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Microsoft Helped The NSA Bypass Its Own Encryption Software, Spy On Its Clients

Tyler Durden's picture


A few days ago, when we reported that NSA code had been inserted in Google's Android open-sourced OS (much to the fury of open-source code advocates everywhere), we noted that it has been public information that over a decade ago, Microsoft had inadvertently left clear signs that it was providing backdoor access to its legacy Microsoft operating systems. It turns out that this was merely the beginning. According to another just released report by the Guardian citing Snowden files, "Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian."

From the Guardian:

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

The documents show that:

  • Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal;
  • The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail;
  • The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide;
  • Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in that allows users to create email aliases;
  • Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio;
  • Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".

None of this is any surprise: that America's electronic communication sector is in bed with Uncle Bush and Uncle Obama was made abundantly clear in ""You Should Use Both" - How America's Internet Companies Are Handing Over Your Data To Uncle Sam." Still, prima facie proof that corporations systematically betray the privacy of their clients in order to curry favor with the government should be troubling if only to those who are not in the same state of completely symbiotic relationship with the government and whose sustinence depends on preserving Big Government at all costs, which as we will shows in a post shortly is just over 110 million Americans.

More from the Guardian explaining how anyone using MSFT products should be aware that the NSA logs every single keystroke:

The latest documents come from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division, described by Snowden as the "crown jewel" of the agency. It is responsible for all programs aimed at US communications systems through corporate partnerships such as Prism.


The files show that the NSA became concerned about the interception of encrypted chats on Microsoft's portal from the moment the company began testing the service in July last year.


Within five months, the documents explain, Microsoft and the FBI had come up with a solution that allowed the NSA to circumvent encryption on chats


A newsletter entry dated 26 December 2012 states: "MS [Microsoft], working with the FBI, developed a surveillance capability to deal" with the issue. "These solutions were successfully tested and went live 12 Dec 2012."


Two months later, in February this year, Microsoft officially launched the portal.


Another newsletter entry stated that NSA already had pre-encryption access to Outlook email. "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption."


Microsoft's co-operation was not limited to An entry dated 8 April 2013 describes how the company worked "for many months" with the FBI – which acts as the liaison between the intelligence agencies and Silicon Valley on Prism – to allow Prism access without separate authorization to its cloud storage service SkyDrive.


The document describes how this access "means that analysts will no longer have to make a special request to SSO for this – a process step that many analysts may not have known about".


The NSA explained that "this new capability will result in a much more complete and timely collection response". It continued: "This success is the result of the FBI working for many months with Microsoft to get this tasking and collection solution established."


A separate entry identified another area for collaboration. "The FBI Data Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) team is working with Microsoft to understand an additional feature in which allows users to create email aliases, which may affect our tasking processes."


The NSA has devoted substantial efforts in the last two years to work with Microsoft to ensure increased access to Skype, which has an estimated 663 million global users.


One document boasts that Prism monitoring of Skype video production has roughly tripled since a new capability was added on 14 July 2012. "The audio portions of these sessions have been processed correctly all along, but without the accompanying video. Now, analysts will have the complete 'picture'," it says.

Actually make that the NSA, as well as the FBI and CIA.

The information the NSA collects from Prism is routinely shared with both the FBI and CIA. A 3 August 2012 newsletter describes how the NSA has recently expanded sharing with the other two agencies.


The NSA, the entry reveals, has even automated the sharing of aspects of Prism, using software that "enables our partners to see which selectors [search terms] the National Security Agency has tasked to Prism".


The document continues: "The FBI and CIA then can request a copy of Prism collection of any selector…" As a result, the author notes: "these two activities underscore the point that Prism is a team sport!"

Microsoft's statement to the Guardian:

We have clear principles which guide the response across our entire company to government demands for customer information for both law enforcement and national security issues. First, we take our commitments to our customers and to compliance with applicable law very seriously, so we provide customer data only in response to legal processes.


Second, our compliance team examines all demands very closely, and we reject them if we believe they aren't valid. Third, we only ever comply with orders about specific accounts or identifiers, and we would not respond to the kind of blanket orders discussed in the press over the past few weeks, as the volumes documented in our most recent disclosure clearly illustrate.


Finally when we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That's why we've argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues.

It also means that anyone who is reading this and has gotten this far into the post, has already triggered numerous NSA, FBI and CIA alarms and likely been branded by the NSA as a "reader" instead of a perfectly docile sheep who uses their spare time and negative savings to buy AMZN at #Ref! multiples and does the patriotic thing of buying the S&P at Bernankulous valuations.


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Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:01 | 3742365 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

I still love my windows 7 pro. Works like a charm. Very stable.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:02 | 3742379 whotookmyalias
whotookmyalias's picture

Linux here, I hope NSA hasn't infiltrated that yet.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:06 | 3742392 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

Its a fully licensed version. Its a genuine Microsoft product

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:07 | 3742399 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

Does Bill Gates work from Room 101?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:10 | 3742410 CH1
CH1's picture


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:13 | 3742421 Stuart
Stuart's picture

Mirosoft is a SELL!

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:16 | 3742429 jaap
jaap's picture

Happy with ubuntu. Maybe they spy also through Linux, but at least I am not paying someone to spook on me.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:29 | 3742491 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

Linux is a fine operating system. My nephew uses it

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:40 | 3742535 pallen
Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:56 | 3742576 The Thunder Child
The Thunder Child's picture

Well I gues we all know now how the name 'Windows' was derived. and are both secure kickass linux operating systems! Ubuntu and its variants are compromised, they send usage data back to Canonical on a regular basis.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:12 | 3742649's picture

I will do everything in my power to secure my natural and constitutional rights. How do you like that you treasonous sons of bitches?

Feel free to watch. It's a kick.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:15 | 3742660 malikai
malikai's picture

"A few days ago, when we reported that NSA code had been inserted in Google's Android open-sourced OS (much to the fury of open-source code advocates everywhere), "

Seriously, TD? You're just looking bad now. If you're not going to do the research to figure out what it is, why go and make such rediculous statements?

Newsflash guys: You're running SE too. As is practically anyone on a modern linux. Oh, and guess what, you can evaluate every single line of code if you like. Or even better, you can disable it too!

