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The CIA Even Spies On The Senate; Here's How To Take Back Your Digital Privacy

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black at Sovereign Man blog,

Back in March serious allegations came out of the Senate that the CIA was monitoring and even hacking Senate computers. They were denied vehemently at the time by CIA director John Brennan, who went so far as to say “that’s just beyond the scope of reason.”

Unsurprisingly, of course, the CIA has now come out saying that, yes, they did in fact spy on Senate aides’ computers. Oh, and that they’re sorry. Very sorry.

This is stuff that would have been a major scandal not too long ago, causing a public outcry for the heads of those responsible.

Today, it seems par for the course. It’s taken for granted that governments around the world, spearheaded by Uncle Sam, monitor communication via email, phone, social networks, webcam etc. en masse.

And nothing happens.

Despite Edward Snowden’s decision last year to basically condemn his life to that of a fugitive and branded “traitor” by shedding a major spotlight on just exactly how brazenly and extensively the US government invades the privacy of people all around the world, the reaction, at least in the US, was muted.

As the saying goes, ‘The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.’

Even though government surveillance is becoming more and more invasive, there are ways to shield yourself from prying eyes.

If you agree with the premise that every person has the right to protect their personal matters and privacy from the Big Brother, there are free options to use out there that can ensure your communications, your digital presence and activity, and your data remain secure and private.

For calls, for example, the company Open Whisper Systems has developed apps that protect the privacy of your voice conversations.

If you’re an Android user, Red Phone is an open source app that secures your calls with end-to-end encryption. It uses your normal phone number and default dialer so you make calls just as you normally would, with no additional layers or steps necessary to protect your privacy.

To secure your text messages, the same company also has an app TextSecure that does just that.

If you’re an iPhone user, the developers of Red Phone and TextSecure took care of you too.

You can achieve the same result by using a free app called Signal – Private Messenger. Just as Red Phone, Signal makes end-to-end encrypted calls through Wi-Fi or mobile data, instead of your phone network.

Protecting your calls and texts from prying eyes and ears is just one piece of the puzzle if you want to take back your privacy.

There are so many different layers that you can protect—from your internet browsing to online searches, email, your data storage, payments etc.

We cover all these different aspects and options in our free Digital Privacy Black Paper.

I encourage you not only to implement the stuff we talk about in the Black Paper in order to take back your privacy, but to also share it with your friends and loved ones.


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Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:44 | 5098626 Australian Economist
Australian Economist's picture

The CIA is there to protect our freedom, so they should be spying on the Senate.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:53 | 5098668 Joe Tierney
Joe Tierney's picture

The CIA is there to protect our freedom...


Uh, no!


The CIA is there to protect the govt from us trying to use our freedoms.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:54 | 5098678 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Sad or silly, this is the recurrent "Breaking News" of our time: "Spies spying on spies get spied on!"

There is no concept of privacy in the networking systems we currently use. Please accept the fact that the Internet Protocol does not offer 'privacy.' You need another networking architecture in which security and privacy are inherent and prized components. That can only exist in a 'civilization' where people care about each other and "the children" forreals.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:13 | 5098752 AssFire
AssFire's picture
Here's How To Take Back Your Digital Privacy:

Defund the government- Go Gualt

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:23 | 5098781 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

CIA and NSA have just alerted Congress that terrorists are now using the US mail system to arrange imminent deadly attacks on the homeland.

Obama Administration to prepare laws to require all mail now be sent in clear plastic ziplock baggies.

GLAD bag industry spokesperson say he couldn't be gladder....

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:28 | 5098830 Gief Gold Plox
Gief Gold Plox's picture

Is this the same Simon Black who said: "...passwords I had been using for more than ten years."?

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:50 | 5098942 aVileRat
aVileRat's picture

Password strength, simplified.

On another note, National Intelligence has a legit reason to spy on Gov. given the large and well documented history of bent Congressmen selling state secrets, being Honeypot targets and seeking cash donations from China/Soviet slush funds for their votes. Does it suck ? yes. So does having Bill from Housekeeping follow you to the Hooker Hotel.

Does it suck even more when you learn your Havah'd intern is a Sino-plant, yes. But you are damn glad when Ching is shipped back to Bejing BEFORE you join a DARPA pannel. Which is why CIA senate spying is no more an issue than having your compliance department read/monitor your corporate email.

Focusing on the What vs. the Why is a key method of media message dilution/discrediting.

The more you know.





Fri, 08/15/2014 - 17:32 | 5099826 seek
seek's picture

Domestic counterintelligence is the FBI's jurisdiction, not CIA.

And no agency should ever be spyng on the comittee in charge of their oversight. If it's a concern, create a different committee with a different agency in charge of spying on them.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 19:18 | 5100194 CH1
CH1's picture

Fuck the CIA and the Senate!

