New NSA data center -- what have we wrought?

Discussion in 'Civil Rights & Privacy' started by Mike, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Probably intercepting & storing every word, written or spoken, that you send over a data line...

    Wired / ThreatLevel: The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

  2. nachtnebel

    nachtnebel Original Member

    Is it located somewheres in vicinity of Fort Dodge, Des Moine Iowa, Rock Island Illinois, Austin Minnesota, Woodman, Wisconsin?
  3. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    Further, it will be watching all the appliances in your household:

  4. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    The article was a bit sensationalist. The chips have to be manufactured with other chips to provide communications and collect useful data. What's neat about ARM's designs is that they can be included in larger (but still fairly compact) composite chips.

    The vulnerability I see would be something that combines wireless with internet access. The latter might simply be a 120/240V power connection -- electric utilities are experimenting with overlaying internet communications on their power lines. That would give them the potential to collect and relay local wireless packets.

    The other current limitation is reprogramming such a device to hijack it for NSA purposes. Current technology relies on flash memory which is tricky to work with in a low-power low-cost environment. However, static memories are a fast-changing technology.
  5. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    BPL is DOA. Way to much RF crap and the technology has been superseded anyway.
  6. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    The Wired article is excellent. It's long, but it's fascinating. And important. The magazine should win an award for it.
  7. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Not true. The major vendor threw in the towel early this year, but that is an opportunity for rebirth & innovation without having to drag along all the old baggage:

  8. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    And when this system interferes with emergency responders' communications it will die just as dead.

    The biggest issue with BPL is that you're putting a radio signal into an unshielded wire that is miles long. In the radio world we call that an "antenna". In the police world it's called a "felony".
  9. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    I included the Wired article in a daily newsletter I edit on the weekends. Here's what I wrote as my intro:
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    And in the real world, neither you nor the police will have anything to say about its development. In the U.S. regulation of airwaves is the exclusive domain of the FCC.

    HomePlug is selling millions of units annually, even available from Amazon. :)
  11. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    OK, we're talking about two different things, here.

    HomePlug is merely a way to have a home ethernet without running CAT5 cable. It's not an ISP. Pretty much not a problem because the signal stops at the first transformer it hits.

    BPL (Broadband over Power Lines) was a method by which power companies were trying to sell internet by delivering it with the juice over the same lines. In the areas it was installed it caused all sorts of problems to other radio services, including Police/Fire/EMS. It's pretty much gone the way of the Dodo Bird for the reasons I mentioned earlier.
  12. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Here's a follow-up on that Wired article -- Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson questioning the head of the NSA General Keith Alexander. Short video; 5 mins. The commenters point out that while his answers may be technically correct, everything he says is easily gotten around by having the spying outsourced. Alexander keeps saying "not on U.S. soil." Well, surveillance equipment can be "not on U.S. soil" yet still spy on U.S. citizens.

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