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[liberationtech] Belarus/Ericsson/GSM

Jim Youll jim at
Mon Jan 17 11:02:13 PST 2011

On Jan 17, 2011, at 10:40 AM, Frank Corrigan wrote:

> Of course an adversary could still set up a cloned or Open Wifi network
> for "man in the middle attacks" and no doubt to locate specific users?

Is there a substantial (as in, i'd stake a life on it) operational difference between a "rogue" (for our purposes) open Wifi network and a network in which a hostile actor has access to data at Tor entry and exit points as well as accurate geolocation of the Wifi access point itself?

Has Quova been discussed here previously? Quova and companies like it (and invisible government-run activities carrying out the same functions) should be factored in to all calculations of "safe" and "anonymous" when talking about location tracking.

I don't know about Quova's reach outside the US and Europe. It seems reasonable that they'd be welcome anywhere that geo tracking is wanted by a government, that being everywhere.

The feedback loop mentioned in the below excerpt is key, particularly with e-commerce vendors (and Facebook) who know about exact locations and hand the data over to Quova, which then can make very accurate virtual<->physical mappings. If ISPs sell IP-to-address data too, then fixed home nodes are precisely situated over long periods of time.

> "Partner and Customer Data Feedback Loop
> Quova collects information from our worldwide customer base and uses that data to continuously improve the quality of Quova’s services. Sixty percent of Quova’s customers report data back to the collection and analysis system, enabling Quova to visualize traffic patterns across major Web sites. With this information, Quova identifies high-usage networks and can concentrate our analysis on the networks most frequently affecting our customer base.

The best comment I've seen in this thread is that people have figured out that they need to turn off their phones (and yank SIM cards - well, i guess it can't hurt) and leave them at home when attending "unpopular" events. 

In digital-era protests, no-tech is the new-tech.  There's far more surveillance now than when the first neo-hippie tightened up the rubber band around his hair and declared "information wants to be free!." Demands that this not happen were not heard. It happened.

Frankly, given the California decision that a phone in the hands of someone who's arrested is subject to full search by the authorities without a warrant, there are more reasons than ever to leave evidence-laden tech at home, even in peace and freedom-loving nations like the US. That was sarcasm.

You can't outwit forces that are essentially "nature." Translated to the Internet universe, the network and network operators are the atomic elements upon which all communications are built. These have been corrupted and cannot be uncorrupted. Trying to "beat" a government actor that controls the elements of that universe is like trying to ignore gravity because it's inconvenient.

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