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Chat Room Surveillance - Coming to you!

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posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 08:04 AM
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The Governement is funding a year long study on chat room surveillance. The possibilty that terrorists are hiding in plain view, in public chat rooms, exchanging information with one another has sparked this study. Monitoring the chatrooms with an individual would be impossible so they will use mathematical models to search for patterns in the chatter. Becuse the chat rooms they are focusing on are public authorities are not violating rites to privacy.




A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer science professor hopes to develop mathematical models that can uncover structure within the scattershot traffic of online public forums.

Trying to monitor the sea of traffic on all the chat channels would be like assigning a police officer to listen in on every conversation on the sidewalk virtually impossible.

Instead of rummaging through megabytes of messages, RPI professor Bulent Yener will use mathematical models in search of patterns in the chatter. Downloading data from selected chat rooms, Yener will track the times that messages were sent, creating a statistical profile of the traffic.

If, for instance, RatBoi and bowler1 consistently send messages within seconds of each other in a crowded chat room, you could infer that they were speaking to one another amid the "noise" of the chat room.

"For us, the challenge is to be able to determine, without reading the messages, who is talking to whom," Yener said.

In search of "hidden communities," Yener also wants to check messages for certain keywords that could reveal something about what's being discussed in groups.
Security officials know al-Qaida and other terrorist groups use the Internet for everything from propaganda to offering tips on kidnapping. But it's not clear if terrorists rely much on chat rooms for planning and coordination.

Michael Vatis, founding director of the National Infrastructure Protection Center and now a consultant, said he had heard of terrorists using chat rooms, which he said offer some security as long as code phrases are used. Other cybersecurity experts doubted chat rooms' usefulness to terrorists given the other current options, from Web mail to hiding messages on designated Web pages that can only be seen by those who know where to look.


full story:

news.yahoo.com.../ap/20041012/ap_on_hi_te/chat_room_surveillance_3&printer=1

I dont know what to think of this. I have been in chat rooms where there have been people very vocal about agreeing with the terrorists. I have to wonder if these people would be put on a list or monitored based on what they say in chat, though they are obviously not terrorists and are just expressing their opinions.

Jemison



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 08:07 AM
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They are going to try and restrict and monitor the internet sooner or later, it is the last free place to exchange information freely. I wonder how long it will last the way things are going.



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 08:16 AM
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I wonder if chat room surveillance is the first step in restricting the Internet? I'm not sure how they could do that, and not sure that they would but it's interesting to think about.

Jemison



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 08:31 AM
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It in all likelyhood is an offshoot of the Echelon program they use with email. Keywords etc. may even be able to realtime IP addresses. Given the proliferation of chat rooms and IM services, Im not sure they have the computer power yet, but we all know that the NSA gets the best toys.

That being said, its not collecting the data that is the problem, its making sence of it.

FredT



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 08:52 AM
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It in all likelyhood is an offshoot of the Echelon program they use with email


Is this currently in use? I thought that e-mail was ignored unless they were tracking a particular person.

Jemison



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 09:02 AM
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here we go again with the controlled internet theory. It's not going to happen. If the traditional internet becomes controlled, then custom communication protocols will be created by programmers/hackers, or some of the old internet technologies will come back into play. If hardwired communications lines are somehow restricted and monitored, then wireless will come into play, and you will see highly encrypted wireless networks using probably customized communications protocols for the hardcore hackers/phreakers/conspiracy theorists etc etc to talk to each other, exchange information, programs etc etc..



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 09:29 AM
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As far back as 8-10 years ago AOL was using bots to log some private chat rooms in which people were conducting illegal activities. When you have resources like AOL does I'm sure it's not a big deal but they were only dealing with AOL private rooms. I can't imagine the computing power necessary to start pulling all text from all chat rooms and channels everywhere. And when you do, the power necessary to look through all that and find something relevant? Damn, the only way that's gonna happen is if the agency responsible forces their employees to run something like seti@home from their houses too, completing tasks of scanning chats from their home PCs as well as work.



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 11:22 AM
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I can't imagine the computing power necessary to start pulling all text from all chat rooms and channels everywhere. And when you do, the power necessary to look through all that and find something relevant?


Not to mention all of the different languages that these chat rooms are in! Even with computorized monitoring systems, I really don't see how it would be possible to be thorough in the surviellance.

Anyone know approximately how many chat rooms there are out there? I would think it would be WAY too many to monitor! How would they even know where to start?

Jemison



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by Djarums
As far back as 8-10 years ago AOL was using bots to log some private chat rooms in which people were conducting illegal activities. When you have resources like AOL does I'm sure it's not a big deal but they were only dealing with AOL private rooms. I can't imagine the computing power necessary to start pulling all text from all chat rooms and channels everywhere. And when you do, the power necessary to look through all that and find something relevant? Damn, the only way that's gonna happen is if the agency responsible forces their employees to run something like seti@home from their houses too, completing tasks of scanning chats from their home PCs as well as work.


Actually AOL tracks all of thier chat rooms, you can get a log of any chat room on thier servers, I cant remember how to do it but I used to it it a while ago when I used AOL.. Altho I dont go on AOL much I am sure it hasnt changed much

I dont see why you people keep saying they cant do this, there is clear evidence that they can. However IRC would be a good place to work on, considering you know whos computer you are using.



