Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

The unknown country is blacked out in two locations. Carefully measuring the length of "Bahamas" vs. the redacted word, I found that the missing word is 1.28x longer than "Bahamas" in one case and 1.29x longer in the other. (Note that the correct way to do this is not to measure the black box, but to measure the gap and subtract off an estimate for leading and/or trailing whitespace.)

Then putting the list of 206 sovereign states from Wikipedia in Times Roman (which seems to match the font used), and finding countries that are 1.28 to 1.29 times longer than "Bahamas", I get the following list of countries:

  Bangladesh
  Cape Verde
  Kazakhstan
  Kyrgyzstan
  Madagascar
  Montenegro
  San Marino
  Somaliland
  Afghanistan
  El Salvador
  Ivory Coast
  Philippines
  Saint Lucia
  Switzerland
  Transnistria
Looking over that list, I'd say that Afghanistan, El Salvador, and Ivory Coast, are likely candidates because of US geopolitical interest and likely cooperation of the country with the American DEA.

For example, although the US might be very interested in Bangladesh and Kazakhstan, I think it's unlikely that those countries would permit the DEA to tap their phone or cellular network even for drug interdiction.

We can also rule out the Philippines because it was already separately mentioned when talking about the redacted country: "targeted communications in the Caribbean, Mexico, Kenya, the Philippines, and the unnamed country."




You can strike all two-word countries from that list because the word was long enough to wrap and it had a good amount of space on the prior line. Switzerland would be another interesting one, given the amount of financial activity there but I'm not sure what business DEA would have to make it a priority.


> You can strike all two-word countries from that list because the word was long enough to wrap

What an excellent observation. So, yes, looking at this image:

https://prod01-cdn00.cdn.firstlook.org/wp-uploads/sites/1/20...

it does look like El Salvador and Ivory Coast would have been split on two lines (unless their word processor somehow avoids separating such phrases).

We are left with Afghanistan as the most likely candidate, agreeing with the original guess.


My vote is on the Swiss.


Could come in handy with the attack on their banks.


The Bahamas and Switzerland both have a large number of off shore bank accounts. So there are more parrallels between them than between the Bahamas and Afgahnistan. It could also explain why the name is not being disclosed as the uproar in Switzerland would be huge.

But it would be kind of ironic to have bank secrecy, but then let the NSA listen in to your citizens phone conversations.

So maybe it is Afgahnistan afterall.


The communication protocols war raged in Europe from 1983 to 1992. Most governments opposed internet technology, backing instead nascent ISO networking standards. CERN’s decision to migrate to internet was heavily criticized by TCP/IP opponents.

In Geneva, the very first meeting of the Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Network (CCIRN) was in May 1988. This committee was the first attempt to harmonize the inter-regional operation of the emerging world-wide research network.

The second meeting took place in October 1988 at a summer resort in Western Virginia, sad and grey this particular autumn. The Americans turned up in force. Bill Bostwick, from the Department of Energy was the Chairman, Barry Leiner from the Department of Defense and Vint Cerf were present. The European representatives were thin on the ground: a German and British representative plus Francois Flückiger.

In 1991, 80% of the internet capacity in Europe for international traffic was installed at CERN, in building 513.

From 1985 to 1988, as CERN's first official "TCP/IP Co-ordinator", Segal was responsible for coordinating the introduction of the Internet protocols within CERN.

This router was one of two installed at CERN in 1987; they are thought to have been the first Cisco routers in Switzerland and possibly the first in Europe.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ciscosystemsrouteratcern....


> as the uproar in Switzerland would be huge.

Maybe, but Switzerland is a very small country and it's not even part of the EU, which makes it easier for the US gov't to do whatever they want in that country. So, while they would be outraged, they wouldn't be able to do anything about it.

Look at Austria which is very similar to Switzerland in many aspects: They already know that they're 100% under US surveillance and no changes are planned whatsoever (plus, they're even a EU member state).

EDIT: Looks like we're about to find out... https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7772181


OT: your username is making me chuckle at this comment




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: