Re: "SIGINT tradecraft…is very hands-on (l i terally!)"

jim bell jamesdbell9 at
Wed May 14 09:03:50 PDT 2014

I guess I'm still not being clear.  It would be my way of objecting to a court's ordering the telecom company that I might work for (or, one day, that I might own?!?) to present an "electronically-readable" form of the telephone metadata of millions of telephones.  The judge ordered that; my sneaky response would be to generate an "electronically-readable" file, basically a pdf file or a series of same, itself with an image that looks like "captcha" information:  relatively easy for a human to read, but rather difficult for any computer to turn into easily-useable (searchable) information.  In other words, the information would be presented to the NSA, but it would be essentially unuseable without being (first) human-decoded.
The result, I realize, would be a angry session in front of a Federal judge, who newly realizes that an "electronically-readable" form doesn't NECESSARILY imply computer-useability!  The judge would then amend the order to say, "NO SNEAKY TRICKS THE NEXT TIME, BELL!!!!"  At which point, I'd probably just have the order leaked.
           Jim Bell

 From: John Young <jya at>
To: jim bell <jamesdbell9 at>; cypherpunks at 
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 3:50 AM
Subject: Re:   "SIGINT tradecraft…is very hands-on (l i terally!)"

That would be quite useful. How would you crack it if used
by an opponent?

At 01:11 AM 5/14/2014, you wrote:

Alright, what I meant was
this:  The judge ordered that the information be provided in
electronically-readable form.  He meant, "not on paper",
because if it were on paper, that would be very difficult to actually
USE.  My idea was to put the information onto pdf files, where if
you view the pdf file, it would look like lines of
"captcha"-type data:  Weird, warped characters, in various
odd colors, overlapping lines, etc.   CAPTCHA - Wikipedia, the
free encyclopedia    Specifically designed to NOT be
computer-identifiable.  The essence of the presentation of the data
would be that it wouldn't be readable by 'computer' at all; it would have
to be decoded by human intervention...even though it was in
"electronically-readable form"!!
>CAPTCHA - Wikipedia, the
free encyclopedia
>A CAPTCHA (an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test
to tell Computers and Humans Apart") is a type of
>View on
>Preview by Yahoo
>        Jim Bell
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: text/html
Size: 4288 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list