They wouldn't tell me much about their customers, but they specialized in switching and splitting high speed data at the physical layer.
For example : http://www.google.com/patents/US4671613 (one of the many). I'm not saying this is used but it does exist.
The installation guys actually used a device to bend individual fibers during installation, to see which ones were carrying signals. Here's a similar device: http://www.tuolima.com/optical-tool-series/test-equipment/op...
For example a device like this is used to reflect fibers: http://www.ozoptics.com/ALLNEW_PDF/DTS0095.pdf
Curving the cable as the other comment mentions might make sense if the curvature were calculated precisely, as then some (and not all) of the light would escape instead of being refracted back inside the cable.
I don't entirely understand all of this, my optics is very rusty.
But in this case the prism is 'just' a convenient way of getting the desired diagonal shape with materials of different refractiveness, you're not actually breaking light into its component wavelengths as you'd see in NSA's PRISM logo.
I'm not sure how they work, but the sales engineer said "mirrors". The fibre units are completely passive.
i.e. if I implement my service so that I don't have the keys and cannot reasonably obtain them, what does that mean for my users and their data, presuming the data is stored in the US? Juicy example: Lastpass. (I am not affiliated with Lastpass.)
I'm sure this has already been discussed on HN recently, but with the dizzying number of PRISM/Snowden/Leaks/Wiretapping threads flying around it's difficult to keep up.
They're certainly worried about persistant XSS attacks being used to gain access to peoples vaults. There's nothing stopping them performing one of these attacks themselves, targetted to a specific user.
If you think this is unlikely, look up Hushmail being compelled to send modified java applets to their users to steal their keys. It has been done before.
So yeah, if the US government wants access to a list of all of your accounts, when you logged in to them, what IPs you logged in with and your usernames and passwords, they'd probably be quite pleased to find out you're using Lastpass
In any case, my question was more towards the _legal_ situation, not the technical. Suppose you have a near-perfect no-knowledge system, how does the US gov view that entity? At least in theory, if they cannot reasonably force the company to give up the keys, what can they legally do? Can they force the company to shutdown? Can they make the company force users off the service in an attempt to get them into a less secure realm? Are such systems even legal in the current climate?
Of course there is always a way to hack it, and the $5 wrench will beat anything (pun intended), but as far as the mass surveillance mandate goes those options are probably out.
They could reconstruct this information from the graph.
"In the second case, recipients specified in the "To:" and "CC:" lines each are sent a copy of the message with the "BCC:" line removed as above, but the recipients on the "BCC:" line get a separate copy of the message containing a "BCC:" line. (When there are multiple recipient addresses in the "BCC:" field, some implementations actually send a separate copy of the message to each recipient with a "BCC:" containing only the address of that particular recipient.)"
Depending on combination and location of the MUA and MSA, it is plausible that the NSA was able to get full BCC lines.
Edit: well, I guess you didn't falsify any headers, though.
This make me depressed :/
Transoceanic cables are obvious, but there are also satellite-satellite links that are possible that could terminate right in Iowa for all we know, that the NSA wouldn't be able to retain unless/until it made it to one of the Tier 1 ISPs (they might use geolocated IPs for this).
And as the other comment mentions, the minimization procedures seem arranged to blacklist and discard only that data which is clearly US<->US so you could definitely end up with your data being socked away.
Moreover, after a lot of cynical complaining about Obama not being meaningfully different than previous administrations, it's worth noting that Obama was the one to shut this down.
I'm not interested in reflexively defending the government or Obama but we still need to pay attention to the facts at hand.
I instinctively like Obama, but I'm forced to admit that his policies on national security are by any objective means worse than his predecessor. He's just more eloquent when he talks about them.
Also, I think you must have a phenomenally short memory if you think Obama's policies on national security are stricter than Bush's were.
- He has expanded and extensively justified the drone strike program
- His administration has denied more Freedom of Information Act requests than Bush did
- His administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers than *all other administrations combined*
- He's clearly in favour of all this surveillance, even though he campaigned with promises to remove it
People need to keep their comments reasonable and cut the hyperbole if they want to get anything done. When you keep crying wolf, people stop listening. Which is fine if you just want to always get the last word in, but if we're actually concerned with overreach and national security then choosing our messaging well and keeping our concerns focused, specific and provable with neat, incremental steps is the way to go.
Maybe the difference is a management style that does a better job following through with things.
Example: Bush spends 8 years going after bin Laden, finds nothing. Obama does it in 2. When I witnessed this it always struck me that probably Bush wasn't trying very hard.
