Exactly what is Big Brother watching?


The current version of the program is widely seen as providing meager protection against attack, but a new version being built will be more robust–largely because it’s rooted in NSA technology. The program is designed to look for indicators of cyber attacks by digging into all Internet communications, including the contents of emails, according to the declassified summary.

Designed to do something and actually doing something are two entirely different things. NSA boogyman aside, the government’s track record in doing ANYTHING computer related is abysmal. I predict this system, if it ever even goes operational, will be overwhelmed with false positives that will make it completely ineffective.

That said, it’s still a privacy nightmare.

Homeland Security will then strip out identifying information and pass along data on new threats to NSA. It will also use threat information from NSA to better identify emerging cyber attacks.

Yeah, sure. Anyone else believe that? Me neither.

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2 Responses to Exactly what is Big Brother watching?

  1. Borepatch says:

    Hmmm … Carnivore uses a process from Darwin to evolve into Einstein.

    My experience is that you get more interesting technology out of In-Q-Tel than NSA, because the former is focused on commercialization and the latter isn’t. It’s not for nothing that NSA is said to stand for “Never Say Anything”.

  2. Rabbit says:

    10 years ago, when I worked for the ISP/VoIP shop, we had a Carnivore box on the premises (yeah, it was a big outfit). It was locked in a cage and we didn’t have physical access to it. It was a point of contention among the admins.

    Some of the folks in my current office were asked to install pgp hard disk encryption and another encryption app (developed in-house) a week ago. I figure somebody up the food chain knows something, and I presume that someone thinks an extra layer isn’t a bad thing.


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