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 20:07 | 5100393 conspicio
conspicio's picture

Nice one except Glad only makes trash bags and food storage let's go with Ziploc for the win. In that context, this must be the same Ziploc salesforce behind TSA's 311 quart bag rule...and too bad it is a privately held company, cause I woulda liked a piece of that kabuki security TSA wave of profit...

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 20:59 | 5100606 philipat
philipat's picture

I thought they also made "Handbags and GLADrags"?

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:21 | 5098786 linniepar
linniepar's picture

*over the load speaker £


"Golfer in chief, red phone line 1... golfer in chief, red phone line 1."

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:20 | 5098778 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

No doubt - the reason the CIA supposedly hacked the staffers PCs was to look for evidence that they had absconded with some documents that they were supposed to "looky only, no takey". They found said evidence btw, so obviously Sandy Berger is remembered at more than just beach cookouts. bada boom

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 17:58 | 5116846 cooky puss
cooky puss's picture

"Please accept the fact that the Internet Protocol does not offer 'privacy.'"

Boy, I can tell you my VPN (aka internet condom) is on!

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:56 | 5098669 knukles
knukles's picture

1.) The moment you encrypt, you have raised your hands and asked to be examined.
2.) If it in any way is connected to the etherspace, it is vulnerable, 100%
3.) Read LawsofPhysics post below.... if you want secure, don't use electronic media.
4.) End of Conversation


we keep going over and over this same shit to no avail

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:34 | 5098859 Excursionist
Excursionist's picture

Wish I could disagree, but I can't.

For anyone interested, here are some points of vulnerability (not arrogant enough to suggest the list is exhaustive) that an app layer on a device cannot address:

- Device manufacturer mistakenly introduced chip-level, firmware bugs / weaknesses

- Device manufacturer purposely introduced chip-level, firmware bugs / weaknesses

- Device manufacturer purposely introduced chip-level, firmware backdoors

- Device manufacturer unknowingly had chip-level, firmware backdoors inserted

- Chip manufacturer (think Broadcom, Qualcomm, etc.) that sells to device manufacturers introduced a chip-level, firmware bug, weakness and / or backdoor

- Firmware developer that sells software to chip manufacturers introduced a bug, weakness and / or backdoor

- Operating system developer (i.e., Google, Microsoft and Apple) willfully and / or accidentally introduced a vulnerability

- Miscellaneous low-level apps that have access to plain text (e.g., app for typing text on a smartphone's digital keyboard) have bugs, weaknesses and / or backdoors

- App layer relies on an allegedly safe encryption standard such as AES

- User is of high interest, and someone incurred the expense of physically compromising his or her device without user's knowledge


Fri, 08/15/2014 - 16:16 | 5099447 allgoodmen
allgoodmen's picture

What is needed is some collective "white noise." This could be done by designing browsers, plug-ins and apps to generate random encrypted traffic for security agencies to waste their time trying to break.

1) Firstly, as much traffic has to be encrypted as possible. There is nothing suspicious about HTTPS for instance.

Then we need general deployment of:

2) A browser or plug in that browses random pages and search results, from a pre-selected subset of topics, thru a workplace type filter of course. This smears your "fingerprint", dilutes your actual interests, as well as alibis your presence.

3) App or program to send random email, 1024 bit encrypted (each with one-time random keys, not stored since it is not intended to be actually opened), empty containers or containers containing above pages, of random size, to other users of the app or program which would automatically delete it.

4) App to send sporadic SMS with encrypted attachments same as #2.

Remember they know who you are. They have 1) Your IP address doesn't change much and your phone number rarely if at all. The only way to get privacy is to bury the agencies in a snowstorm of white noise.

If enough people did #3 and 4, the NSA storage farm would have to expand noticeably and they would have to hire an obvious number of crypto experts and techs to try to examine the captured messages.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:10 | 5099020 shouldvekilledthem
shouldvekilledthem's picture


Maybe this reaction is their goal.

The internet is the only remaining medium of freedom.

There is TOR, Bitcoin, VPNs, I2P, TAILS (and other linux distros) and many more ever evolving tools at our disposal. 

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:15 | 5098756 Bloppy
Bloppy's picture

US Consulate in Karachi's bizarre promotion of hippie era:


Glad they have their priorities straight: sex, drugs, rock & roll in the Islamic world

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:45 | 5098632 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Really?  Try this Simon, get the fuck off all digital media and the internet.  I promise, you will be secure, no one will find you.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:48 | 5098649 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

I agree with you.