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:21 | 3742685 fonestar
fonestar's picture

SE Linux sux, turn it off... there is only one SU...  Me.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:56 | 3743034 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

You don't get to be as rich as Gates without blowing Uncle Sam along the way

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:39 | 3743159 knukles
knukles's picture

Another Conspiracy Theory blown to Facts
Jesus, I'm getting tired of saying that.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:48 | 3743197 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Neither Bill Gates nor Mark Zuckerberg are 'entrepreneurs', they were both backed by the political mafia from their teens ...

Bill Gates came from a US political mafia family, his father in the Bogle Gates law firm that was right up there with the political elite in very dirty deals going back years

Gates and Zuckerberg too, did college at CIA-recruiting central station, Harvard University

Once in Harvard you are in the CIA loop ... finishing the diploma did not matter, Gates had the full US political mafia behind him via his father and the regime, to crush competitors and rivals etc with everything all 'legal' of course

When Zuckerberg was at Harvard three decades later, the CIA - Zionist 'internet star' loop was already well established, and Zuckerberg was picked to head yet another CIA - internet project alongside the CIA's Google Inc and the CIA's Wikipedia

« ... funding into Facebook ($US12.7 million) came from venture capital firm Accel Partners. Its manager James Breyer ... served on the board ... of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm established by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1999. One of the company's key areas of expertise are in "data mining technologies". »

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:21 | 3743268 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

has anyone ever addressed publicly the industrial espionage aspects of this scandal?  company secrets?  patents?  PAH

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:59 | 3742823 Say What Again
Say What Again's picture

I know this would never happen, but wouldn't it fun if EVERYONE in the free world (or at the least the revolution) decided on a day and time to start blasting shit on e-mail, blogs, etc., that contain trigger words.  Talk about a "thundering herd!"

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:29 | 3742938 Colonel Klink
Colonel Klink's picture

Even better, wouldn't it be cool if everyone who had Microsoft wormware as their operating system filed a class action lawsuit again MS for violation of their privacy and civil rights.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 08:01 | 3744440 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

A lawsuit?  In the [ il ] legal system that constitutes our courts / judiciary?  Like the court that just gave Chevron access to the data of 100 opponents / protestors / environmentalists who were involved in a case against Chevron recently? Or maybe the Supreme of all Coopted Courts?

Are you still asleep?  This is not a nightmare... this is THE nightmare. Big Brother has been set up while we were not watching... the solution is exactly what is happening now... public disclosure and immediate awareness of everything the scumbags have been doing... they want to know, well so do we. There is ultimately only 1 answer to all of this, and it's going to take individual decisions to get there, but I suspect the conditions have been set for an armed uprising by the masses against a state / oligarchy who have gone insane. We will not be returned to the conditions of Egypt / Pharoah... sorry, we cannot allow that to happen.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:18 | 3742672 fonestar
fonestar's picture

If you really want to go off the grid Fonestar recommends Backtrack Linux Live CD (sorry, I meant GNU Linux Richard) diskless and access the Tor network through Wifi not in your name.  Sign up for Tormail and if you go down in the Deep Web stay down there, it's when you are resurfacing that you are likely to meet a torpedo.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:25 | 3742706 malikai
malikai's picture

"Never get off the boat. Unless you're going all the way."

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:25 | 3742920 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

TOR is DOD based, you honestly believe they don't know starting and ending IP's? Sure you tunnel through a piggy backed IP, but don't think for one second they don't record the originating MAC address or ISP and IP...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:42 | 3742978 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

Using Tor nowadays is a red flag. So is going through a VPN. Back to typewriters and one time pads I guess.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:47 | 3742991 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

Email encryption is a farce - public keys can be intercepted or given. Better off using a standalone encryption program, on an encrypted system and encrypting your original email via the program, cut and paste into email provider. Person on other side has same software, but somewhere, in a face to face meeting with the other person, you agree on a "key" pertinent to the day, month, time, number key system or whatever that said originating email was sent.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:49 | 3743004 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

As with anything... if you are concerned with open ports via winblows or some other OS get yourself a GOOD firewall that blocks all ports, all outgoing and incoming requests - wherein you literally have to allow access after being prompted by said firewall...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:24 | 3743121 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture




Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:40 | 3743165 AGuy
AGuy's picture

" OS get yourself a GOOD firewall that blocks all ports, all outgoing and incoming requests"

Doesn't matter, Firewalls, AV, etc only protect you against Non-gov't mailware:

1. NSA has equipment at all tier 1 ISPs they capture the data as it sent across the Internet. Encrypting helps but is no gaurentee that the NSA doesn't have the private keys need to decrypt it.

2. NSA has implement Spy ware in the Semiconductors (ie Ethernet controllers, Prcoessors, etc). The OS can't block it because its running in the hardware below the reach of the OS. If the NSA wants in, they will get in through the hardware and bypass whatever security measures you enable. FWIW: A year or two ago, a hacker published a whitepaper on how to hack certain ethernet controllers to run his own code to bypass the OS.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:24 | 3743280 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

1. I seriously doubt they could crack a 256 bit encryption other than having a back door - brute force, very unlikely. I seriously doubt they could crack a privately generated private key NOT SENT electronically, but done person to person.

2. Sure, software can be installed outside the scope of the OS, running in the background and undetectable. Unless they visit your house or force a port open, etc which would mean you are a target, and have probably done something you shouldn't have. For the average person wanting some privacy, I seriously doubt it.

3. Unless they are in bed with chip makers, which I don't doubt... then, yea, your screwed...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:37 | 3743318 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

I know windows OS has a few files that can only be opened by MS compilers - and only a handful of MS employees are privy to it and know what the files actually do. Now it could be kernel specific code, or some other protected code, but who knows...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 20:03 | 3743391 Meat Hammer
Meat Hammer's picture

I have better options than any of the above:

1.) Grow a pair

2.) Do whatever and say whatever you want

3.) Sign every email, Hey, NSA!  Feel free to lick my balls.

Don't run.  Don't hide.  Live free right in their fucking faces.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 20:09 | 3743381 Infnordz
Infnordz's picture

No, you seem the farce, because you are obviously clueless about cryptography.

It is really dumb to use secret keys for anything over public channels, and I would not trust any time or event seeded keys because they could probably easily be cracked!

With PKI, people freely publish public keys by design, so that anyone can encrypt data/message sent to then, then only their paired secret keys can decrypt the messages; PGP has done this for years, as does SSL!