Possible parallel: Bush hears from security apparatus that we need lots of wiretapping, so they do that for a while. Obama gets in there, gets similar advice ... You can guess where that goes.
At any rate I have a hard time believing Bush would say no to this stuff.
A senior administration official queried by the Washington Post denied that the Obama administration was "using this program" to "collect internet metadata in bulk", but added: "I'm not going to say we're not collecting any internet metadata."
Can't fight big government. China or US, really doens't matter.
1. That is true of some cell-based mobile data solutions, but others use an actual IPv4/v6 address assigned to each mobile session.
2. Some popular webmail systems hide the source IP address, while others include a special header with the data.
If they are not collecting every communication in the world, you can be sure it is not from lack of ambition to do so. In the words of General Alexander:
“Why can’t we collect all the signals all the time?” the N.S.A. director was quoted as saying. “Sounds like a good summer project for Menwith."
Which is a worryng thought when you realise the implications of this ambition. We used to think that only a god could be omniscient, but that is the current ambition of our intelligence services and politicians.
I am sure some day in the future there will be MicroSD cards with this storage capacity. But now it is just mindblowing
1 Zettabyte = 1,073,741,824 terabytes.
This Quora answer says that total HD supplied numbers worldwide in 2011 was 6,800,000 units.
I find the 5 zettabyte figure hard to believe.
Using a nice IBM 4 TB tape we need 83,333,333.33 tapes for 1 zettabyte.
I still find the 5 zettabyte figure hard to believe.
But searching for tape does start producing a lot more government-like language and documents. Knowing that there is a "Summary Of Non Confidential Information On U.S. Magnetic Tape Coating Facilities" makes me want to read the confidential version.
Number 3: Never trust nobody
Your moms'll set that ass up, properly gassed up
Hoodied and masked up, shit, for that fast buck
She be laying in the bushes to light that ass up
In God We Trust, All Others We Monitor
Trust but verify
That said, I would bet good money they already have working quantum computers, in which case current crypto may have quite a few problems.
I think a better philosophy is to trust that people will behave according to the incentives and information available to them. So if there is an organization out there, you can bet that it will act to expand the scope of the organizations' actions, because organizations that don't do this eventually get replaced by ones that do. If the organization is tasked with keeping tabs on all of America's adversaries, you can bet that they will see adversaries wherever possible to preserve a purpose for the organization.
How much, at what odds, and under what conditions of settling?
Both statements in that sentence are ridiculous. Do you also wear a tin foil hat while having such thoughts?
First, quantum computing is one of those fields for which you need the brightest minds to solve it. Government jobs may still be attractive for researchers, but if they need to keep such developments a secret, it means they have to limit themselves to the people they can actually hire. This means their talent pool will be more limited than that of a company like Google, or a university like MIT, organizations that can always collaborate with whomever they want in the open, including foreign companies and universities. For building a practical quantum computer, they can have big budgets too, given that companies like Google are interested in machine learning, not to mention the pool of investors that would be dying to be a part of the next revolution. Some of the brightest minds we have worked on quantum computing already, in the open. The idea that a single country's government would be able to do a better job, in secret, is preposterous.
Second, quantum computing doesn't solve P = NP. The difficulty of brute-forcing AES-256 is only reduced to that of AES-128. It is something, but not much and that's only speaking about asymptotic complexity. Going from a feeble experiment in building a quantum computer to building farms of such computers to run distributed algorithms on them - well, I can assure you that farms of commodity hardware with capable GPUs will be used instead for a really long time.
It's not that unrealistic. Correct, it does not solve P = NP. It does, as another commenter pointed out, make it much faster (feasible) to reverse RSA by factorization.
Re: Recruiting. There are a _lot_ of very bright minds working for the government. Don't forget that the government is willing to pay literally any price to get the talent they need, and say "we will give you unlimited resources to all materials, any budget, anything".
Investors look like a joke if you get paid a large sum and have unlimited resources. Often with TS technologies you can still declassify parts of your research for the public and co-author papers. This is the same thing we do when say, the M1 Abrams Tank. We will export everything except still-classified parts to foreign countries for sale.
There are 5 Nobel prize winners at NIST alone, 4 in physics and 1 in chemistry.
Consensus mistrust of the government should worry us more than any particular capabilities it has.
I think the issue here is not so much "trust" but "trust and verify." With a proper level of effective oversight it seems that things would be much different.
Let's do this. 10btc. Name your terms.
Hint: not the secretive spy agency.
Good story, if you haven't yet read/heard it.