Even with cell phones you can limit your exposure with a prepaid or no contract plan. Any information they require such as a name, you give them a false name.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:56 | 5098680 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

I've reverted to the "two cans and a string method" ... seems ok so far.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:02 | 5098702 813kml
813kml's picture

And you probably have better coverage than AT&T.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:02 | 5098704 msmith9962
msmith9962's picture

Pigeons are where it's at.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:26 | 5098819 fallout11
fallout11's picture

Don't laugh, but the Soviet Union continued to use field phones for semi-static battlefield communication long after western militaries moved to radios, as late as the late 1980's. Besides being cheaper and generally more rugged/reliable, communciations could not be interecepted (without literally sitting on the wire) nor could it be disrupted/jammed.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:50 | 5098653 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

His recommendations aren't bad, but are far too cumbersome to be widely implemented.

Plus, people don't give a shit - the game's already lost.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:57 | 5098684 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

If the government has access to all the information on your phone, then there is no such thing as the ability to "encript" anything.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:19 | 5098780 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

If you have a rule based firewall that can block all outgoing traffic wireless, voice, sms, etc. you've essentially lockied down the phone. It is secure if it can't transmit period. It don't matter what malware gets snuck on as an app since they all need access to the antenna(s).

They can't use silent SMS pings to locate your phone for starters. Encryption is another issue but for starters you just don't use sms if you need to securely text message.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:38 | 5098873 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

ah yes, I miss the days of "trianglation"...

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:42 | 5099228 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

They never left.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:38 | 5098877 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Here is the problem with apps like this.

Yes, TextSecure keeps your messages safe in two ways:

  1. It protects your messages using end-to-end encryption when you are communicating with other TextSecure users. You can read more about TextSecure's security here.
  2. It protects your messages on your phone using local encryption if you have a passphrase enabled. This keeps them away from prying eyes if your phone is lost or stolen.

App based encryption security like this requires other users to be using the same app.

The other issue is the storage of the keys, I haven't really checked this particular product but the keys are stored unencrypted on the phone. More robust solutions will use an encrypted SD card to store the keys and app on so if the popo asks to see your phone or confiscate it they still need to crack that first before they even get to your keys. Also if someone manages to slip in a trojan it is resistant to tapping into the line since it can't get at the key.

The encryption part of this program is not the problem it is the implementation which is lacking here. You are better off with a hardened vpn tunnel since that will attract less attention in the first place and is more widely implemented.


Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:57 | 5098974 vulcanraven
vulcanraven's picture

In recent weeks, I have been reading the complaints of sheeple all across the internet about the new Facebook messenger app and its abilities to manipulate the camera and microphone on your cellphone.

In protest, they have vowed "not to install the new Facebook Messenger app" because they believe it is an intrusion of their privacy.

Way to be ahead of the curve, schmucks.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:05 | 5098713 conspicio
conspicio's picture

I recently went back and reread the Ted Kaczinsky writings. Still a lot of crazy in there, but damn, some of that pro-Luddite stuff resonates a helluva lot more now than a number of years ago. Plus, the old Mad Magazine Spy versus Spy looks a lot more like a documentary rather than funny cartoons.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:17 | 5098728 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

For those who take their Privacy seriously, there's the Analog Real World.  Tradecraft 101.

For everyone else, there's the Black Report Or fancier versions of it.

Suggest you maximize your time in the Real World, and reduce time in the Cyber World (of the Matrix). 

But, while Online and plugged into the Matrix...

   1. Watch your choice of words:  replace danger-words or flame-words with weasel-words, or more precise words than generic slurs. 

   2. Start changing your habits, and adopt a Dual Persona:  A vanilla Public Persona while Online, and the real persona when Offline.  That's exactly what shills and agents of TPTB do:  Dual Personas.  Sheeple can't help but wear their "One Hats Fits All", of course.

p.s. As Common Courtesy: Thanks Simon.  The Report is great for 95% of the readers, and the price is right.  :-)

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:51 | 5101375 pakled
pakled's picture

Ki-rak! I think you got it pretty close.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:48 | 5098644 ragemachinest
ragemachinest's picture is also a good resource for solid software. Also, I like the Telegram app, which uses end to end encryption when you use a "Secret Chat".

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:59 | 5098663 Jorgen
Jorgen's picture (hosted in Iceland) - back to back encrypted email, instant messaging and videoconferencing for Windows, Mac, Linux and smartphones.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:20 | 5098790 ragemachinest
ragemachinest's picture

Hadn't heard of that one. Great to know! is one capable of doing encrypted emails that I like.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:48 | 5098646 seek
seek's picture

"If you’re an Android user, Red Phone is an open source app that secures your calls with end-to-end encryption. It uses your normal phone number and default dialer so you make calls just as you normally would, with no additional layers or steps necessary to protect your privacy."

