed Dec 17 23:17:14 2003
From: tcmay at (Timothy C. May)
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 93 10:50:25 PST
To: cypherpunks at
Subject: Re: Trapdoors
Message-ID: <9302181848.AA20187 at>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

>How do we know the proposed legislation wasn't just a smoke
>screen?  Isn't it possible that the Feds have already compromised
>Intel or MicroSoft?  Is there some way to be sure that the new
>486 chip running your computer isn't recording each PGP or RSA
>private key you generate?

Sandy has discovered the deep dark secret of crypto! I worked for Intel
from 1974 to 1986 and can confirm this to be the case.

Every crypto key is secretly recorded by Intel microprocessors. Motorola
processors do not yet record keys, which I why use a Macintosh. The
specific instruction is the so-called "NSA instruction" which John Gilmore
identified some time ago. 

Sun Microsystems was ordered by the NSA to redesign their chips to capture
keys, which is why the SPARC processor was introduced. SPARC stands for
"Sun Processor Allowing Remote Capture."

Once the keys have been captured and stored on the user's hard disk (notice
how the drives occasionally turn on a night?), they are forwarded to the
NSA and National Surveillance Organization by "screen saver" programs, like
"After Dark," which were actually written by the Berkeley Microsystems
cut-out operation of the NSO. Real hackers don't use cutesy screen saver

This new automated system is much more convenient than the previous system,
where the FBI and NSO had to break into homes and offices in order to
retrieve the keys the Intel processors had recorded.


"Not your decision to make."
"Yes.  But it's the right decision, and I made it for my daughter."
 - Bill, Beatrix; Kill Bill Vol. 2

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