Thursday, June 6, 2013

Telephone Call Tracking

The Guardian had published the Court Order demanding handing over of call records. On the one hand this is chilling and on the other hand it seems a bit dumb. Back in the 90s when I started one of the first IP networks globally I had discussions regarding the use of IP by those whose intentions were not necessarily pure. This was well before 9/11. IP is an ideal structure to hide in plain sight. Just send your packets one at a time over different paths and have them encrypted as well. This is a version of network coding.

Now what real "bad guy" will make a dial up call on the old MCI long distance or business network? Most likely not even an evil investment banker, although many have but then the Federal Attorney gets a wire tap. There most likely are hundreds of wire taps in New York City alone every day.

Thus on the one hand this is a bit of an over-reach but on the other hand it is collecting data on stupid terrorists and the like. Even back in the 40s there were ways to have a secure call. In the 70s there were also ways. So why collect this data, the real bad guys are off the radar. So really, again, why collect this data, national security? Remember real bad guys all too often hide!

Perhaps the old adage is true, nothing is what it necessarily looks like.  Perhaps this is just a diversion for something else. If so what else?

But seriously, any "spy" worth their salt would assume that public networks are compromised. Thus using secure networks is the way to go, and one can secure the IP networks if one is smart enough. Like any such approach, never use the same transmit multiple times. Trust no one etc. Why look at the public nets this way, unless you just have a lot of dumb "spys".

But back to "nothing necessarily appears to be what it really is". Follow the motivation. Fact, current president is meeting with the head of China. China is being accused of snooping on the US. So what is a great diversion? Get the US to see that its Government is snooping on them, put the current president on the offensive. So where did the Guardian reporter report from, Hong Kong. Who gave him the document, if the Chinese can access the US Government secure servers then they easily could have gotten a copy of the warrant and then  given it through some chain to the Guardian reporter. Follow the motivation. Just another thought.

Just wondering. This is a clear case where keen insight into the obvious is not helping.