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(Tech Dirt)   The NSA has been running man in the middle attacks imitating Google's servers... codenames the operation Flying Pig, probably because they'll own up to it when pigs fly   (techdirt.com) divider line 105
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6813 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Sep 2013 at 4:45 PM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-10 02:55:42 PM
Somebody over there had a really sly sense of humor when it came to naming these operations.  Next up, revelations about the op code-named SELFIES, in which the agencies devised means to instruct terrorists' phones and computers to record and take pictures of themselves in their terrorist lairs.  Because, terrorists.
 
2013-09-10 03:13:53 PM
I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.
 
2013-09-10 03:21:57 PM

RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.


Or, you could just practice real communications security, and get your keys and plaintext off anything electronic.
 
2013-09-10 03:23:36 PM
So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?
 
2013-09-10 03:26:18 PM

dittybopper: RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.

Or, you could just practice real communications security, and get your keys and plaintext off anything electronic.


Or, at the very least, air-gap it, using a standalone computer to encrypt/decrypt your messages/texts/videos of cats/etc., and perhaps using a thumb drive to transfer the encrypted files over to the machine you use to transmit/receive messages.

That way, they have to actually *PHYSICALLY* access your machine to find out what's on it, which means breaking into your home.  That's much harder to do unnoticed than breaking into your computer or phone which is likely hooked up to the intarwebs/cell network 24/7.
 
2013-09-10 03:33:01 PM

RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.


There's an exit for the NSA off of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. It's a bit surreal to drive past.
 
2013-09-10 03:45:56 PM

Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?


They can't tell us, because that information is classified.
 
2013-09-10 03:50:23 PM

Weaver95: Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?

They can't tell us, because that information is classified.


They can't even tell us that they can't tell us, because the information that is classified, is classified.
 
2013-09-10 03:58:32 PM

dittybopper: Weaver95: Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?

They can't tell us, because that information is classified.

They can't even tell us that they can't tell us, because the information that is classified, is classified.


but at least we can console ourselves that the whole thing is being overseen by a secret court using criteria so secret even they don't know what they are.
 
2013-09-10 04:07:33 PM

Voiceofreason01: dittybopper: Weaver95: Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?

They can't tell us, because that information is classified.

They can't even tell us that they can't tell us, because the information that is classified, is classified.

but at least we can console ourselves that the whole thing is being overseen by a secret court using criteria so secret even they don't know what they are.


Well, they're being monitored to make sure they don't know what the criteria are, and that fact isn't known to them because if it was, they would know that they don't know what they don't know, and we can't have that, you know?
 
2013-09-10 04:11:47 PM

Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?


You're aware that the NSA prevented the destruction of numerous American cities back in 1996, right?  Oh, right, you never heard of this, because you don't pay attention to the news.  Just to refresh your memory, the plan was to destroy New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. on July the second, followed by Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston on the third.  Fortunately, the NSA sent the enemy a computer virus and hacked into their systems, derailing the attacks.  As the NSA declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!  We will not vanish without a fight!  We're going to live on!  We're going to survive!  Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"  Then Randy Quaid piloted a fighter jet right into the enemy's primary weapons system and the enemy ship exploded.

What a great movie.
 
2013-09-10 04:15:08 PM

Mike_LowELL: Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?

You're aware that the NSA prevented the destruction of numerous American cities back in 1996, right?  Oh, right, you never heard of this, because you don't pay attention to the news.  Just to refresh your memory, the plan was to destroy New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. on July the second, followed by Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston on the third.  Fortunately, the NSA sent the enemy a computer virus and hacked into their systems, derailing the attacks.  As the NSA declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!  We will not vanish without a fight!  We're going to live on!  We're going to survive!  Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"  Then Randy Quaid piloted a fighter jet right into the enemy's primary weapons system and the enemy ship exploded.

What a great movie.


A more apropos one would be "Enemy of the State".

Which also stars Will Smith, btw.
 
2013-09-10 04:19:51 PM
dittybopper:
A more apropos one would be "Enemy of the State".

Which also stars Will Smith, btw.


So Will Smith is running the NSA? It all makes sense now.
 
2013-09-10 04:34:48 PM
BSRBSVR
 
2013-09-10 04:45:03 PM

dittybopper: Voiceofreason01: dittybopper: Weaver95: Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?

They can't tell us, because that information is classified.

They can't even tell us that they can't tell us, because the information that is classified, is classified.

but at least we can console ourselves that the whole thing is being overseen by a secret court using criteria so secret even they don't know what they are.

