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Re: government eavesdropping

  • From: michael.dillon
  • Date: Fri Feb 25 06:38:11 2000

On Fri, 25 February 2000, Kai Schlichting wrote:

> >The US government has had listening devices at the MAEs/NAPs for years.  

> If there is really a number of such IMHO unlawful taps, it'll be hard to
> contain information about them, unless they've dug themselves close to the
> fiber and are bending & eavesdropping that fiber outside of the MAEs.

They do that too, but installing a tap at an exchange point that uses a shared media is as simple as wheeling in a Cisco chassis with a FDDI or Ethernet port on it. Not that the chassis necessarily contains any Cisco equipment, of course.

> Such taps are not trivial, and their physical dimensions make it hard
> to hide them to the trained fiber installer's eye.

Fiber does make the eavesdropper's job harder but they don't necessarily need to tap 100% of the traffic to get useful data.

> And then there was the story of a german company producing devices 

> Needless to say this company is a very eager user of Swiss-made
> encryption products at this point.

Obviously this German company is not aware of how the German intelligence service, in cooperation with the Israeli intelligence service, infiltrated a Swiss encryption company and crippled the encryption technology by not using all the bits of the key. This made the encryption crackable by the computers in use by the NSA at the time.

> ps: reportedly, got DDOS'd today. Overloading the NSA's illegal
> eavesdropping taps one at a time.

What makes you think that the NSA doesn't already have a solution to the DOS problem? After all, they've known about this stuff for about 20 years.

Michael Dillon   Phone: +44 (20) 7769 8489   
                 Mobile: +44 (79) 7099 2658
Director of Product Engineering, GTS IP Services
151 Shaftesbury Ave.
London WC2H 8AL

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