Use a lot of bits, e.g. 2048, 4096 etc., and refactoring will take too long to be useful, in which time many new and longer keys could have been generated, possibly using a nastier algorithms.

I would not use 256bit for anything other than SSL and other short term stuff.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 20:19 | 3743438 Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard's picture

Uh, no I'm not... fucking idiot. Fucking idiot, you have no clue, and I'm not about to waste my time to "inform" you...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:31 | 3743134 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

I'm using smoke signals...on my deck...every afternoon...with my for them.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:30 | 3743302 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its getting to the point where anything that could be deemed seditious will have to be said in private.

Man, what will that do to their paranoia levels, not knowing ;-)

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:42 | 3742977 discopimp
discopimp's picture

i use straight debian and CentOS now
and have for the last couple years

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:46 | 3742784 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

"Arch Linux FTW"

Check out Manjaro. It is based on Arch. It's still  technically in development, but yoiu can test it.


I am using Mint 15, based on Ubuntu until Manjaro is ready.Manjaro KDE still has quite a few bugs, and I do not like Gnome.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:52 | 3742579 seek
seek's picture

It's still possible, but less likely to be spied upon. Apps like the browser are more likely spy vectors.

The nice thing about linux is it's much easier to monitor what the hell it's doing. I have a dedicated linux box for my firewall/NAT router, and use netstat-nat to monitor my internet connection in real time, which is one of the ways I figured out my android phone was spying on me. (Tablets do as well, though to a lesser degree.)

Even with all of that, I've spent the last couple weeks hardening my already pretty hardened systems. I suspect the more shit comes out, the next step for me is going to be making my primary PC a "cold" one, e.g. hard off-line.

This spy shit at both the government and commercial level is getting ridiculous.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:56 | 3742585 CaptainSpaulding
CaptainSpaulding's picture

I bought ithe full version last year. Long before i heard about the NSA news.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:06 | 3742394 achmachat
achmachat's picture

backlaaaaash!!! I demand backlash!

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:48 | 3742782 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Since the NSA is reading this I have this to say, "FUCK YOU PAUL GILL!!!"  We played poker together back in the day, smoked da kine, I house sat for your dog.  We gave you a job at our company when you were down and out.  I helped you emotionally through your ex-wife's allegations of child molestation.  I paid you back the $500 I borrowed from you.  I let you stay in my home.  We were good friends and now you work for the NSSA keeping track of us all?  FUCK YOU AND THE MUSTANG YOU RODE IN ON!!!!!!!!!  You are not welcome in my house anymore.  Don't call, don't write - unless you earse my god damned file.  CUNTY NAZI FAG!!!!

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:06 | 3742854 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Those who can't do, spy.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:07 | 3742400 knukles
knukles's picture

mother metametametametameta of all meta data, my ass

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:28 | 3742488 pods
pods's picture

Well now I know that I have good instincts when I am sitting at my computer and have the feeling I am being watched.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:13 | 3742657's picture

What are you wearing?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:11 | 3742412 Row Well Number 41
Row Well Number 41's picture

So how many hacks that resulted in Identity theft and data breaches are a result of holes left open for the NSA, and how big a class action lawsuit would that make?  Oh ya that would require a functional legal system, nevermind.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:28 | 3743132 Uncle Remus
Uncle Remus's picture


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 04:14 | 3744284 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

"Oarsmen, I have good news and bad news!  First the good news:  you get tomorrow off!  Next the bad news:  The Captain wants to go waterskiing today!"

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:49 | 3743348 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

Speaking of identity theft, why do we need paid services like Lifelock? Why can't the NSA simply perform that service and advertise it to the nation as protecting everyone's privacy, already paid for by taxes.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:05 | 3742390 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

Took 'em long enough.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:00 | 3742609 CH1
CH1's picture

I still love my windows 7 pro. Works like a charm. Very stable.

A troll from Redmond.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:44 | 3743178 AGuy
AGuy's picture

No, Sarcasm!


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:15 | 3742661 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

I wonder if someone came up wita program millions of people could download that would send out junk 24/7, could it overwhelm or fill up big brothers memory .?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:33 | 3743137 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

My email account seems to have those characteristics on the inbound side.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:47 | 3743192 AGuy
AGuy's picture

"I wonder if someone came up wita program millions of people could download that would send out junk 24/7,"

1. No, They will just buy more disk storage, at Taxpayer Expense.

2. There are already millions of machines infected with malaare sending out spam 27/7.



Fri, 07/12/2013 - 08:46 | 3744532 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

I believe the competition to provide that storage facility is between AMZN and IBM... $600 Million contract for a server farm, for the NSA.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:22 | 3742692 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Still love me my old day Wochenschau in the local cinema,
very stable and predictable propaganda. Bad luck it ended
1945. 1984 was just a novel daringly predicting the future.

WHY am I forced fed all my previously known but underestimated nightmares ?

Welcome to the future, the past is on the altar for
a new future ...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 22:22 | 3743777 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Die Deutsche Wochenschau was a series of German newsreels from 1940 until the end of World War II (Wikipedia entry)


Some may not understand the reference, so I am clarifying it for you-all.

Esta 'La Tormenta'. I tried to find the movie scene to express this, on GookleTube, but could not find this final scene where the little Mexican boy tells Sarah and John Connors about the approaching storm in the Mexican desert.

It is like this 'ending scene' from 'The Terminator' has been PURGED or something. Indeed, the PAST IS on the altar, in many ways. Astute obsevation and statement, Gardner!



Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:13 | 3742879 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Disclaimer : I `m not short Microsoft.

Dissolve this company. Explicit and implicit criminal
organization .

Purge all likewise so called technology companies as well .

Thuggish organizations all purged from the planet .

Restore entrepreneurship.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 00:50 | 3742890 Tsunami Wave
Tsunami Wave's picture



Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:26 | 3743286 Golden1182
Golden1182's picture

We need a CLASS ACTION Law Suit against Microsoft, Google, Verizon for violating their own User Agreement Privacy agreements.  

This is getting crazy!!

I bet we give away everything when we click thru those 200 page agreements.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:26 | 3743287 Golden1182
Golden1182's picture

We need a CLASS ACTION Law Suit against Microsoft, Google, Verizon for violating their own User Agreement Privacy agreements.  

This is getting crazy!!

