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Researchers: Flaw in Fed Wiretaps Could Allow Circumvention

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posted on Nov, 14 2009 @ 10:20 PM
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People who think they are being wiretapped by the cops could disable the taps by sending a stream of text messages or making numerous VOIP calls to overwhelm the system’s thin bandwidth, researchers in Pennsylvania postulate.

The researchers say they’ve found a vulnerability in U.S. law enforcement wiretaps, if only theoretical, that would allow a surveillance target to thwart the authorities by launching what amounts to a denial-of-service (DoS) attack against the connection between the phone company switches and law enforcement.


This is a fantastic article because it uncorks some of the inner workings of federal wiretaps. We already know 'who' is listening and generally why (organized crime, police investigations, etc.) and now there may be a way to thwart such monitoring. There are two good links from the article outlining:

1. A security analysis of federal wiretaps

2. A guide to DCSNet (Digital Collection System Network)

It is interesting to note that all these articles are from Wired Magazine, whose
current senior editor is Kevin Lee Poulsen. For the uninitiated, Poulsen (aka Dark Dante) is considered a legend in the phone phreak arena. He more or less commandeered Los Angeles area COSMOS (Computerized System for Mainframe Operations) which deals with customer lines, special services, change line equipment, disconnects, etc. Also he had access to federal wiretaps. He had no obvious input to these articles but boy would it make for a great read if he did.

The article does state this is a theoretical condition due to the black box notion. There has been many discussions on ATS about global eavesdropper (Echelon) and to some extent Carnivore, but this is the first I've seen of DCSNet.

src

brill

[edit on 14-11-2009 by brill]




posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 12:53 AM
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I think the second you 'outwitted' them, they would get another warrant (or do they even need warrants anymore..?) to spy on you more intensely. I dont think your ever going to run away from survalence.



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 07:30 AM
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Originally posted by Chastral
I think the second you 'outwitted' them, they would get another warrant (or do they even need warrants anymore..?) to spy on you more intensely. I dont think your ever going to run away from survalence.


I think it would depend on your knowledge and in some cases access. Back in the 80's and 90's several notorious phreaks were able to do just that. They were actually wiretapping the wiretappers. Think about that for a minute. You would always be one step ahead that's for certain. With the progression on digital communications one would conceivably think it might even be easier today. The fact is, the research from the article is difficult to prove based on what it proposed due to, access limitations.

brill



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