LOL, using an app on a phone where the phone company has direct access to the entire contents of the phone (including encryption keys used by the app) is not what I would call secure.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:59 | 5098692 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

I'm with you this post is a joke. If you are someone who has a lot of knowldege and experience in this area, then maybe you can find loops and end runs. Someone like me, no way. I just have to know everything I say and do electronically is stored and can or even will be used against me at the time of their choosing.

I am developing some cognitive dissonance I think. Long ago we slept in caves and huts together. Privacy was an alien idea. I am internalizing the mind set that privacy is a cultural contruct. It was real for a while, and now it isn't again.

Of course what we dispise is the ONE WAY NATURE of the beast. They can know what we do, but we don't get transparency from them. That is the real crime here, the asymetrical power.

Oh yeah, I forgot to say "NSA you are limp dicked, sad, pathetic, power hungry twats. You hunker over your keyboards and spy on folks because you have nothing else to offer anyone."

Sorry seek, you were saying?....

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:08 | 5098731 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

I like to take pictures of my bare ass, send them to myself in a text message with the words "Eat my ass TSA" on a regular basis.  It makes me smile at least.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:14 | 5098755 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

Yo Ms., to add some distinction to this concept of privacy, there's "public" privacy, and "private" privacy. The public kind is the one where you provided the example of sleeping in caves and huts together for millennia - that is a social contract. The private kind is the one that the cosmos gave you - it is the doorway to your brain, and permission of entry is entirely selective by your mind. "They" grant themselves permission by tricking you, and it's a cosmic injustice.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:52 | 5098874 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

I was into electronics from a very young age. Lived in an areas where there was no telephone service whatsoever. I soldered my own communication devices from scrap (even wound speakers and microphones out of insulated wire, magnet shards and PVC pipe). I ran phone lines to friends' houses. I dug trenches, scaled rooftops for that. I was my own phone company and it felt great! Through, because the telephone service was only available between friends, those who weren't in the club didn't like it and would regularly cut lines and sabotage communications.

I bet those same kids grew up working for the NSA. Or maybe they became those "service is a right" ObamaCare people.

I wasn't a monopoly. I never prevented others from doing what I did, but that wasn't good enough for some.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:10 | 5099047 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

You're fucking awesome as fuck. Keep doing what you've always done.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 16:57 | 5099693 doctor10
doctor10's picture

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."


Ayn Rand

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 20:48 | 5100564 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

"a reasonable expectation of privacy" is a springboard of Fourth Amendment law and I always wonder when they will finally stop pretending and just announce there is no more. 

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:37 | 5098870 css1971
css1971's picture

Which is why you should take a look at Jolla.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:50 | 5098656 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Banking handlers blew the Dog Whistle. Obama has to break his vacation and comeback home.

We have a new twist for Turd in Chief to read from the Teleprompter. 

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:50 | 5098658 optimator
optimator's picture

And NSA spies on the CIA (Petraeus).

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:59 | 5098662 MarsInScorpio
MarsInScorpio's picture

I've never plugged a business on ZH, but for ths topic I'm going to stick my neck out and make an exception. If that sends you ballistic, I ask for your pardon in advance . . .


Certified Expert Witnesses in Florida Circuit Court system as computer crimes experts - used by Public Defender's Office and private attorneys - the only non-law enforcement officers who are certified expert witnesses in the FL Panhandle circuit - Reciprocal states' agreements makes certification valid in any state or federal court:


Kenneth E. Lamb / Glenn Obert

CyberSmart Computers and Networking

850-479-0777 - Central Time Zone - US

In business for over 20 years



Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:52 | 5098670 max2205
max2205's picture

Street cams, TSA, and water bills......

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:53 | 5098671 ejmoosa
ejmoosa's picture

How does one know that the developers of those apps are not the CIA?  


There is no longer any privacy with electronics.  To believe so is dangerous.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:11 | 5098749 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Same with the "InPrivate" browser modes on the iPhone.  Chances are it just flags the user.  Fortunately, for the CIA/NSA, the private mode means someone watching porn, so the CIA/NSA probably turns on both cameras on the phones to get the bottom nakedness and the O face of every user at during "InPrivate" mode.  Then that information is sold to the SEC so those folks don't have to spend so much time searching for porn at work, they just get it HAND delivered.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:57 | 5099342 shouldvekilledthem
shouldvekilledthem's picture

Inprivate is a standard browser feature which aims to disable saving local history.

Firefox, chrome, opera all have this feature but it was never meant to provide anonimity, only that your wife or children won't see your browsing history.

TOR and I2P are the 2 most popular anonimity networks.  

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:15 | 5098761 css1971
css1971's picture

You use open source software. Even if you are unable to check yourself, it means that other people can. This doesn't guarantee security but it improves your odds considerably.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:54 | 5098673 Jano
Jano's picture

A Schrott.
A sidenote: Truecrypt for phased out.
SImply first of all, stop using Microsoft, or any non OpenSource thing.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:04 | 5098714 seek
seek's picture

The whole TrueCrypt shutdown is pretty interesting. It was open source, but has the plug pulled literally overnight with a cryptic warning that suggests the NSA was involved.