I bet we give away everything when we click thru those 200 page agreements.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 21:28 | 3743614 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

I'm running Firefox on my Windows, but I know it won't protect from these issues. Neither will any other OS, by the way.

Well, i'm gonna have to make my monthly donation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Charitable Trusts now, so that they can continue to shoot up mercury-laced vaccines with special treats included to the people in Africa. If the NSA is keylogging me (well, no SHIT!), they might give me a pass. Hell, I might get real food instead of solyent green in the camp...

i know NT is 'backdoored', but I miss it anyway. Until recently, government agencies used it as well.

And, 8088 with those 'floppy discs'...and the ITT teletype with phone modem link...that I learned programming on back in the '70's...the sound of that recognition squeal was SO COOL when you dialed the phone! Back at the 'server', all those great big reel-to-reel spools (rooms full of them) would start running...

Got TWO interruption messages while reading the article, talking about how 'doubleclick' was telling me that a JAVA adscript would make this page run 'slow', and asking me to abort the page, by the way. Might want to check sourcecode on the ads right now, Tylers. THIS is one method of cyberattacks...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:00 | 3742367 Mad Mohel
Mad Mohel's picture

No Shit?!!

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:01 | 3742369 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture
Obama signs executive order to allow shut down of all US communications


But then what would the NSA do?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:17 | 3742432 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Start their own phone company and/or Internet backbone?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:57 | 3742599 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

HP owns a huge amount of the Internet backbone (in the US).  Their IT business ain't exactly hurting and neither is their stock.

You connect the dots.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:36 | 3743151 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

...then what would the NSA do?

Surf tranny porn on the backbone with zero traffic competition?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:20 | 3742449 seek
seek's picture

The NSA issues the shutdown order to DHS, when the real Snowden leak happens.

My guess (presuming Snowden is real, and it's looking more like that every day) is the plug gets pulled when Snowden releases the 100K+ watchlist and it's discovered that 80% of the names are US citizens with no international connections to anyone, let alone terrorists.

...or he dumps the blackmail file on members of congress.

Either one of those, the internet goes down in the US and the Feds try to reincarnate the USSR.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:25 | 3742467 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

The truth shall set you free. Funny to think that our system would not work if the blackmail file on Congress was released. It is essential to the current system.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:39 | 3742531 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:16 | 3742663's picture

Corruption alone does not explain the complicity of all but a handful of our "representatives" in the demise of the republic.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:34 | 3742742 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

I hope he has pictures of them with farm animals & raiding the treasury's gold reserves.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:27 | 3742482 franzpick
franzpick's picture

Wonder how they're gonna shut down those terrorist CB and shortwave radio users? Drone em out? 

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:00 | 3742610 Ralph Spoilsport
Ralph Spoilsport's picture

They'll use massive amounts of interference to make the bands useless. The sun does that occasionally and some of us remember the Russian "Woodpecker":

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:18 | 3742671's picture

And then there's his sidekick, the Filipino Monkey:

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:50 | 3742790 seek
seek's picture

There's a precedent from WW2 to shut down ham radio. It'll be interesting for them to issue such and order since there's no viable ham -> internet gateway that would be a plausible attack vector (the bandwidths are insanely low, often a few bytes per second.)

My guess is they'll issue a shutdown order on transmissions and then anyone who's transmitting is a de-facto terrorist. But it's safe to say also they they'll have very little enforcement capacity, though I could see them trying to get some of the hams with nazi tendencies to attempt to enforce. I can't imagine they'd try actual radio confiscation.

It's also very hard to radio-direction-find HF signals in a short timeframe, plus I think if this scenario plays out, it's more than plausible countries in south america would be running some sort of "radio free america" in reverse.

The reality is all of this is very short-term endgame stuff. They can go as heavy-handed as they want, but shutting down the internet is them playing their last cards; the economic ramifications would topple the economy just as well as Snowden's information would.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:22 | 3742914 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Ham radio as I knew it would still yield some 1200 bps
excluding overhead that would us get down to about 50 bps
sufficient for this blog in pure text mode.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 08:52 | 3744556 Ranger4564
Ranger4564's picture

Seek, I really like the completeness of your thought process. You are connecting the dots... keep up the good work.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 21:52 | 3743693 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Well, Franzpick, you KNOW the tech is there to do EXACTLY what you are asking about.

They own ALL the airwaves, you know. Remember the FCC?

There is one reference in the Bible about Satan being called 'The Prince Of The Power Of The Air'. Surely, you didn't think that this was some arcane reference to a mysterious, occult thing that only your priest, rabbi, or other 'holy man' could understand, do you?

Damn, I sound like one of those freaks "clinging to their God and their Guns" (in the words of the Great Soetoro). [Looking around frantically] 'Where's my tin-foil hat?'

SERIOUSLY, that goal is well on the way to being fulfilled. General Aviation News, '30,000 Drones By 2020':

The M.I.C. has a whole LOT of really neat shit THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT, AND NEVER WILL, until the bullet hits the bone. Here's a song that is called 'predictive programming', by some, by a band named 'Golden Earring' (gold and silver, bitchez!). Enjoy the music:


Basically, 'all the worst parts of the Bible' (old movie quote from the Bruce Willis blockbuster, 'Armageddon', ANOTHER predictive programming excersize).

Your question is being answered in the affirmative (if 'all goes to plan' [Dr. Evil]).

I want you all to know that this is a great website, and a great group of people over here at ZeroHedge. I really enjoy the news, but the COMMENTS are WAY more informative!


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 22:33 | 3743803 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

I am now patenting and marketing a new bracelet, using your question.

Instead of 'WWJD', it will state 'WWNSAD'.

The HARD part is getting the materials. I was thinking of hiring some Sri Lankan sweatshop to braid a bunch of old dollar bills into a chain, topping it off with the lettering done in pure tungsten (with gold Krylon spray paint).

You KNOW, of course, that this E.O. is fairly OLD news, don't you? this E.O. is simply a repeat of other E.Os by other 'presidents' (each one building on the other's handiworks).

Say, aren't we STILL in an 'official state of emergency'? Why, YES, we are. It has been going on since 1933 (when Roosevelt unilaterially declared that the Constitution was 'temporarily suspended', following the FED-backed crashes of 1929-32). the PRESIDENT is the KING. Don't you REALIZE THAT?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:02 | 3742378 mjorden
mjorden's picture

I read it all.  What do I get? there has to be some monthly government payment coming my way, right?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 22:36 | 3743816 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

If you were born in the CONUS, you are out of luck, regading 'monthly payments'.

