NYTimes on Bush's e-mail monitoring proposal...


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Derek Zeanah
December 20, 2002, 03:13 PM
From this link (http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/20/technology/20MONI.html):

Bush Administration to Propose System for Monitoring Internet
By JOHN MARKOFF and JOHN SCHWARTZ


The 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."

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C.R.Sam
December 20, 2002, 11:50 PM
A very convoluted bucket of worms.

I have advocated for over 40 years that one should not say anything they wouldn't want published over any comm network. Undetectable phone taps have been possible ever since the phone went to rotary dial instead of operator assist. No electronic transmission has been totally secure without encryption and even then it is a matter of degree of security.

National security is very very important.
But giving the gvt carte blanc to moniter private communications leaves a lot of room for misuse of power.

Our politicians and other criminals have proven themselves very adept at misuse of power.

Frustrating.

Sam

Oleg Volk
December 21, 2002, 12:05 AM
C.R.Sam has gone verbose on us...and I love it!

TheBluesMan
December 21, 2002, 12:31 AM
Nah...

Somebody must have registered with his username. ;)

Tamara
December 21, 2002, 01:53 AM
Originally posted by Oleg Volk
C.R.Sam has gone verbose on us...and I love it!

...and he's one hep dude, too. :cool:

The more of your stuff I read, Sam, the cooler you get. :D

Hardtarget
December 21, 2002, 02:27 AM
and he is already way ahead with his posts! Is there a "line" on how long before he hits 1000 posts? I'm looking foreward to reading all of them. See 'ya
Mark

C.R.Sam
December 21, 2002, 02:33 AM
Tam...
Not even coolin yet.
Still have pulse.

Many years ago, some had the capability of intercepting targeted phone lines by codeing through the phone server....without the knowledge of either the phone provider or the talking parties. Spooky. Still an open leak, with rotary, tone or cell.

Sam...Not Yosimite, he better lookin.

Oleg Volk
December 21, 2002, 06:07 AM
For those who just have to know:

C.R.Sam = Gandalf White (alias of his younger days). He denies it, of course. :D

C.R.Sam
December 21, 2002, 02:03 PM
Oleg...
I will hunt you down and thump you with my staff.
I will first knit my beard so Betty's bullets will not penetrate.

Sam

Farmed Ship
December 21, 2002, 11:03 PM
_Everything_ with political implications
published in the NYT under the current mad editor
Raines is very likely to mean opposite of the truth.
This article is an example. (I don't recall where I
read the dirt on it.)
So, don't let your panties knotted for a mirage hotty.

FS

labgrade
December 23, 2002, 12:48 AM
"I have advocated for over 40 years that one should not say anything they wouldn't want published over any comm network."

Actually, it's been said to never say anything you wouldn't say directly to a cop.

Has worked & also made for a bit of PC silence.

Just as soon say what's on the mind.

As if. ;)

Zander
December 23, 2002, 01:54 AM
I will first knit my beard so Betty's bullets will not penetrate.

Misteak...knife...Betty's ain't.

[practicing samku, not haiku]

Jim V
December 23, 2002, 02:01 PM
Is this one of the methods in store? Tracking (http://users.chartertn.net/tonytemplin/FBI_eyes) ;)

A serious problem and one that will only get worse as the power freaks get going.

m.i.sanders
December 24, 2002, 02:55 PM
Hmmmm... The more I think about this, the more I wonder how they would plan on pulling it off. It's one thing to "watch" a few people, but it's completely different on watching everyone. The cost of the equipment needed to actually log that much information would be astronomical, plus having to come up with a way to pull out the intresting info from the noise wouldn't be that easy. I more or less do this just for a mid-size company with minimal internet traffic, and the logs are generally in the 70-100 mb daily. This would be almost in the tera-byte range daily if not the more. You'd have to have one heck of an database to hold this and be able to search it.

It could be done, it just wouldn't be easy.

Blackhawk
December 24, 2002, 03:22 PM
The NYT is not a reliable news medium.

Stetson_CO
December 25, 2002, 10:23 AM
"The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace"

They can't even secure our borders, how are they going to secure electrons?


c):{

Harold Mayo
December 25, 2002, 10:47 AM
I guess I should watch what I write in snail mail, too. I suppose that the government, in its wisdom, will give gainful employment to hundreds of thousands of welfare recipients who will open our envelopes and read through our personal documents...those who CAN read, anyway.

I suppose our personal conversations will be monitored, too...

I am glad that Bush is in office and not Gore...I'd really hate for our civil rights to be trampled MORE!

Let's face it, folks...this is yet another example of downward trend of our society. Can you imagine what sort of civil/individual rights violations are going to occur and go unchecked when the Democrats get in office and use what the conservatives have put in place?

We won't have to imagine...it's going to come soon enough.

The terrorist attacks are STILL damaging our society...FAR more than the loss of some real estate and two or three thousand lives would ever warrant.

Peetmoss
December 25, 2002, 07:34 PM
I believe they have been doing this crap for years. They are just keeping it on the DL. Anything that isn't hardwired from point of origin to destination is intercepted by Echlon. And then you have Carnivore. Witch takes care of just about everything else.

MeekandMild
December 25, 2002, 10:19 PM
Actually, it's been said to never say anything you wouldn't say directly to a cop. Which limits our conversations to talk of doughnuts and coffee. Two sugars please and non dairy creamer. :rolleyes:

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