So even open-sourced stuff may not protect you, but I agree, step #1 is no commercial software. Step #2 is keep anything important permanently off the net.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:25 | 5098813 css1971
css1971's picture

There's an audit of the code ongoing. See what it turns up.


Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:07 | 5099027 seek
seek's picture

So far it's passed audit. I think suspicions were that they dropped national security letters on some of the developers to force them to put in some well-hidden backdoors. The fact that this happened during the audit would make sense -- they'd target updates to already audited code to slip it through.

My guess is people were actually starting to use TrueCrypt that weren't before and the NSA was having a fit about it. Thankfully there are other tools, and they can't kill them all.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 19:14 | 5100181 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

It is probably simplier than that. Microsoft either with the NSA doing the heavy lifting or through threatened litigation were behind getting Truecrypt development stopped simply for the fact it was most likely costing them a lot of lost revenue in people buying win 7/8/8.1 home systems to avoid paying extra for use of EFS/Bitlocker which is only included with the Premuim and Professional versions (which cost more also).

Remember they do have a 'relationship' with the NSA and I'm sure they asked for them to reciprocate the love in this case.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:40 | 5099219 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Opensource isn't without it's pitfalls. First is compromised binary builds by third parties since most people do not compile their own code from github for example. Then even with trusted binary builds that can be verified through site like github or sourceforge you have the issue of spoofed DNS redirectors being set up so when you click the link you download the binary except it is not from sourceforge or github and that binary happens to be weakened (usually they attack the random number generator function so it works normally and the encryption isn't weakened but they are able to easily guess the key).

That is where things like dnscrypt comes in

or dnschain which is based on namecoin and is integrated into certain public dns servers or you could run your own internally (most secure way)

This is stuff opensource sites should be implementing aka .bit addresses to mirror their .com addresses to deal with these potential problems.

The random number generator being weakened is a common attack vector. Here is another example of it whether purposeful or accidental with Debian weakening openssl that was missed since it only was a single line of code that was changed.

It is not the encryption that is the problem in most cases they go after the weak links in the chain.

Another issue concerning this text app is the use of passphrases. I don't know how it stores them but if it caches it in memory then it is essentially useless since a trojan or malware can pull it from the memory if you entered it at any time while they are running even if they aren't keylogging. How many people actually power down their phones these days unless flying?

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 16:21 | 5099433 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

I don't how well it compares since I've never used Truecrypt but an opensource alternative to look at.

For Macs even though it is closed source Filevault2 is supposed to be good enough for regular day to day use

And for the more technically able certain Linux distributions have their own builtin implementation called Linux Unified Key Setup (LUKS).

Good article here concerning Ubuntu and how to set it up

Frankly the best way to hide is in plain site and just look like background noise if you don't want to attract attention. Especially in the 'cloud'.

The technique is called steganography.

Here is some reading on it for people that are interested.



Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:58 | 5098688 PivotalTrades
PivotalTrades's picture

The perfect snare

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:02 | 5098706 NaiLib
NaiLib's picture

First the Russians, then the Germans, and now the Scandinavians - They have all reverted to type writers.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:05 | 5098718 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

I hope they are smart enough to destroy the old ribbons.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:04 | 5098715 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

If the "Conservatives" and "Liberals" and "Progressives" - who are the majority of the US voters - don't care about the "Snowden" problem then there's nothing that can be done.

Apparently the "Conservatives" and "Liberals" and "Progressives" only care about the proper usage of the genitals or making the government as big as possible.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:05 | 5098719 VWAndy
VWAndy's picture

They done gone feral. Accountability or the lack of it. Hand all of it over to a grand jury. Poof the data center goes up in smoke. They cant take the sunshine like vampiers.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:09 | 5098740 VWAndy
VWAndy's picture

Who is watching the watchers? Nobody is. Thats the problem and the solution is have someone do that job well.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:16 | 5098741 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

I have a better idea.


I'd rather take my chances with all the terrorists they've caught.

I'd be 100% secure.

Except from the biggest terrorist organization...



Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:15 | 5098758 VWAndy
VWAndy's picture

Like they couldnt just ID theft any money they want.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:16 | 5098765 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

How many wankers own Android and Apple products? How many bought applications [APPS] thru a service to create productively? How many of you read the terms of conditions in downloading the application tied into your phone IP and everything stored on your mobile smartphone? 

How many people think that your agreement click acceptance protects your personal information from getting sold to a thriving identify theft company? 