IF you are NOT 'MURCUN', then, of COURSE you will get monthly payments! Here, let me sign you up for SNAP...

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:03 | 3742380 Cheeseus Sonofdog
Cheeseus Sonofdog's picture

So, they had to type password123 before they got in. That is NOT direct access. 

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 21:58 | 3743708 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

The password IS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

That's AMAZING I have the same password on my LUGGAGE!


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:06 | 3742393 SmittyinLA
SmittyinLA's picture

Hmmm, anti-trust lawyers ponder the potential, releasing code intentionally to force everybody to upgrade? 


I bet every tenent of the Sherman Anti Trust Act was violated, and in CA the Cartwright Act too. 

Bullish on Large class action anti-trust lawyers. 

I'm happy Bill Gates gets to spend his retirement in litigation. 

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:31 | 3742498 Esso
Esso's picture

I bet Gates ends up in jail with Corzine.

Wha, what?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:41 | 3742537 machineh
machineh's picture

I will gladly donate a toilet plunger for them to do each other.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:56 | 3742593 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Gates is TBTF, embedded in the gov't agenda up to his watery eyes, always has been.

Uncle Buffett donated his fortunes to the billy-goat's numerous foundations, with agenda(s) to reduce the populations, globally.

their hearts bleed.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:26 | 3742690's picture

I was going to say something snarky but I'm genuinely pleased to see you adopt this attitude in regard to population control. Maybe you're not such a big, bad a vulture after all.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:34 | 3742958 IdiocracyIsAlre...
IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

Nah those efforts are merely a tool to siphon $$$ to cronies.  They came up with a much better (and more subtle) form of population control - create a world where no one in their right mind would want to bring children into.  The idiots will continue to breed as usual.  Best of all possible outcomes for them!

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 22:45 | 3743835 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture


You fail to comprehend.

LAWS are for the 'great unwashed masses'.

'LITIGATION' is for those who do not OWN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM.

All animals are 'equal', but SOME are 'MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS'. You never read that book, I presume, by Orwell...?

How about the movie 'Network'?

Oh, it's a great scene, describing how these people work, and WHAT THEY THINK, and what YOU DO NOT REALIZE.



Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:06 | 3742395 F. Bastiat
F. Bastiat's picture

We rely on learned rules for doing things, such as customs and traditions, because our intellect cannot comprehend every detail of our complex, distributed, technologically-driven civilization.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 23:25 | 3743914 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

F. Bastiat,

Did you get this from your edumacation and programming?

"We rely on learned rules for doing things, such as customs and traditions, because our intellect cannot comprehend every detail of our complex, distributed, technologically-driven civilization."


I AM NOT your 'collective WE'.


'WE' rely on 'RULES' because 'WE' are 'PREPROGAMMED' to 'ACCEPT' that 'THEY' know 'MORE' than 'WE'. 'THEY TELL US that 'YOU' cannot 'COMPREHEND', and continuously REINFORCE IT EVERY MINUTE of EVERY DAY, in ALL venues of 'LEARNING', be it 'FAUX NEWS', or 'PUBLIK EDUKASHUN'. 'CIVILIZATION' is a MISNOMER. 'GENTILE PEOPLE' wear scarves to cover themselves, or drink their teas with their pinkie fingers raised, or always refer to their elders as 'ma'am', or 'sir', when begging for a bailout or a bank loan or a frigging JOB to sustain their very existence.

THEY have quite a NETWORK of fake MONEY, and are willing to USE IT to MAKE you comply in THEIR 'CIVILIZATION'' YOU NEED to buy THEIR crap ('technology'). YOU NEED an 'IPAD'. YOU NEED the WATER they provide. YOU NEED a CAR, and you NEED THEIR EDUCATION in order to be SUCCESSFUL in THEIR VISION of what LIFE should be.

OTHERWISE, THEY warn, YOU will not be PROGRESSING (into THEIR vision of 'how life should really be', with THEM on the TOP, and YOU on the BOTTOM).

'TRUST US. WE WILL NEVER USE THIS INFORMATION AGAINST YOU', THEY state, again and again, and YET they have the DHS, the TSA, the IRS, and a HOST of 'agencies' all working together to MAKE YOU THINK that YOU should be COMPLYING (backed up, of course, by your statement about 'technology' and ''learned rules') that you LEARNED at THEIR VERY HANDS!.


Well, it seems that you may very well be an 'educated idiot', 'F. Bastiat', or perhaps one of those 'useful' ones.

You are intellectually promoting TOTAL TYRANNY, based upon edicts and unproven theses by 'college professors' who state NO TRUTHS; of which NONE can be shown to be tangible , 'real', or OTHERWISE observed.

My blessings be upoin you. May the line for solid food at the FEMA camp be open for you!

Bunch of armchair intellectuals...Jive-ass dude ain't got no brains, anyhow!




Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:24 | 3742463 JR
JR's picture

Not bad: "A $2000/month pension covers the bare necessities for most Americans, with little or no money left for leisure, or tragically, emergencies. However, the same amount of money in Ecuador will cover all your living expenses and health care coverage, with about $1000 a month left for travel, entertainment and whatever you want or need."

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:25 | 3742700's picture

I've made 20 grand a month and I've made under 2 grand a month. I never starved. Putting aside for a moment the fact that bankers and their government lackeys are ripping us all off and that the standard of living would soar without that burden I would suggest that the average person thinks that they need far more than they actually do need. They confuse want for need.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:41 | 3743170 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Don't worry, our beloved leaders are working on that, too.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:59 | 3742604 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Time to escape to Cuba?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:30 | 3742728 JR
JR's picture

This also on RT's front page, I see, as the politicians try to mainline spying on the people:

Merkel justifies NSA eavesdropping surveillance

Despite “justified questions” to the American intelligence community regarding eavesdropping on German networks, the US remains Berlin’s “most loyal ally”, announced Chancellor Angela Merkel in interview to Die Zeit weekly…


…It emerged recently that Germany happens to be the most-snooped-on EU country by the American National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA’s real-time online surveillance PRISM program allows US intelligence agencies to intercept virtually any communications over the internet, phone calls and makes possible direct access to files stored on the servers of major internet companies.

