posted on May, 31 2013 @ 05:28 PM
Originally posted by winofiend
A rather vague wordpress blog article which details something that happened over 10 years ago.
I'd be more interested in knowing how they intercept email or other private data? At which point are they interfering and intercepting?
and more importantly was it in collaboration with an internet service provider. Which I can guess the answer to already.
However, as it reads here, and from a cursory glance of the article, then NZ was snooped on by a secret agenda to wiretap their private data and they
never even knew... so job done, I guess.
Consider the Internet to be like a road network with devices like servers (shopping malls, office blocks and airports), bridges (connecting two local
networks together), gateways (between a local network and a national network), routers (road intersections), and hosts (your PC or other PC's and
Cable networks (DSL, ADSL, fibre-optic) have the concept of a "head-end" simply because their network looks like an octopus. At the head-end are the
e-mail servers that allow local sending and receiving of e-mail as well as the gateway that connects them to the rest of the internet. This is the
best place to copy network traffic.
Sometimes different ISP's put all their hardware in the same location (a co-location center) in order to boost performance and eliminate the costs of
long-distance carriers. That's an even better place to intercept traffic.
When internet traffic is sent from a PC (like a large file being sent through E-mail), the file is chopped up into small pieces, each numbered and
checksummed. These are called packets and are sent to the IP address of the destination. The surveillance hardware gathers up all these packets,
reassembles them, and reconstructs the original file. Depending on its type (ASCII text, PDF file, spreadsheets), it can be analyzed for keywords.
Images can be identified through image processing (colour histograms, silhouettes, file matching). Even encrypted files can be decrypted through brute
force cracking of passwords (sometimes the passwords are hashed and saved at the end of the file to make things easier). Speech analysis can also be
performed, they use voice recognition to detect keywords.
The source and destination addresses can be saved to construct a graph network of who-talks-to-who. Imagine you had a number of parents who pick up
their kids from school. Alice talks to Brenda, Brenda sees Charlene at church, Charlene talks to Debra at the supermarket and Elizabeth at the
chemists. Debra has a pen-friend called Freda, and Gina who is presently abroad also speaks to Alice.
The hardware to do this usually consists of a super-computer with gigabytes of memory and thousands of custom processors to do the signal processing.