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Old 08-01-2008, 04:17 AM #1
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Default New homeland security measures

Just wanted to let you know that the New Homeland Security Bill has passed. Things will be different now and internet surfing as you know it will be tracked by what the FBI calls a 'non-intrusive method.' The FBI says you will hardly notice anything different. For a demonstration, click on the link below:

http://users.chartertn.net/tonytemplin/FBI_eyes/


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Old 08-01-2008, 04:29 AM #2
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Default Re: New homeland security measures

you got me Ken ;D
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:44 AM #3
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Default Re: New homeland security measures

It's funny you should mention the ability of the FBI, NSA, CIA, and Homeland Security to monitor Internet traffic. Let me tell you all a story from a few years back. Before I got into the laser business I was a communications engineer. I used to build telephone switching centers and data centers. My background in this particular arena was quite extensive. I held twelve industry certifications in networking and communications systems with a background in military communications systems. I was at one time recruited by the State Department to join a team of communications specialists who traveled around the world installing communications systems in US Embassies. But I digress. Anyway, the dotcom era was in full swing and I was recruited by a company to interview for a sales engineering position providing technical demonstration of a software package developed by a bunch of programmers and linguists.

So I head to the interview which turned out to be a whole day of activities. At one point they gave an unclassified demonstration of this software. I was blown away by it. One of the most difficult parts of intelligence is uncovering information that can be useful for forecasting potential enemy activity because of the sheer volume of information that must be analyzed before anything relevant is uncovered. Well this software simply did away with this limitation. It could read any text and determine the context of the communication based on its use within the communication. It didn't just flag a communication because it mentioned "bomb" for example. It understood, based on the entire communication, whether the use of the word "bomb" was actually a threat or used passively. It could take seemingly unrelated text and build a picture of what communications were really talking about.

What this meant is that this software could be installed on servers at major NAPs (Network Access Points) around the country and world, for that matter, and analyze communications across the Internet. Now with someone scanning newspapers from around the world into the system as wells as transcripts from audio, the software could build up an analysis of real threats versus benign chatter. It would then flag that information for human analysis. The software was absolutely amazing and the target clients were all the intelligence agencies. I never wanted a job more than this one but unfortunately I didn't have enough software background.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:03 PM #4
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Default Re: New homeland security measures

Pointless. Even if the detection software is super-advanced and even if it is truly possible to effectively monitor all that data: anyone with a little IT knowledge can use a form of encryption so strong it cannot be beaten even by the NSA/FBI/CIA/insert government abbreviation here in an acceptable timescale. And being anonymous on the internet was never easier since WIFI (read: unprotected access points) is around.

In the Netherlands all ISPs are now obliged by the government to keep and secure all traffic data for one year. Again pointless. It costs a shitload of money and offers nothing more than a false sense of security.
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Old 08-01-2008, 02:44 PM #5
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Default Re: New homeland security measures

You're missing the point of the software. It's not designed to monitor any specific threat. What it is designed to do is determine if there is some credible threat in a given sphere of influence by piecing together seemingly unrelated bits of information that traverse major communications links and publications. Yes, a particular individual or organization may encrypt their direct communications but Johnny bombmaker or other persons of interest may, for example, send an email to his friend that he will be out of town on certain dates for something or another. It's these bits of information the software evaluates. It may not prevent an event from occurring but it sure would make it easy to put together a trail. The software builds a big picture of events and tries to identify the players using statements that most would consider mundane. In the intelligence world that capability is huge. By understanding the meaning of statements with all the subtleties, innuendo, evasiveness and double entendre inherent in the use of language, the software can decide if something is worth human analysis. All this software does is read text day in and day out but the algorithms used to understand the subtleties of human communication is absolutely amazing.

I can see less Orwellian uses for software that understands human communication but the software that was demonstrated to me was strictly intelligence oriented. I'm not easily impressed. In my 15 years in communications and 10 years in the military, I've seen some really neat things but none of it ever impressed me like this software.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:25 PM #6
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Default Re: New homeland security measures

I'm sure the algorithm is absolutely amazing and state-of-the-art. But, I for one do not believe that "Johnny the bomb maker" will send unencrypted and traceable communications via the internet to his friend, even if it contains 'casual' information such as his whereabouts. The algorithm cannot assess a threat from data it cannot analyze. If they, like you said yourself, cannot prevent events from occurring I fail to see the advantages of such systems. Except being an (expensive en privacy intrusive) aid in tracing perpetrators.

But since I do not have your experience in the sectors you specify, maybe I'm indeed missing the point.
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Old 08-01-2008, 06:55 PM #7
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Default Re: New homeland security measures

this is a little bit off topic but possibly related.

I'm curious if it is OK to mail lasers to the UAE? I don't see a reason why it wouldn't be OK, but I also don't want to get in trouble with the law...

I did do some research about this but only found general embargo restrictions. this means we ARE NOT allowed to mail anything to these countries yes?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_embargoes

thanks for your knowledge Frothy, you seem to be an expert of many fields.
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:34 AM #8
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Default Re: New homeland security measures

Thanks, but I've been on this planet a long time now so I have had a chance to do many things. I am looking forward to getting back to my home planet soon though.

The best way to check on shipping status is to go to UPS (if you have an account and set up a shipment with the harmonized tariff code and the UAE shipping address. Their software will flag it if they cannot ship there due to the contents.
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Old 08-03-2008, 05:41 AM #9
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