…In early July spokesman Steffen Seibert announced on the behalf of Chancellor Merkel that "The monitoring of friends - this is unacceptable. It can't be tolerated," adding that Merkel had already delivered her concerns to the US.  "We are no longer in the Cold War," Seibert added. 

...At the same time according to new revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to Germany’s Spiegel magazine, the American NSA and Germany’s intelligence agencies are “in bed together.”

Seibert told Reuters this week that German’s Federal Intelligence Agency’s (BND) cooperation with the NSA “took place within strict legal and judicial guidelines and is controlled by the competent parliamentary committee.”

Merkel stressed that intelligence “has always been and will in future be essential for the security of citizens” of democratic countries. “A country without intelligence work would be too vulnerable,” Merkel said.

… Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, refused to make any parallels between the methods of work of DDR’s secret police Stasi and America’s NSA.

“For me, there is absolutely no comparison between the Stasi and the work of intelligence agencies in democratic states,” she was quoted as saying. “They are two completely different things and such comparisons only lead to a trivialization of what the Stasi did to [East Germany’s] people,” said Merkel.

Merkel has come under fierce criticism in connection with the NSA spying scandal for not protesting unequivocally enough, while various German politicians demanded to stop spying immediately. (end)

Great site, btw.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:57 | 3742798 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Merkel is a former (Russian educated) KGB spy laughing away at Stasi accusations because she has permanent New World Order Employment, no matter where she ends up after current
deployment. CIA has all the files ? Fuck you, how would I have become Chancellorette ?

As a trained physicist she surely has a disdain for international and democratically inclined logic,
she sums up BS in best eastern style order.

What a disgrace. A repugnant spy talking about spying.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 23:43 | 3743967 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Didn't CONUS take Equador over a number of years ago? It's so hard to remember all those arcane news 'OLD', now, these stories.

Yeah, Equador, paradise of government corruption and 'time-shares'!

They tried to get me to buy a time share down in Baja California, a couple of decades ago. I recall that they were associated with the financial issues regarding Orange County, CA.'s bankruptcy filings.

You might RUN, but you cannot ultimately HIDE from the SHITSTORM that is, now, quite obvious.

Get your SCUBA in ARUBA! Anyone remember THAT advertisement? I think it was 'American Express'.

Playing the 'Rock War' angle a little:

Yeah, Ecuador. My freind's cousin's uncle's former roommate knew a guy who supposedly bought some land down there, in the sweltering equatorial zone! If you chew Coca, and have an A.K., and have black hair and brown eyes (and stand 5'6 or shorter), and bribe your local law every now and then, you will fit RIGHT THE FUCK IN!


It's been good knowing you.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:08 | 3742405 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

OpenBSD if you want uncompromised security.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:41 | 3742539 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Wasn't it discovered that part of the BSD TCP/IP stack was NSA code?

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:56 | 3742596 fuu
Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:54 | 3743369 paulbain
paulbain's picture





Fuu, the article (to which you provided a hyperlink) does NOT seem to answer the question that was posed above.





Thu, 07/11/2013 - 22:07 | 3743734 fuu
fuu's picture

Then you weren't really paying attention.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 23:58 | 3743992 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Perhaps a little 'fleshing out' might be in order.

What does the acronym 'BSD' stand for?

It comes to mind that this might mean 'Bull Shit Document', or, 'Ball Singing Degenerates'.

it could ALSO be the 'meme' generation, reading, "B.S., Dude!".

How about 'Broken Source Deliniator'?

Your Government IS In Control, Again. GO BACK TO BED, America.


"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

THIS is called a 'FIREWALL".


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:09 | 3742409 PaperBear
PaperBear's picture

All of you beneficial commercially sensitive information is belong to us.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 22:01 | 3743719 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

All your INTERNETS are belong to us!

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:13 | 3742416 tuttisaluti
tuttisaluti's picture

Just get "tor"

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:22 | 3742456 jaap
jaap's picture

TOR is designed by DARPA. Good luck with it.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:33 | 3742508 ghengis86
ghengis86's picture

Yep. Just monitor the exit node and you get everything. It's already been 'hacked'

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:24 | 3742462 pods
pods's picture

Isn't "tor" Icelandic for honey pot?

I would bet money that they have root level access to any machine that is networked.

Our only solace is that we are like a huge school of fish.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:39 | 3742971 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

Had that suspicion and stopped using it years ago . Any proof? Most such services were run or later compromised by .gov, but I knew some of those Tor guys and gals so I`m still curious on any updates on their fates.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:13 | 3742418 IdiocracyIsAlre...
IdiocracyIsAlreadyHere's picture

Can someone  please explain to me why ANYONE would subscribe to a Cloud service, a/k/a "please store all my data at some unspecified location where I don't even know where it is but it there for anyone to access at will" when you can get a 1TB external hard drive for $60 at Staples.  And don't even get me started on Skype "let me broadcast my life to potentially anyone".  Wow are people incredibly dense.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:16 | 3742426 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

These same inane sheeple would be shocked if I sat beside them listening to their conversations about divorce, sex, gossip, but have NO fear of the government or Google or Microsoft snooping every microsecond, every word, every click, every gasp, every glimpse of porn or political comment / controversy.

It's fucked in the head.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:46 | 3743189 BigJim
BigJim's picture

Psh, that's not the same thing at all! Our governments and corporations love us.

Any listening in is for our own good. You have NOTHING to worry about if you're innocent! William Hague said so; and he wants to help the Syria Free Army, so he must be an honest sort of fellow.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:43 | 3742543 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Same reasons they stored gold in Safety Deposit boxes. Site level DR.

Which begs the question; Can I use the NSA as my cloud based DR solution? They already have all my data anyway.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 00:14 | 3744020 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Dear 'IdiocracyIsAtre...":

Well, you are on the 'internets', aren't you?

Do you have a CHOICE as to be on or off?

"Can someone  please explain to me why ANYONE would subscribe to a Cloud service"?


Do I have to send you the DARPA FOIA request, via Micheal Snowden, regarding 'CLOUD COMPUTING', or are you really SO ignorant as to the official U.N. mandates; formerly called 'INTERNET: 2.0'?

