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Thread: Central Internet monitoring?!?!

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Jan 2002

    Central Internet monitoring?!?!

    Ok, I'm going to heat things up a bit. Look what I found on nytimes.com

    I'll post the whole article , because it is a "member" site and I know that in the past people didn't want to register to read one story.

    Here goes!

    December 20, 2002
    Bush Administration to Propose System for Monitoring Internet

    he Bush administration is planning to propose requiring Internet service providers to help build a centralized system to enable broad monitoring of the Internet and, potentially, surveillance of its users.

    The proposal is part of a final version of a report, "The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace," set for release early next year, according to several people who have been briefed on the report. It is a component of the effort to increase national security after the Sept. 11 attacks.

    The President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board is preparing the report, and it is intended to create public and private cooperation to regulate and defend the national computer networks, not only from everyday hazards like viruses but also from terrorist attack. Ultimately the report is intended to provide an Internet strategy for the new Department of Homeland Security.

    Such a proposal, which would be subject to Congressional and regulatory approval, would be a technical challenge because the Internet has thousands of independent service providers, from garage operations to giant corporations like American Online, AT&T, Microsoft and Worldcom.

    The report does not detail specific operational requirements, locations for the centralized system or costs, people who were briefed on the document said.

    While the proposal is meant to gauge the overall state of the worldwide network, some officials of Internet companies who have been briefed on the proposal say they worry that such a system could be used to cross the indistinct border between broad monitoring and wiretap.

    Stewart Baker, a Washington lawyer who represents some of the nation's largest Internet providers, said, "Internet service providers are concerned about the privacy implications of this as well as liability," since providing access to live feeds of network activity could be interpreted as a wiretap or as the "pen register" and "trap and trace" systems used on phones without a judicial order.

    Mr. Baker said the issue would need to be resolved before the proposal could move forward.

    Tiffany Olson, the deputy chief of staff for the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, said yesterday that the proposal, which includes a national network operations center, was still in flux. She said the proposed methods did not necessarily require gathering data that would allow monitoring at an individual user level.

    But the need for a large-scale operations center is real, Ms. Olson said, because Internet service providers and security companies and other online companies only have a view of the part of the Internet that is under their control.

    "We don't have anybody that is able to look at the entire picture," she said. "When something is happening, we don't know it's happening until it's too late."

    The government report was first released in draft form in September, and described the monitoring center, but it suggested it would likely be controlled by industry. The current draft sets the stage for the government to have a leadership role.

    The new proposal is labeled in the report as an "early-warning center" that the board says is required to offer early detection of Internet-based attacks as well as defense against viruses and worms.

    But Internet service providers argue that its data-monitoring functions could be used to track the activities of individuals using the network.

    An official with a major data services company who has been briefed on several aspects of the government's plans said it was hard to see how such capabilities could be provided to government without the potential for real-time monitoring, even of individuals.

    "Part of monitoring the Internet and doing real-time analysis is to be able to track incidents while they are occurring," the official said.

    The official compared the system to Carnivore, the Internet wiretap system used by the F.B.I., saying: "Am I analogizing this to Carnivore? Absolutely. But in fact, it's 10 times worse. Carnivore was working on much smaller feeds and could not scale. This is looking at the whole Internet."

    One former federal Internet security official cautioned against drawing conclusions from the information that is available so far about the Securing Cyberspace report's conclusions.

    Michael Vatis, the founding director of the National Critical Infrastructure Protection Center and now the director of the Institute for Security Technology Studies at Dartmouth, said it was common for proposals to be cast in the worst possible light before anything is actually known about the technology that will be used or the legal framework within which it will function.

    "You get a firestorm created before anybody knows what, concretely, is being proposed," Mr. Vatis said.

    A technology that is deployed without the proper legal controls "could be used to violate privacy," he said, and should be considered carefully.

    But at the other end of the spectrum of reaction, Mr. Vatis warned, "You end up without technology that could be very useful to combat terrorism, information warfare or some other harmful act."
    How can they monitor the whole internet? What kind or resources would this take?!
    Do they really thing that they are going to give a country who feels that they need to control everything all the time, the ability to monitor everything in the information world too?
    I mean, come on now! That is just crazy!

    I'll never work... There are too many countries that won't let this happen. If it does, there would be a huge market in public proxies...

    What do you think?
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  2. #2
    AO Ancient: Team Leader
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    They can only monitor what they can see and for a large part all they can see is what flits around the infrastructure in the USA. That said, they are gonna need some pretty impressive storage and "crunchers".

    You can collect all the data in the world - their problem will be effectively mining it for the stuff of use. Otherwise all it is is a big pile of bits and bytes. Just imagine all the IM's that take place between 4:00pm and 8:00pm every night between kids from 15-18 years old every day. Wanna try to catch, store and mine it all.

    Then you have the little issue of duplication. Lets say that billy is using IM through his ISP, (comcast), to sweet annie who is on her roadrunner in a diffferent state. Well, Comcast is gonna catch the entire conversation and send it to the Govt. Roadrunner will do the same....... No prob you say. But here's a little kicker - Comcast's logs say the conversation started at 17:43:22 but Roadrunners log says it started at 17:43:23. They can't afford to disregard either conversation without either significantly more processing or having it looked at by a human, (they don't want to risk a logic error throwing out the good **** they are looking for). Now multiply that by half a million conversations a day....... Damn, that's like.... a full time job and it's only the IM's!!!!
    Don\'t SYN us.... We\'ll SYN you.....
    \"A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.\" - Thucydides

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Leave it to the Federal Government to stick its nose in everything. Just in case anybodys watching, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb. Thatll throw'em for a loop.There is no privacy anymore and if you try and stop them youll get severly audited, find out you owe the government 2 million dollars in taxes because you didn't report your earnings when you went to shovel snow filled driveways when you were 10 years old.Just sad and really pathetic.For the hope of everybody i hope they dont do this.

    Alright take it ease

  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    Tiger Shark: very goog point. I am thinking that their proposal isn't very practical at all...

    You taking HUGE amounts of resources. A couple hundred thousand big blues? Maybe more...
    Quitmzilla is a firefox extension that gives you stats on how long you have quit smoking, how much money you\'ve saved, how much you haven\'t smoked and recent milestones. Very helpful for people who quit smoking and used to smoke at their computers... Helps out with the urges.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001


    The proposal is technically illogical. Like a previous post mention, it isn't going to do any good because of massive amounts of traffick..

    They could monitor for keywords, but how long would it take to have substitute words? Like they could monitor anything. Just imagine what would happen for protests. "Hey everyone, lets send packets of random data to eachother in multiple non-stop streams!"


  6. #6
    One more reason,for me,to hate Boy Bush.......

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2002
    1984 18 years too late. Let's get on schedule guys, sheesh.........
    \"Now it\'s time to erase the story of our bogus fate. Our history as it\'s portrayed is just a recipe for hate!\"
    -Bad Religion

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    well they have had enough experiance with carnivore and echelon to know what can and cant be done. i believe they can do it. when you consider crays are pretty much obsolete, take whatever they call the latest supercomputers and connect them with distributed computing networks...they have all the power they need to do exactly what they say they're going to do.

    Now link this to the TIA databases. Were getting pretty close to total coverage of everyone.

    add in a ministry of truth ("Office of Strategic Influence" http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/28/28631.html ) for grins and giggles =

    (C:\>RENAME 1984.txt 2004.txt)
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

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