[LINK] Article on push for more surveillance/escrow
Sun, 30 Sep 2001 08:05:21 +1000
This in the Age today. Story started out about satellite phones for bin
Laden, but ended with this:
FBI investigators had been able to locate hundreds of e-mail
communications, sent 30 to 45 days before the attack.
in both English and Arabic, were sent within the US and
internationally. They had been sent from personal
computers or from
public sites such as libraries. According to the FBI,
did not use encryption; once found, the e-mails could
be openly read.
Dr Brian Gladman, formerly responsible for electronic
security at the
Ministry of Defence and NATO, believes that the reason
didn't use encrypted e-mail is that it would have
"stood out like a sore
thumb" to NSA's surveillance network. There is also
evidence that the
terrorists used simple open codes to conceal who and
what they were
talking about. This low-tech method works. Unless given
the vast Echelon network run by NSA and GCHQ cannot
such messages from innocuous traffic.
NSA's problem, says Gladman, is that "the volume of
is killing them. They just can't keep up. It's not
The NSA has been trying to keep up with the Internet by
huge online storage-systems to sift e-mail. Dr Gladman
experts believe that, unless primed by intelligence
agents, these massive spy libraries are doomed to fail.
with NSA's purely technological approach is that it
cannot know what
it is looking for. While computers can search for
patterns, the problem
of correlating different pieces of information rises
exponentially as ever
more communications are intercepted.
The new legal plans may therefore do more harm than good.
According to Cambridge computer security specialist Dr
bringing back escrow "will damage our security in other
divert an enormous amount of effort that would far
better be spent
elsewhere. It won't inconvenience competent terrorists
in the least".
Phil Zimmermann, inventor of the PGP encryption system,
penalty of politicians misunderstanding technology will
be more costly.
"If we install blanket surveillance systems, it will
mean the terrorists
have won. The terrorists will have cost us our
freedom," he says.
Re the satellite phone part of the story. Couldn't the guy just change to
a new phone and stop using the old one since it was not longer secret? duh....
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
firstname.lastname@example.org -- http://www.primenet.com/~jwhit/whitentr.htm