It’s Worse Than You Think: The Surveillance State

I’m usually surprised by the coverage regarding NSA/CIA/FBI spying: there’s some stuff we definitely should be scared of, and there’s other stuff that I file under “so, what?”

For example, the fact that the US government has consistently ignored its own laws regarding wiretapping: nobody who has observed any government in action should be surprised by that.

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Because: Freedom of Speech

During the “Arab Spring” (what a loathsome, patronizing, attitude we express!) the US Government repeatedly socialized ideas about how Twitter, etc, were important to helping anti-government protests, i.e.:

The Obama administration, while insisting it is not meddling in Iran, yesterday confirmed it had asked Twitter to remain open to help anti-government protesters. [guardian]

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More on Attribution

There’s another nice example of attribution, in a recent piece by Brian Krebs [krebsonsecurity] “Who is Anna-Senpai the Mirai Worm Author?” I’m not going to walk through it in detail, because Krebs has already done that very well.

It’s a good example of how to do attribution of an attack; the $30+billion/year US intelligence community should be able to do as good a job as a blogger like Krebs, don’t you think?

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A Canary

I keep a few canary accounts. Those are email accounts that I don’t use to send anything, but I use to sign up to various sites. I used to do this so I could track which conferences sold their contact databases to spammers or marketers. On my server, I set up forwarders that push most of the flood into my inbox, which uses bayesian spam classifiers to sort out the gunk.

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