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TA-ANALYSIS: NSA Granted Patent: Can Now Locate Anyone on Internet

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posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 05:46 AM
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The National Security Agency was granted a patent on September 20, 2005 for new technology that allows them to identify the physical location of any web surfer. My checks at the patent office indeed confirmed US Patent 6,947,978. The NSA's stated uses for the technology included "effectiveness of advertising across geographic regions."
 



patft.uspto.gov
Method for geolocating logical network addresses

Abstract
Method for geolocating logical network addresses on electronically switched dynamic communications networks, such as the Internet, using the time latency of communications to and from the logical network address to determine its location. Minimum round-trip communications latency is measured between numerous stations on the network and known network addressed equipment to form a network latency topology map. Minimum round-trip communications latency is also measured between the stations and the logical network address to be geolocated. The resulting set of minimum round-trip communications latencies is then correlated with the network latency topology map to determine the location of the network address to be geolocated.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


The NSA is one of the most secretive US agencies, and while they might use such an advancement to study the "effectiveness of advertising across geographic regions," or "flagging a password that could be noted or disabled if not used from or near the appropriate location," one has to wonder what is really up their sleeves.

A little thought into this yields a whole new barrage of possible uses. But what little protection anonymous proxy servers and confidentiality agreements with ISP's and the like offered the average internet user will now dissapear into thin air. The bottom line is if they want to, they can find out exactly where you are. No search warrant requests, no inquiries to ISP's, no nothing. Big Brother has finally broken through the last tier of privacy.

Related News Links:
www.worldnetdaily.com
www.sustainablegis.com
www.theregister.co.uk

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posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 06:52 AM
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But what little protection anonymous proxy servers and confidentiality agreements with ISP's and the like offered the average internet user will now dissapear into thin air


I doubt that


By the sounds of the tech they're using they need access to the switches and what not between you and them.



Minimum round-trip communications latency is measured between numerous stations on the network and known network addressed equipment to form a network latency topology map


This *might* work for American parts of the net, by I doubt if my proxy was bouncing me via Russia ad China they'd be able to track it.

And even if they could, they'd resolve it to my proxy. Which would be no good for them. They *might* be able to guess at were I was located but they wouldn't know.

Personally it sounds to me like they are much more likely to use this tech as another check to make sure some one logging on to thier system is in the right location and it's not some one trying to gain unauthorised access



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 06:55 AM
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Okay, I'm taking bets on how long it will take for some genius to create a randomizer that randomly alters the latency between two points...thereby thwarting Big Brother.

Place your bets!



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 06:58 AM
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yup, I was thinking same, Val, and I'll bet "they" are already on it.

[edit on 26-9-2005 by TrueAmerican]



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 07:54 AM
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Okay, I'm taking bets on how long it will take for some genius to create a randomizer that randomly alters the latency between two points...thereby thwarting Big Brother.

Place your bets!
[/quote

There has to be more to this then just latency between two points.

Latency is not constant, it depends on the route the packets take and they do not always take the same route each and every time.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 08:00 AM
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I think anyone who is interested should research the patent itself, including all attached documents, as they provide more info. From what I understood, this included communication to individual computers, not to just the proxies. And that's what set off my alarm.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 10:30 AM
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Earlier this morning I did not have time to read what the patent stated, but once I got back from dropping my wife's car off I checked it out.

What they use is (and I am trying to use layman's terms) is the average minimum ping time to determine the exact location after several pings once that is determined they then have the location.

I see at least one major flaw in this method.

Suppose the computer is hooked up to a wireless network? Ops no joy there because the computer they are looking for could be located within several miles if they have an antenna on the roof and even then the computer could be mobile based not land locked.

I have not done it myself, but I have heard of neighborhoods that set up wire less networks, one subscribes to cable, sets up a router and presto the whole neighborhood can hook up and use the one modem. That alone proves there are ways around the system already at our finger tips



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 11:18 AM
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lol shots, good point, but what happens when they can also sense the times from the wireless router to the individual machine? If you take into account the likely advancements that will emerge from the granting of the patent, seems we are pretty well screwed.

I think the key to this technology is going to be centered on the accuracy of topography map, and how well they are going to be able to keep it accurately updated. Think of it, they could impose fines, threaten disconnection or criminal charges to any ISP or subcarrier who knowingly provides them with innacurate data. As to out of the country ISP's and proxies, it would seem to me that negotiations between governments will be forthcoming once this technology and system proliferates. Individual governments IMO will likely subscribe to the system eventually, even though I'm certain they will face some hefty challenges such as the need for government and military location secrecy.

I wonder if the ACLU will get involved in this?

[edit on 26-9-2005 by TrueAmerican]



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 12:28 PM
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You mean they invented Whois?

Wow, and here I thought I'd been using it for years...

(yes, I am just kidding, I realize this is different)

[edit on 9/26/05 by xmotex]



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 01:39 PM
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Xmotex that was exactly what I was thinking. I mean I could use Geolocation right now to find out what city someone is in. That's no big deal whatsoever, honestly I figured they already had a way to geolocate to an address/port.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 02:36 PM
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Well guys, they don't call it Windows for nothing you know.



posted on Sep, 26 2005 @ 10:34 PM
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Originally posted by Burgess
This *might* work for American parts of the net, by I doubt if my proxy was bouncing me via Russia ad China they'd be able to track it.