What you don't realize, the shopping value reward cards have been profiling you, so have the Banks watching you swipe the EBT, Debit and Credit card transactions . Collectively, they are going to ask you to buy new upcoming products based on a category of pre-existing purchased brand names. 

The 2014 Santa Claus rally is going to be a tough mark to hit for investors. The new cat out of the hat fraud will be spawned before Labor Day weekend. 

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 16:56 | 5099685 Gawd
Gawd's picture

If it's just about buying more crap, that's easy to solve. Just don't buy whatever shit they are selling. No one is forced to buy. I do however understand your point. Most Americans are so fucking stupid that they can be marketed easily.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:15 | 5098766 joego1
joego1's picture

encrypting your info is the fastest way to attract the gov. algos

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:30 | 5098823 Bloodstock
Bloodstock's picture

True, but since my info is so insignificant, they'll be wasting their time. As more people with boring lives encryt and become the norm, the trolls will tire and throw their hands up into the air mumbling, what the fuck I got the munchies, where are my cheetos? I got better things to do!

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:34 | 5098856 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

Be sure to include a message inside just for them

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:17 | 5098772 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

At least Bitcoin is safe.  ;0

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:23 | 5098798 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

My supermarket called me to let me know I'm low on butter and eggs.

They also told me to get rid of the green ham stuck in the back of my fridge.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:29 | 5098835 notadouche
notadouche's picture

Mine called to let me know I was out of Trojan Magnum's.  I tried to assure them they most definitely had the wrong number but they insisted they knew better than me.  

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:24 | 5098806 boodles
boodles's picture

Guys and gals -- just GIVE UP THE CELL PHONE.  I gave mine up last week.  Still feeling a bit dislocated, but jeez, life goes on.  Remember when we used to come home to answer the phone, when you didn't have to have that cell on you "because it is safer" when  you drive?  Those of us "at a certain age" actually remember life before cell phones.  It wasn't that bad.

If you drive a new car with a locater GPS, get rid of it.  Disengage it.

And television?  Waste of time.  Get rid of that, too.

Confession: I can't get rid of wifi/Internet.  But I read several books a week, play the market, garden and GET MORE DONE without all these virtual distractions.  Life is better without that crap.  Trust me.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 21:13 | 5100642 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture


I use drop phones, change my plan from Go to something else every 3 months ro so....and it drives my friends crazy that I don't TwitterTwat, do asinine waste of time Fartbook or text.



Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:25 | 5098812 p00k1e
p00k1e's picture

Fight the power! 


I’ve got a rough draft for a ‘get rich’ stage for the Caucasian Maverick.

You’ll need:
1. One packet ketchup.
2. One packet crackers.
3. A cell phone with video capability, Internet package and live Twitter feed. 
4. A steady hand at videography or an accomplice. 

Locate one of Ray Kroc’s most beloved hamburger joints, on one side of town.  Grab a packet of crackers and ketchup from this place.  Now slide to the other side of town, predominately AA area would work best, again locate one of Ray Kroc’s most beloved hamburger joints.  Go through the drive-thru. 

Get the drive-thru jockey frustrated during your ordering of a ‘Big Money’ meal.  As you’re told, ‘first window’...  Start rolling the camera…  make sure radio sound is loud enough to cover-up rustling of bag and ‘Big Money’ packaging unwrap/rewrap.  But low enough to get the verbal exchange.

This scene begins with you finishing the voicing of concern for the drive thru jockey’s attitude toward you… “…drive-thru jockey sure seemed unfriendly…”  your friend ignores your comment and continues on with the complicated topic started prior to order. 

Enter the frustrated drive thru jockey.  Already pissed, continue to provoke him/her.  Make sure to video him/her as belligerent while you portray yourself as an innocent Spongebob type.

As you are pulling away with the ‘Big Money’ meal, have your accomplice continue to video the drive-thru jockey/window.  Your accomplice should video while facing the rear window of the car with you out of the scene.  But as your accomplice turns to face the rear window, make sure to get a frame of the closed ‘Big Money’ bag.

The money shot.  While accomplice is still turned toward drive-thru, you must quickly open the packaging of the ‘Big Money”, stash a cracker in your ‘Big Money’ with a dollop of ketchup on top, close packaging and re-bag.  This has to soundlessly happen in three seconds or less.  Have friend turn around in the car making sure to get the closed bag in frame again.

While camera is still rolling, jokingly say you should check the products for spit and pull over.  Act astonished and shocked at the ‘discovery’ – a ‘cracker’ with ‘ketchup’.  Recognize this, as a threat on your life – (a Falstaff Brewery (from St. Louis) message – “Bloody Cracker”) – because everyone knows a “Big Money” doesn’t have ketchup. 

Tweet it to the world. 

Respond to the first lawyer who tweets ya back. 