Well, they're being monitored to make sure they don't know what the criteria are, and that fact isn't known to them because if it was, they would know that they don't know what they don't know, and we can't have that, you know?


From Judge Bates' 2011 opinion you can begin to see or at least imagine the difficulties the courts faced in trying to carry out FISA's mandate of overseeing the surveillance programs.  The agencies behaved a lot like some tech companies do with new products: innovate first, ask permission from the lawyers later.  Judge Bates expressed his annoyance by saying something (we don't know what) about potential criminal charges under the Wiretap Act, but ultimately gave the agencies leeway to keep on going.

One way the courts tried to restrict the analysts was by defining certain query terms that could not be used.  For example, the email address or mobile number of a known US person was not supposed to be a query term.  But couldn't they get to the same results by using different, permissible query terms?  Trying to restrict analysts by saying that certain query terms are off limits seems as if it might not have worked very well.
 
2013-09-10 04:47:58 PM
Quick, we need to break the locks on everyone's front doors so we can make sure nobody has broken in.
 
2013-09-10 04:48:35 PM

Rincewind53: RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.

There's an exit for the NSA off of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. It's a bit surreal to drive past.


There's a cool museum there, though.
 
2013-09-10 04:49:57 PM
That's why I erase my browser history.
 
2013-09-10 04:50:00 PM

dittybopper: dittybopper: RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.

Or, you could just practice real communications security, and get your keys and plaintext off anything electronic.

Or, at the very least, air-gap it, using a standalone computer to encrypt/decrypt your messages/texts/videos of cats/etc., and perhaps using a thumb drive to transfer the encrypted files over to the machine you use to transmit/receive messages.

That way, they have to actually *PHYSICALLY* access your machine to find out what's on it, which means breaking into your home.  That's much harder to do unnoticed than breaking into your computer or phone which is likely hooked up to the intarwebs/cell network 24/7.


I read an article the other day that said basically that's what they do half the time anyway. Makes Burn Notice seem a lot more realistic...
 
2013-09-10 04:53:39 PM
Are we just going to green every tin foil NSA story for the freepers today?
 
2013-09-10 04:55:56 PM
dittybopper: "Or, you could just practice real communications security"

Better security generally implies lesser convenience.

And Americans don't trade off convenience.
 
2013-09-10 04:56:20 PM

cman: BSRBSVR


Are you being sarcastic? I can't tell
 
2013-09-10 04:58:19 PM

justtray: Are we just going to green every tin foil NSA story for the freepers today?


Didn't they love the NSA when Bush was in charge?
 
2013-09-10 04:58:57 PM
Here let me translate;

While some may not be surprised by this, it's yet more confirmation as to how far the NSA is going and how the tech companies aren't always "willing participants" in the NSA's efforts here. Of course, the real question now is how the NSA is impersonating the security certificates to make these attacks work.

There are a lot of tech illiterate people in the world who have no idea how the internet works, who cannot setup or change the security on their own wireless router, and they're absolutely terrified about anything they don't understand, yet fully willing to put their private information all over the internet with public access while simultaneously demanding it be private.

Herp derp do guys, this NSA shiat is exactly like when everyone realized their wireless routers weren't secured and freaked out about how 'hackers' were accessing their networks doing malicious things. I'm sure someone will upsell you some 'privacy' service to keep your public information secure then sell it out to marketers as metadata and we can do the cycle all over again.
 
2013-09-10 05:00:05 PM
imageshack.com

Come on Obama, stop the dog-wagging in Syria and start addressing these very real 4th Amendment violations with the NSA.
 
2013-09-10 05:00:10 PM

RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.


The second people start seriously doing stuff like that, the boot is going to come down  hard.Just watch.
 
2013-09-10 05:00:44 PM

justtray: Are we just going to green every tin foil NSA story for the freepers today?


I hope so, at least one a day until justice is served.  Public outrage must be stoked until the entire dirty business is forced out into the sunlight, to the extent that is possible.  We Libertards love this story because it makes people think twice about their faith in government.
 
2013-09-10 05:01:52 PM

zarberg: justtray: Are we just going to green every tin foil NSA story for the freepers today?

Didn't they love the NSA when Bush was in charge?