YOU DIDN'T SUBSCRIBE, DIPSHIT. That 'hard drive at Staple's' isn't the issue. EXTERNAL HARD DRIVES are all DOWNLOADED from your activities on the 'net, which are keylogged and RECORDED the moment you make them. When you STORE this information, it's like a 'BACKUP' for your further 'GUILT' in their eyes, you totally clueless human. THAT is why they ALWAYS have WARRANTS to CONFISCATE your HARD-DRIVES and DISCS and OTHER MEANS OF DIGITAL STORAGE or TRANSMISSION, you ignorant bastard!


Have a nice day.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:14 | 3742422 pods
pods's picture

So does the NSA have direct access to the servers?  Then the MS compliance team does not have to "examine all demands very closely" as the NSA would never need to demand anything, as it already has access.

Can we amend that horrid government patronizing song now and remove "land of the free?"


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:31 | 3742729's picture

National anthems like nations themselves exist for the deluded. Let them stand and let sleeping dogs lie. Just stay the fuck out of my way.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:36 | 3742752 Drachma
Drachma's picture

"There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely."

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:04 | 3742846 pods
pods's picture

I know.  The Chair is Against the Wall.

John has a long mustache.  John has a long mustache.


Fri, 07/12/2013 - 01:03 | 3744089 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Confidence is High.

I REPEAT, Confidence is High.

The call sign is 'Alpha Bravo Charlie, One, Two, Three'.


Here's a little 'Yankee Yankee Zulu', to help with the transition into the 'modern day', courtesy of RUSH:

YYZ is the call sign for the 'professional' aviators, of some airport up in LeQuebecuah'. 'C', eh! 'N', eh! 'D', eh! (Sorry, old joke about how Canada got it's name. Bunch of guys got together once, a long time ago, and decided to draw Consonant Letters out of a hat...)

'Molasses tomorrow will bring forth codnac'.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 00:22 | 3744043 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture


In the land of the FEE,



Of the SLAVE!

(Background: The fans go wild, at the sight of the President of the United States, throwing out the first pitch. USA USA, USA, the crowd chants, as the Reptilian Meme of the day gives the platitudes to the tax-payoing 'citizens')

THAT is some REAL stuff.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:14 | 3742423 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

That's why the NSA got so freaked out about Phil Zimmerman. He was NOT one of theirs and he released source code globally that led to encryption unbreakable by the NSA.

PGP, now GNUPG / GPG, and silentcircle (new) are the ways to go.

Anything not pursued as a crime by the NSA is "encryption" that's no good. Good encryption CAN'T be bypassed.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:41 | 3742536 seek
seek's picture

Silentcircle is compromised out of the box. Don't trust it. Remember it's running on the phone that the cell companies have OTA update access to, meaning they can grab the keys at will.

Honestly I've been shocked that silentcircle hasn't had more critical stories about it, which suggests that the gov't is more than OK with them.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:54 | 3743027 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

PGP was all the rage in the nineties , until we decided
the safest conversation is the one we left unsaid. 1995.

Agree or not to be. Shut up and act. Still not happening.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:44 | 3743181 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I still use PGP, now GPG, and signature checking. Mostly for installation of source-packages for Linux but still in use. all the time.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 01:45 | 3744137 MontgomeryScott
MontgomeryScott's picture

Oh, I triust you.


After all, the avatar that you seek to steal ('MillionDollarBonus'), is not logged on right now, so YOU are the one that should be followed. I always 'get off' on three-letter agencies and ALL THAT CRAP. Did the GPG and the CIA and the TIA and the FED tell you about the PGP stuff?


No, seriously. I TRUST you, faked avatar.

Source-packages for Linux sounds just GREAT. "all the time".

Gee, can I download these 'packages' to work in ANY MS-DOS format? Will they 'check my signature' as well? Do you 'sign' in Cryllic, or in Hebrew, or in Beta? Do you have the ability to DIGITALLY 'shred' documents? Of course, YOU do, but, I mean, how about 'us gresat unwashed masses'? 'PGP' and GPG' sound 'really cool'. is that like, PGPGPGPG (ad infinitum)?

Oh, hell. SIGN ME UP! at the time.



Fri, 07/12/2013 - 15:14 | 3746204 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture


I'm not sure if I should backhanded /sarc you or pity you. I'm suspecting the bus was in fact a short bus that you arrived on.

I'm pretty sure most people have figured out ms-dos isn't Linux. If you can't even figure that out I might suggest you learn how dimmer switches work, or perhaps investigate this new fangled and complex technology called a drink coaster.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:43 | 3743040 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

How is this compromised? Device to device encryption & it's using PGP. We know PGP works. We know it can't be cracked. You just make the key size big enough to stump current computing power.

I'd like you to explain best that you understand what is compromised if you have time.

The device itself is not Silentcircle's business. if you can't secure your own computer, cell phone, etc., then what? That's like saying you expect your HOUSE to be bugged therefore every phone conversation is compromised therefore the encrypted phone service you could use is compromised. That's... not sensible to me. Just find a secure device / location to start with. It can be done.

Also there are opensource phones. it's a pain in the ass, very beta, but they exist.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 00:07 | 3744007 seek
seek's picture


The issue is what you've already suggested: you can't secure a cell phone. The issue is specific to Silentcircle's endorsement of the cellphone as a platform.

Simply put, the smartphones they're running on are the same smartphones that the cell carriers have unrestricted access to. Via over-the-air updates, they can change the code on the phone at will. Which means they can dump any and all data on the phone, including messages and encryption keys. They don't need to crack it, they just need to use the keys they have free and unhindered access to. And that's just one vector; if backup service is enabled, they can just get the keys from that.

Simply put, the cell phone is a pre-compromised and unsecurable platform under the direct control of the phone companies, and by proxy, the NSA and TLA agency of your choice. End Story.

If you wish to use it as a secure means to access the internet, it needs to be treated as a compromised modem outside the firewall of whatever compute platform you choose. You'll still have some metadata exposure, but at least in theory you could use the cell phone as a modem to carry secure VPN data the phone can't inspect from a second device. But the phone itself might as well be one the NSA gave you.You can't run secure software on the phone, it has to be run on a device that the cell company has no control over whatsoever. (That means tablets are out unless you're using wifi/bluetooth to connect to a phone -- and not an internal cell modem unless you can verify via schematic there's no possibly way to dump the memory/storage via the modem.)