Act natural.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:27 | 5098817 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

Yeah, I trust Simon Black who recommends a company with a black and white logo of a crow on a perch inside a sphere inside a cube as a safe means of communicating. If anyone on here realizes what that symbolizes then you should also realize what that means about Simon.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:26 | 5098820 BeetleBailey
BeetleBailey's picture




#2 SEE #1


Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:34 | 5098857 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Some day that information will be shared and then the blackmail begins. First likely blackmail in the name of the state but it will "leak" from there into the realm of the unimportant. Some local dipshit will want something of yours or your neighbors and will use some bit of bullshit to coerce you into doing as they wish. Porn is the biggest means of entrapment as emails between "buds" contains on occasion an underaged maiden which you both recieved and then sent' er "distributed" the email to your other buds. Read Gulag Archepelago to see what "people" will stoop to in the name of the state.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 21:32 | 5100711 Aussiekiwi
Aussiekiwi's picture

Yeah, but you can only blackmaiil a person if they give a fuck about what anybody else thinks about them, if they don't your screwed.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:30 | 5098837 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The CIA is a Chinese Corporation. I always see want ads on the Chinese cable channel. I hear they pay pretty good.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:33 | 5098850 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

BTW, save the link. Remember this warning of preconceived notion when the media tells you policies of Happy Holidays political correctness bullshit. We have already watched the Zionist protruding Merry Christmas, the media used PC. 

The Jewish investment lost billions once the malls required political correctness. 

Empty malls make broken Zionist factions. The Plan backfired. The anti semantic Jews playing cards loses everyday. 

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:36 | 5098864 Jack Burton
Jack Burton's picture

This is how we know there is a "Deep State" that supersedes the so called "elected government" of the USA. The CIA is a major player in the "Deep State", they hold power over congress and the president, they hold all the information they need to blackmail memebers, or failing that, "John Kennedy" them. Hint, look into the record of small plane crashed and suicides! The reason I can't post on here just who the "Deep State" is, is because they act behind the scenes. The major players run places like. Major US Defense Corporations, Senior Military Officers, Senior Officers of the CIA and NSA, The Federal Reserve and major Bank leaders, some religious groups, AIPAC. Common sense will tell you who the powers really are. "Spie on Congress" who is surprised? THEY tell congress what to do, congress does not pass laws that are not cleared with THEM. Many of us still vote, but that really is outdated as a means of government. The tiny elites who sit in the places I listed along with some remains of American "Old Money" are that dreaded Military, Industrial, Spy complex we all know exists.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:50 | 5098947 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

"If you agree with the premise that every person has the right to protect their personal matters and privacy from the Big Brother,"

"Big Brother" is not provided for in the Constitution and therefore all associated with it are Article 3, Section 3 treasonous criminals. 

An American, not US subject.


"Big Brother meet Big Guillotine."

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 14:54 | 5098964 DadzMad
DadzMad's picture

"The only privacy that's left is inside your head, and maybe that's enough."

One of the most prophetic movies ever.  Enemy of the State

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:00 | 5098990 Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

Rule 1. Use open source only. Even Android has an open source version.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 15:05 | 5099017 huggy_in_london
huggy_in_london's picture

Thank you for this link.

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 18:16 | 5099844 daemon
daemon's picture

" If you agree with the premise that every person has the right to protect their personal matters and privacy from the Big Brother, there are free options to use out there that can ensure your communications, your digital presence and activity, and your data remain secure and private. "

But here, you don't address the real problem, which is to be able to communicate without  a gov. agency always spying on you. Here you are simply aknowledging the fact that they do spy, and you are simply proposing tricks to hopefully circumvent the problem.

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 12:47 | 5102322 honestann
honestann's picture

A few factoids.  First, encrypted information can be decrypted by NSA, CIA, techies.  The only reason they might not decode your message is... how long it takes them to decrypt your message.  The "how long" part is mostly a function of how many bits in the encryption you adopt --- the more bits the better.

So in practice, if they do not decrypt your message, that is because they decide the probability your message is important to them is small.  Nonetheless, they store everything, so if LATER they decide your past messages might be important to them, they can decrypt them later.  Remember that.

Also remember that their ability to decrypt increases significantly every year.  A normal PC with modern "thousands-of-cores" GPU cards (like Titan) can decrypt messages fairly quickly today that took much longer just a 2~4 years ago.  This phenomenon will continue for many years, so the number of bits of encryption required to be effective has increased from 32 to 40 to 48 to 64 to 128 to 256 to 512 to 1024 to 2048 to 4096 over the past decade or two.

And so, if you want a message to remain encrypted for decades, you need at least 4096 bit encryption, and possibly 65536 bit encryption.  These are not exact numbers of course, because this is not the computer and software field that I spend most of my time with.  But after some guru tells you how many bits encryption are required now, ask him how many will be required in a decade or two.  If they are honest and thoughtful (and not trying to sell you something or convince you to adopt a specific application), they'll say something like what I say here.