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 12:19 PM
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Actually AOL tracks all of thier chat rooms, you can get a log of any chat room on thier servers


They do have a utility that can do that. When I used AOL more frequently that feature was used for the Beta testers' chat room and the Community Leaders chat room. Although there was no presence in the room that was doing the logging, a record of everything was typed and subject to review (mainly to prevent abuses).

Other techniques were employed as well to combat software piracy in the mid to late 90s. An automated "Chat User" called CATWatch01 was used to enter the "warez" rooms, log all users in it, and boot them offline.

Things did get more sophisticated before my departure there, but I don't remember being able to find the logs for any random room. The only ones I saw were when a staff member was hosting a room and posted their log for supervisory review.

I have to assume that if you are connected to Company ABC's computer, they can (if they wish) keep track of everything you do while connected, be it a chat room, private message or whatever. But the questions of "Why bother" and "Who's gonna read through all this" always come to mind.



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 01:06 PM
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I know that an AOL member can click a button and log what is said in the chatroom while they are chatting but are you saying that AOL logs ALL chatroom activities? How long do they keep these logs? Do they have logs of conversations I had 10 years ago in a certain room? I would love to get my hands on that if they did!


Jemison



posted on Oct, 12 2004 @ 01:14 PM
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I have been in chat rooms where there have been people very vocal about agreeing with the terrorists. I have to wonder if these people would be put on a list or monitored based on what they say in chat, though they are obviously not terrorists and are just expressing their opinions.


If not terrorists, then the monitoring will turn up nothing, and that's that. Personally, agreeing with the principle of DELIBERATELY targeting and murdering innocents to achieve a political agenda, is enough reason for me to keep an eye on someone....


Is this currently in use?


I'd bet on it...though it's got to be a paperwork nightmare....

If I understand the current idea, it will be a combination of keyword search corrolated with IP addresses (mostly looking at terrorist sponsor nations, public libraries, internet cafes, etc. - favorite points of terrorists in cyberspace) that would look at those services keeping logs, as well as real-time scanning for the keywords (and likely arabic key words, symbols, etc.)



posted on Oct, 14 2004 @ 07:53 PM
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You guys are kidding me right? Do you know who owns ICANN? LOL this has got to be the silliest thread I have ever seen! Surveillance? HAHAHA! You are already being monitored! HAHAHA! No seriously YES YOU ARE HAHAHAHA!

Anyway military groups have been working on forums for years just as browsers and conversation. Nothing new. You think NSA doesn't monitor the net? C'mon don''t be so dumb lol. Get yourself a read on NSA. With the patriot act all large email companies must operate under a patriot friendly mail system where emails are monitored by keywords which of course flag emails they are looking for. Forums are spidered monkeys :/



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 04:10 PM
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I knew chat rooms were being monitored, but now there confirmation that the CIA will doing some of the monitoring.

more on the initial story in this thread:
Secu rity officials to spy on chat rooms

my problem with this chat room monitoring, if "keywords" are going to be the trigger, is that it doesn't account for "foreign languages"
Will the monitors be able to catch stuff spoken in different languages???
I don't think Al-Qaeda will be discussing their plans in English while in chat rooms. So is this new monitoring really for terrorism or for something more sinister??

btw from the article, looks like the CIA may not be participating in the future or is this just what they want us to believe.




[edit on 11-29-2004 by worldwatcher]



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 05:25 PM
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Originally posted by worldwatcher
my problem with this chat room monitoring, if "keywords" are going to be the trigger, is that it doesn't account for "foreign languages"
Will the monitors be able to catch stuff spoken in different languages???
I don't think Al-Qaeda will be discussing their plans in English while in chat rooms. So is this new monitoring really for terrorism or for something more sinister?


Contrary to what some of ATS users think CIA people aren't that dumb.

World I am guessing since the 9-11 attacks, CIA has those languages in their search/keyword feature.

Afterall what good is it, if they only look for English?

Surf



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 06:20 PM
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One thought! "1984"


Be careful what you say in chat or you might find some men in a black unmarked van, coming to take you away for "RE-Neducation" !!



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 12:37 PM
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Quote Jemison: "Becuse the chat rooms they are focusing on are public authorities are not violating rites to privacy."

Do you think these people respect privacy? although its written in the laws?

I dont.

greetings!




posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 02:18 PM
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i can understand it to protect children from the paedophiles
but when the goverment spys on you thats a different matter right?

the government spys on me?

of course they do its all a method of control and will not be controled i know i might be in danger of looking senile but just wait

things will happen in america that will change the world people will be enslaved
i bet any americans who are reading this hav'nt even read the constitution (just to let you know i live in the uk)

we sort of are already enslaved if you wanted to go off and live in the woods living a simple life you could'nt you would still have taxes to pay.

And thus finilizing my point we are running out of rights this is the next step world wide access to you privacy

anyone with me or am i just being paranoid



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 02:37 PM
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dont think so that you paranoid ..the goverment(s) do what they want, with or without permission.
Most people confound "paranoid" with "attentive"


Its a healthy paranoia, lol



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 02:46 PM
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A few years back the aol conspiracy room chat listed the name you posted under and as I recall a least one of the users has had their chat room name mentioned on the history channel and I remember that very one. So does that lend at least some truth to the matter? Also the military contractors web sites were posted in there and that was before Black Water was answering in the 2,4,7 national news reports. Thank You ICE350203.



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