Another way of thinking about this -- imagine you had a PC given to you, but the memory and storage of the PC could be read by a third party at will. That PC is inherently compromised, and no amount of software will ever secure it. Indeed, this is the exact problem the media companies faced in trying to prevent DVD/BluRay from being hacked: if you have control over the platform, you have access to the keys, and the platform can never be secured. Unsurprisingly every secure media format has been hacked because the end user has control over the platform and hence access to the keys.

A cell phone can never be secured because the cell companies have unrestricted access to it.

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 06:19 | 3744339 int19h
int19h's picture

wouldn't rooting the phone and flashing your own rom block the unrestricted access?

Fri, 07/12/2013 - 15:19 | 3746225 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Older cells were secure. Newer ones can be made.

This "can't secure a cell phone" business is nonsense.

Did you miss the comment about open source cell phones?

Here's list (click)

Cell companies can't have unrestricted access to a device they didn't build, only the packets on their own networks.

Your "imagine this" case is nonsense. The very basis of my approach is to stomp on "imagine this" and build from scratch.

-1 for you because you attacked silentcircle instead of the existing cells that are compromised which is NOT ALL OF THEM. Mine's an old cell - uncompromised. No smart phone, no 3G, none of that nonsense, and certainly no contract and no name.

Silentcircle isn't endorsing shit: the bottom lie is Zimmerman is offering the same encryption as he did before, secure and open, and if you can't secure your own end it's YOUR FAULT. He is not compromised, YOU ARE.

You sound like the same up iz down mentality that makes traders lose it all.

Earth must be cooling. Inflation must be under 2%. Your own phone isn't secure therefore EVERY other secure encrypted network & software out there is compromised but not yourself.


Give your head a shake.

Sat, 07/13/2013 - 09:23 | 3747964 seek
seek's picture

I'm discussing silentcircle and not the possibility of carefully constructing an open-source phone that is secure. Can secure phones be carefully constucted? Yes. Are they? No. Indeed the opposite is taking place. Any phone with OTA, which is essentially all, is indisputably compromised.

Silentcircle isn't running on ancient voice-only cellphones, nor are they saying that you're secure only if you use one of five open-source phones, only one of which is available for sale to regular end users. (I was a Neo 1973 developer, btw.)

Silentcircle is presenting themselves as a plug-and-play secure communications solution running as an app on common android/iphone smartphones their users already have. Those phones are compromised and users of silentcircle are being led to believe, per silentcircle's own web site, that they have a "100% secure end-to-end solution" ... using compromised devices. 

I'll sum it up as precisely as I can: do you honestly believe that you have 100% secure, bet-your-life-on-it end-to-end communications running on an iphone or android device sold by AT&T or Verizon? If the answer is yes, fine, though I think anyone that believes this is gravely mistaken. If no, then my argument that silentcircle can't be trusted (because that is what they are promising) stands.

Zimmerman is being used. His software is fine. The platforms it's running on are not. This has nothing to do with him being compromised. It has everything to do with silentcircle claiming 100% security on a compromised platform, and yes, it's their fault for making such a claim, not mine for not securing my end. If the safety and security of their clients actually mattered to them, they'd not be offering apps on smartphone, or they'd be careful in explaining that communications via such apps only secures against common eavesdropping, not state-level actors such as the NSA.

Ad hominem arguments weaken your case.


Sun, 07/14/2013 - 01:25 | 3750453 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

I didn't use ad hominem, I'm simply shocked at your display OF stupidity on THIS particular issue.


You are NOT discussing silentcircle.

You are attacking anything around it then assuming it should take the blame for any security holes OUTSIDE of it.

That's nonsense. You can do better & I've seen over many months that you are smarter than this.

You secure YOUR platform and SILENTCIRLCE will lose nothing for you.

Everyone but EVERYONE with a brain knows that if you use a secure encrypted phone line but decide to START your conversation in a bugged room or perhaps even in a public space like a grocery store, everyone else will fucking hear you.

Your nonsense is dismissed.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:15 | 3742424 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

I wonder if they can tap into my manual Royal typewriter? that's where I do all my really subversive work.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:25 | 3742471 Agent P
Agent P's picture

They have homing pigeons trained to retrieve the ribbon from your local landfill.  If I were you, I'd start running.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:54 | 3742586 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

Skip the ribbon.  Just read the impressions.  Better yet, learn Braille and get a Braille-writer.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:55 | 3742590 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

Better check that your ribbon isn't compromised..

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:32 | 3742734 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Each key on a manual typewriter makes a slightly different sound when struck. All they have to do is listen through the wall to your typng and they can reproduce 80% of your keystrokes from the sound alone, and then spell-check out the errors.

Okay I just made that up. But it follows from reasonable guessing.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:46 | 3742986 Row Well Number 41
Row Well Number 41's picture

I could see this working, though maybe not through a wall, to much loss of fidelity.  Record the typing, differentiate the various key sounds, and compare frequency to a letter usage histogram and you could get pretty close, certainly close enough to get the gist.


Thu, 07/11/2013 - 19:12 | 3743254 MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

I heard that if you drop some bean-dip into the manual typewriter it confuses the detection algorithm.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 17:58 | 3743048 TheGardener
TheGardener's picture

I can hear your mind clicking while you make up your reasoning. ;-)

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 18:50 | 3743201 GeezerGeek
Thu, 07/11/2013 - 15:51 | 3742430 Palladin
Palladin's picture

Well if all this NSA/Microsoft/Google spying isn't enough to make you want to turn off your computer, this might.

Ever heard of HPA or DCO?  Didn't think so. Host Protected Areas (HPA) and Device Configuration Overlays (DCO). It's kinda technical, but it's worth a read.

A white paper here:

Even Wikipedia has some information:

And if you are stupid enough to use FaceBook Chat, then watch this video:





Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:03 | 3742625 catacl1sm
catacl1sm's picture

Truecrypt can encrypt the HPA in full disk encryption.

Thu, 07/11/2013 - 16:37 | 3742758 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

From wikipedia:

"HPA can be used by various booting and diagnostic utilities, normally in conjunction with the BIOS. An example of this implementation is the Phoenix FirstBIOS, which uses BEER (Boot Engineering Extension Record) and PARTIES (Protected Area Run Time Interface Extension Services)."

BEER. And PARTIES. Someone over at Phoenix was having waaaaay too much time on their hands.

And yes, I took the time to look it up. Unsupervised much?

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