A couple items that others mention from time to time that bear repeating.

All popular encryption algorithms are known in complete detail to every techie.  They are published in the open.  NOTHING unknown about these algorithms.  What IS unknown is... [part of] your [private] "key".  Your private "key" is just a big "random" number (somewhere between 32-bits and 4096-bits these days... see above).

Your "random" key is normally generated by a "random number generator", which is almost certainly one of a few dozen well known software routines.  For several very important reasons (for other applications of "random numbers"), the "random numbers" that "random number generators" output are repeatable.  This means, if your software application runs the "random number generator" routine a thousand or a million times with the same input, it generates the same output every single time.  Since a great many applications generate the input to run their "random number generator" algorithms from a password you enter (with yet another known, consistent, repeatable algorithm), encrypted data created by those applications is vastly easier to decode.  Why?  Because the "code breaking algorithm" doesn't need to decrypt your data, only figure out your key.  And since your key was created with simple and repeatable algorithms from a password you supply, your data is no more secure than simple password protection.  The solution should be obvious: create your own key manually, or with some software algorithm that explicitly computes the key with non-repeatable techniques (like some complex manipulation of several random executions of the value of the RDTSC instruction).  The downside?  These keys cannot be recovered or created from an original password (if they even ask for a password as part of key generation).


I'm sure I'm getting too technical for most folks here.  Pretty much what I'm trying to convey is how to protect information that you really, really, really, absolutely, positively must keep private.  And to convey that many if not most normal encryption schemes are relatively easy [to difficult but possible] for NSA, CIA, techies to decrypt.

Strangely, some fairly practical and effective solutions to the problems I mention are also fairly simple.  The very fact that one encryption technique has been adopted almost universally (for all encryption) means... most "code breakers" assume that technique is how your information is hidden.  And so, they tend to focus all their efforts upon figuring out the relevant key or keys, which then lets them decrypt your data as easily as you.

Which means, one of the most effective ways to make your data private is to "scramble" your data in some other [pseudo] proprietary way before it is encrypted by normal encryption routines (and "unscramble" after being decrypted).

Examples: create truly randomized tables of [unique] 8-bit or 16-bit (or 2n bit) integers.  Then scramble the order of the bytes in your data file based upon one randomized table of unique integers, and then XOR the bytes in your data file based upon another randomized table of integers.  Then execute the reverse processes after decryption to recover the original data.  As it turns out, this simple approach helps a LOT in practice.  Why?  For several reasons, but here is the most obvious.  To figure out a key the "code breakers" only need try out many keys on the first small portion of your file, then compare the result to determine whether the decrypted information "looks random", or looks like text, or a microsoft word file, or a PDF file, or any of dozens of files created by standard applications.  This (and other fairly simple but tricky techniques) massively reduces the effort required to determine your key.

Note:  If you're inclined to do the above, you probably want to implement several steps of scrambling... the more the better.

Note:  The very significant problem with the above techniques is... they cannot [easily] be integrated into your software applications.  In fact, you don't want to hook them into your software applications, because modern spy software can download the entire contents of your computer (especially on windoze... linux is much better but not perfect).  The "code breakers" can then simply find the code you're executing to scramble or unscramble, and defeat you easily.  So in practice, to make this work effectively (for data that is highly important to keep private), you must accept a certain amount of hassle.  So what you must do (in practice) to be substantially secure, is to copy your data to another computer that has never been connected to the internet (or any network), run your scramble and/or unscramble routines on that computer, then transfer the results back to your main computer.

If you want this degree of security for saving information to disk, then reading information back from disk, that's sufficient.  However, if you want to send this information across a network (especially the internet), you have another serious hassle (and potentially another security risk).  That is, if you want the information to be recovered by the computer you send the data to (not just saved for backup, for later recovery if necessary), that computer must contain the same scramble and unscramble routines, and they must be executed on separate non-network computers to be safe.  Which means, you must physically HAND-DELIVER a CD/DVD/BLURAY/diskette of your scramble and unscramble routines to whoever you want to send and receive information with your scheme.  This is a HUGE hassle for most people, which is why almost everyone settles for commercial encryption software (that does not adopt this very important privacy/safety factor).


Disclaimer:  Though I know what I'm talking about here, I do not keep up with the latest and greatest in the encryption world.  Nonetheless, the encryption technique adopted hasn't really changed in roughly 3 decades... maybe more.  I also don't know if any free or commercial products exist to implement these or equivalent (or better) methods to make information more private and secure.  What I do know, as someone who knows computers and software better than the back of my hand, is that the usual techniques are nifty in theory, but have multiple weaknesses in practice.

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