[discuss] What concrete activities were revealed that led us here?

S Moonesamy sm+1net at elandsys.com
Thu Jan 16 09:11:58 UTC 2014

Hi Greg,
At 22:22 15-01-2014, Shatan, Gregory S. wrote:
>So far, what I've found that's concrete relates 
>to the US working with private enterprises (no 
>reason to name names here) to gain access to 
>data.   But it appears that these relationships 
>could (and probably do) happen in any country 
>with significant private enterprises (and a 
>governmental yen for surveillance), and it seems 
>those relationships would exist in largely the 
>same fashion even if the US had no special 
>relationship to the Internet.  (Spies will be 
>spies, after all, and IG isn't going to stop 
>them.)  So, this isn't really what I'm looking for.


>Of course, I've found a lot of higher level, 
>abstract discussions that don't tie back to any 
>discrete, identifiable action that the US was 
>able to take because of its position vis a vis 
>the Internet.  Some of these are interesting and thought-provoking.  Then there
>  are that say the connection between Snowden 
> and the impetus for an IG shakeup is clear and 
> obvious, but they don't actually demonstrate 
> the connection and seem to end up with more of 
> a guilt by association argument.  And those 
> that assume the connection or seem to be using 
> Snowden as an excuse and quickly move on to 
> next steps in shifting IG around.  There are 
> even speculative arguments that the technology 
> could have developed in a different way or 
> would develop in a different way if the 
> US/Internet relationship were different or 
> nonexistent.  But these are also not what I'm looking for.


>I am really looking for concrete technical 
>exploits revealed by Snowden that were uniquely 
>made possible by the way things work now with 
>the US relationship to the Internet, and for 
>citations to primary sources (or reliable 
>secondary sources that quote or link to primary 
>sources) that report/reveal those exploits.  To 
>use a crude analogy (and with apologies to 
>anybody who knows anything about technology) I 
>want something like, "Because the cable company 
>has located a mess of cables and boxes in my 
>closet, I'm able to steal cable TV.  If they 
>took that out of my closet, I wouldn't get free 
>cable anymore.  And here's how I did it."  I 
>haven't really found this yet.  What am I missing?


>philosophical or political reasons why.  What I 
>am keen to find out are the factual technical reasons why.

The Powerpoint affair is used as the source 
material to try and understand the story.  The 
Powerpoint slides are publicly available.  What 
some people on this mailing list refer to as 
infrastructure does not provide the means for 
technical attacks unless some of the services 
provided by the said infrastructure leverages the 
trust on the service(s) to deploy a targeted technical attack.

Most of the traffic that goes over communication 
links is unencrypted.  There is a belief that 
some agencies can intercept that traffic on a 
large scale.  There is a belief that some 
agencies can deliver software to a person's 
computer by, for example, getting that person to 
visit a web site which will compromise the person's computer.

S. Moonesamy  

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