Of course, because there was no price to high to pay for safety. I didn't even disagree, and I don't even blame politics. It's just sheer ignorance of the internet in general. Go look at ESPN and the people posting racist crap under their real names. For example, I just read - "Suh shouldn't be allowed to play, apes like him have no place in the NFL." Like wow, does that guy realize that is attached to his name for all of time or until ESPN purges their database?

How insane are these people going to go when they realize that data aggregates don't need to know your name to serve ads directly to you. "HOW DOES GOOGLE KNOW I LIKE WRANGLERS WTFFF"

People need to wake up and realize it's the 21st century and there's no going back.
 
2013-09-10 05:02:27 PM

dittybopper: dittybopper: RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.

Or, you could just practice real communications security, and get your keys and plaintext off anything electronic.

Or, at the very least, air-gap it, using a standalone computer to encrypt/decrypt your messages/texts/videos of cats/etc., and perhaps using a thumb drive to transfer the encrypted files over to the machine you use to transmit/receive messages.

That way, they have to actually *PHYSICALLY* access your machine to find out what's on it, which means breaking into your home.  That's much harder to do unnoticed than breaking into your computer or phone which is likely hooked up to the intarwebs/cell network 24/7.


That worked out really well for the Iranian nuclear scientists with their non-networked machinery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuxnet
 
2013-09-10 05:02:32 PM

Voiceofreason01: So what part of this program is meant to protect the American people?


This "program" is described in the article as a single instance of the NSA hacking a specific target's server to execute the exploit.

While it could have been done multiple times, it does not appear from the source information that this is a large-scale trolling of user data.

This actually seems like exactly the sort of stuff we would expect the NSA to do.
 
2013-09-10 05:05:21 PM
A good movie setting would be where a guy like a Edward Snowden hacks the NSA to the point of being able to conduct economic espionage and learn all the secrets of the high dollar companies and simply profits the hell out of that knowledge.

All the latest biochemical patents?  Scooped.  etc.

I don't have the plot for the movie, merely the above setting.
 
2013-09-10 05:05:43 PM

Esroc: RoyBatty: I'd love to see a million man march take place on the mall, with occupy like camps set up on the roads leading to NSA headquarters.

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.

The second people start seriously doing stuff like that, the boot is going to come down  hard.Just watch.


Your papers are out of order.
 
2013-09-10 05:05:59 PM

4tehsnowflakes: justtray: Are we just going to green every tin foil NSA story for the freepers today?

I hope so, at least one a day until justice is served.  Public outrage must be stoked until the entire dirty business is forced out into the sunlight, to the extent that is possible.  We Libertards love this story because it makes people think twice about their faith in government.


Not to mention what the NSA is doing is most likely illegal.... (go ahead and try it yourself and find out)
 
2013-09-10 05:06:27 PM
RoyBatty:

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.

Blaming the mathematicians and developers for policy is like blaming random physicists from the Manhattan Project for bombing Hiroshima or 40 years of Mutually Assured Destruction. They make tools that can be used for good or ill, they don't get to decide how they're used.
 
2013-09-10 05:07:33 PM
This would be outrageous if George Bush were still president.
 
2013-09-10 05:10:24 PM

ringersol: Better security generally implies lesser convenience.

And Americans don't trade off convenience.


Why should they? The onus shouldn't be on the citizenry to change, it should be on its government.
 
2013-09-10 05:12:00 PM

justtray: when everyone realized their wireless routers weren't secured and freaked out about how 'hackers' were accessing their networks doing malicious things


People wised up, though. There isn't a single open AP in my neighborhood anymore.
 
2013-09-10 05:15:29 PM

ringersol: dittybopper: "Or, you could just practice real communications security"

Better security generally implies lesser convenience.

And Americans don't trade off convenience.


This

In any case, your browser doesn't have you validate the contents of the server certs on SSL.  As long as there is some kind of a trust chain it can find (ie. there's a match on a CA), and the signature checks out, you 'believe' the server.  Quite a list of valid CAs.  Just takes one to play ball and you can pretty much impersonate anyone and your browser won't even toss up a pop-up.  Heck, you can just create an already expired cert, use that in front of most web sites and joe average user is going to click through "OK show me it anyway" and check off "Don't ask me again" without understanding what the heck is going on.

Anyway, just one more thing to separate people into 10 groups - those that know and those that don't.
 
2013-09-10 05:17:46 PM

SVenus: A good movie setting would be where a guy like a Edward Snowden hacks the NSA


Edward Snowden didn't "hack" anything.  He stole documents that he was allowed to access.  He also used other people's credentials that he apparently acquired using social engineering or the privileged accesses he had to various systems as a system administrator.  There was no hacking involved.
 
2013-09-10 05:18:32 PM

robbiex0r: 4tehsnowflakes: justtray:  tin foil NSA story

Public outrage must be stoked

try it yourself and find out


Well, you'd have to pay me for the risk of committing a crime.  Would you go as high as

i1277.photobucket.com
 
2013-09-10 05:19:31 PM
You bunch of whiny farking ingrates. Don't you realize that letting the government spy on all your private communications is the ONLY THING keeping terrorists from flying airliners into your houses? If the government didn't know you spend exactly 9 minutes per day on AllAznAnal.com, you would be dead right now.
 
2013-09-10 05:22:13 PM
I just can't think about this stuff.  Anger and frustration start spiraling up inside of me. A double helix of outrage so powerful that my mind balks at it and refuses to address the subject.

I can't even continue this post or I'll just go insane.  Ug.
 
2013-09-10 05:22:33 PM

4tehsnowflakes: I hope so, at least one a day until justice is served.  Public outrage must be stoked until the entire dirty business is forced out into the sunlight, to the extent that is possible.  We Libertards love this story because it makes people think twice about their faith in government.


Right, except collecting foreign intelligence is exactly the kind of thing our intelligence agencies are supposed to be doing.  Exposing our government's sources and methods only damages our ability to collect intelligence.  None of the media-manufactured "scandals" have actually demonstrated anything illegal (other than erroneous conclusions drawn from loose interpretations of leaked documents).

There's been a lot of speculation, but no one has actually demonstrated any cases of intelligence collection targeting Americans.
 
2013-09-10 05:22:36 PM
swahnhennessey: "The onus shouldn't be on the citizenry to change, it should be on its government."

Back here in reality, civil disobedience is about the only thing that precipitates government change.
 
2013-09-10 05:22:44 PM

Fubegra: justtray: when everyone realized their wireless routers weren't secured and freaked out about how 'hackers' were accessing their networks doing malicious things

People wised up, though. There isn't a single open AP in my neighborhood anymore.


But, there is an open thermostat in mine.
 
2013-09-10 05:25:43 PM

Magnanimous_J: You bunch of whiny farking ingrates. Don't you realize that letting the government spy on all your private communications is the ONLY THING keeping terrorists from flying airliners into your houses? If the government didn't know you spend exactly 9 minutes per day on AllAznAnal.com, you would be dead right now.


That's the part that doesn't sit right with me. The majority of people use the internet to browse facebook and watch porn. So why does the NSA need to spy on us? We can't be that interesting.

It is to combat terrorists. But it's not the brown ones they're worried about. They want that information so that when they finally pull back the veil and go totalitarian police state on us they'll have a nice comprehensive list of the people who aren't happy with following their rules.
 
2013-09-10 05:31:15 PM
They sure will have fun when they come to work and find OS NOT FOUND on the screens.
 
2013-09-10 05:33:02 PM

Fubegra: justtray: when everyone realized their wireless routers weren't secured and freaked out about how 'hackers' were accessing their networks doing malicious things

People wised up, though. There isn't a single open AP in my neighborhood anymore.


Only problem is, there were no hackers.

And do you really think those networks are in any meaningful sense, secure?

I rest my case.

Here's where this NSA crap is going - here's some laws that dictate what NSA can and can't do. people - yay awesome i feel so safe now. reality - there's no difference between before and after said laws were put into place
 
2013-09-10 05:34:21 PM

maxheck: RoyBatty:

It would be good to peacefully protest directly in front of the mathematicians and computer developers that we the people detest their actions.

Blaming the mathematicians and developers for policy is like blaming random physicists from the Manhattan Project for bombing Hiroshima or 40 years of Mutually Assured Destruction. They make tools that can be used for good or ill, they don't get to decide how they're used.


And the point of the protest is to ensure they know.

So that each day when they drive by a roadside protest they know the American people are unhappy with their work products and would prefer they find new places of employment.

Also, when you compare this to working on the Manhattan Project you may wish to renew your knowledge ofLeó Szilárd and the Szilárd   Petition as well as the act of Sir Joseph Rotblat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippocratic_Oath_for_scientists )

Or review the documentary film, Real Genius.
 
2013-09-10 05:34:40 PM

ringersol: Back here in reality, civil disobedience is about the only thing that precipitates government change.


Yes, because what I said is totally apart from your interpretation of reality.
 
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