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View Diary: I Doubt the NSA Knows What Data It Has, Where It Came from, Who Has Accessed It and If It Was Stolen (158 comments)

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  •  Bad information. (0+ / 0-)

    I can say with absolute certainty that I am not within thousands of miles of where my IP address indicates.

    The IP address is not a valid indicator of location OR source, and by source I mean a person siting at a computer or using some kind of device.

    Unfortunately it sounds like the NSA filters based on IP address, so from a technical standpoint what they're claiming is completely bogus.

    They have no reliable means to determine if they're spying on a real American or not. It's smoke and mirrors in every way.

    •  They also have the MAC address (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snoopydawg, Ender

      of the communication device you are using--Ethernet card, router, cell phone, etc.

      That tells them you were using a particular laptop in a Starbucks and you also use it at home.   The ISP can also map your IP address directly to your account with the MAC address of your router.

      A MAC address could also be traced to where you bought the laptop/router.

      Once you input anything through the internet with your real identity on a particular communication device, they have a match to track you.  A reason why library and public computers are so popular.

      That's where face recognition comes in.  Your driver's license photo is very high resolution in their database.  Everyone is photographed coming through immigration. Voter ID laws aside from the added benefit of stopping democrats and minorities from voting, feed the database with photos of the seniors, city dwellers, and others that don't have driver's licenses and don't travel outside the country.   Facial recognition has come a long way.  

      Check out the anti terrorism cameras and AI the DHS has installed in NYC.  They now let the police use it to fight crime.  

      Technology is bringing all the pieces together.  For now it sounds like they are storing everything.  

      Whoever has access to that data, will soon own us. The database should not exist, the temptation to misuse it is too great.  

      •  Your MAC address is available (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        only on the same LAN. A MAC address doesn't leave your router. It is available from your device to the next connection in the process only.

        What this means is that your ISP is mapping to the address of your router ... not your machine. Again, this does not identify a person.

        More importantly, a MAC can be spoofed far easier than an IP address can be spoofed. It's not illegal, and can be done with pretty simple programs available.

        What I'm trying to say is that if IP addresses or even MAC addresses are used as part of locating the origination of data, PRISM itself is extremely faulty.

        It also sets up a bad precedence, because it's trivial to find out someone's MAC address, and if a bad person's done that they're on the same network and therefore have the same IP address. You can connect the dots from there.

        Jesus! So many arm chair aficionados.

        And then you trail off into photographing in public, AI and facial recognition. Holy christ! Seriously, PRISM is not too hard to thwart. Maybe I should diary this.

        •  Good idea (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Ted Hitler

          I am so glad you know how to spoof IP addr or use a VPN. Most of this community--and our country--do not have that knowledge.

          My simplified thoughts on packet collection and analysis is meant to bring awareness of how the system works so folks can understand that every single thing they do with their phones, devices, and computers are able to be collected and tracked. As an engineer you could contribute to this discussion by helping the community understand how to defeat the NSA's top-level tracking and ID capability.

          We don't know exactly what equipment the NSA is using, how they are using it, and what criteria they are (or will be) using to decide what packet streams to follow, store, and analyze. That's the point.

          Back in 2001, when Lawful Intercept was passed by international treaty, the telecom equipment company I worked for implemented that feature into all of it's systems--and we did business in 140 countries. We knew then what that meant: it was just a matter of time and advancing circuit design until the governments of the world had the capability to suck up all traffic. And then it was just a matter of time until a Bad Actor government was willing to use this capability for political purposes.

          Are we there yet?

          •  It's not a great big deal (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            just turn of your router, and turn it back on. More than likely you'll have have a new IP address.

            I wasn't upset at you. I'm pissed off that our government is using this type of tracking whose only basis for continued success is the belief in the ignorance of its populace. Because that is the only way it will continue working the way it does, and that is not a characteristic of a robust program.


            With a lot of VPN's, the traffic can be passed via AES algorithm. It may not mean a lot to most people, but it's basically uncrackable. That means the NSA can suck up all the data they want, and it doesn't matter.

            For reference, top secret information is currently encrypted using AES 256. Secret information is at AES 192. I might be concerned once the US government moves to a different algorithm, because that indicates they've broken AES.

            And to reiterate, I am completely opposed to this program. They essentially are saying they're breaking into everyone's house, copying all their property and putting it into a box. But don't worry, they'll never open the box.

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