I wonder if they could see you connecting to the proxy before you are anonymised? Let's say they're monitoring network traffic at different key points, once they know where you come from, I guess your bunny hopping from Russia to China wouldn't make much difference to them.


Originally posted by shots
Suppose the computer is hooked up to a wireless network?

Couldn't they triangulate your wireless position? The FCC done this for years. For that matter, seems to me like that patent was inspired on radio triangulation but sort of ported into the TCP/IP land.


[edit on 26-9-2005 by ufia]



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 12:38 PM
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I would look to see if there were any other patents recently issued to the NSA regarding the same subject. If they have something like this patented, then there's got to be something else out there that will coincide with this.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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So some hoodlum steals a cell phone, uses the bluetooth adapter to login his laptop over the cellphone to a stolen id on aol and then drives down the highway. I would love to see the NSA figure out where they are.

Or they pull up next to a house where some idiot doesn't have his wireless secure and he connects and does the deed there.

Albert Einstein once told Leon Breitling: God and the Universe are infinite and perfect and no man, given infinite time, will ever make anything perfect.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 01:43 PM
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It wouldn't take much time to create an accurate topological map of the internet, especially if you could send out test messages, or have zombie systems send them out. Even if someone builds a latency randomizer the underlying speed of the electronic switches involved would cause those latencies to stick out like a sore thumb. Besides, there are only 6-8 network hubs in the whole U.S. As far as wireless devices go, has anyone seen the recent mapping work at MIT wherein they created an accurate physical map of a city simply by using the housekeeping signals from such devices?

Imagine a traffic monitoring system built around that kind of technology. A central computer(s) could know where traffic was backing up just by monitoring cell phones. They could track the speed of the traffic quite easily simply by seeing how far each signal moved during set check times.

[edit on 29-9-2005 by Astronomer68]



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by GrndLkNatv
So some hoodlum steals a cell phone, uses the bluetooth adapter to login his laptop over the cellphone to a stolen id on aol and then drives down the highway. I would love to see the NSA figure out where they are.

Or they pull up next to a house where some idiot doesn't have his wireless secure and he connects and does the deed there.

Albert Einstein once told Leon Breitling: God and the Universe are infinite and perfect and no man, given infinite time, will ever make anything perfect.



Careful what you wish for, you might get it. It is a lot easier to track cell phones than you might imagine.



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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Think about it guys the technology to locate someone exists and has for a while now. It comes from the military labs and then friggin specialists tamper with it more. They can pinpoint and read you damn headlines of the newspaper if they want to locate you. It's not the patent that's the problem it's the reason it's been approved, WHY?



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 03:24 PM
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Take a minute to look up a little known Company in Israel called Amdocs, or if you are an internet buff, check out what Odigo, another Israeli owned company does.


Source
It turns out that Israel has had a potential wiretap on every phone in America for years, along with the ability to monitor and record who any person is calling, anywhere in America; information of great value even if one does not listen to the calls themselves. Amdocs, Inc. the company which sub contracts billing and directory services for phone companies around the world, including 90 percent of American phone companies, is owned by Israeli interests. Yet another company, Comverse Infosys, is suspected of having built a "back door" into the equipment permanently installed into the phone system that allows instant eavesdropping by law enforcement agencies on any phone in America. This includes yours.


Those two companies alone have well over 90% of American Telecommunications and Internet Instant Messaging services, and these are supposedly private interests, so imagine the technology our bloated Big Brother has at his disposal.
It's that easy, digital technology and centralized systems makes it pretty easy to track you, and indeed they do.
The one weakness IMO is their use of keywords, but it is merely a minor setback as the technology at the time limited their monitoring capabilities to using keywords or phrases which could be flagged.
So I guess it's still safe to say something like Anbolognaarchy rather than Anarchy



posted on Sep, 29 2005 @ 04:21 PM
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In a little further review of this, and looking deeper into the patents referenced from this new patent, I was led to this company's website, Quova. On THIS page, it would appear that Quova obtained their previous patent indeed with the intent of providing geolocation information to corporations and web developers, for advertising and local law complicity.

So what appears to have happened is that the NSA used the technology from the three previous patents referenced, and combined them to form a new system, in essense. And as some have posted here, the question as to WHY they did this does raise some questions.

And hey, guess what, this is a conspiracy site. So conspire on I will!

And so we're right back to Big Brother. Why bother with search warrants, ISP's or court battles? With the passing of the Patriot Act, they needed new ways to be able to locate suspected terrorists quickly and act without all the red tape. And protected by some of the provisions in the Patriot Act, they can now act quickly and with complete impunity to invade and seize any home, it's occupants and whatever they want. This is now another powerful tool in their arsenal to locate people quickly.

And I might point out that they will likely soon be able to pinpoint a specific house or apartment, if they can't do it already. All they have to do is require ISP's to provide node distribution box locations, and from there calulating distances to the houses is easy. A topography map will likely be superimposed over a geographic map, and therefore the possibilities are narrowed down considerably, and possibly very accurately to a specific house.

Think of it. Look at your street. You are at a slightly different latency to the nearest box than the house or apartment next door to you. It is unlikely, although possible that two houses are going to have the exact same latency to the box. And in that case, they just go to both houses, break in their doors, and search away. The whole time claiming immunity because of your friend, the Patriot Act.

I don't like this.



posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 04:40 PM
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There is already one organasatiton that is mapping the internet. Pop over to www.netdimes.com and have a look.




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