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[liberationtech] Handling Information About Foreign Governments

Collin Anderson collin at averysmallbird.com
Sun Sep 11 17:21:14 PDT 2011


Libtech -

Last month, in the process of work regarding quantifying circumvention, I
came across an open SARG node analyzing the destination of network traffic,
tagged with the requesting user, from a media operation of the Iranian
government. It appeared there was a two day window where the service was
publicly available before it was pulled offline. A questionably complete
HTML archive was made; which will likely need to be transformed into a CSV.

On brief evaluation, the expected peculiarities exist -- browsing Western
media, chat sites, pornography and piracy. Considering the amount of data,
it's difficult to fully assess whether it bears an importance more than
being novel. One would hope for information regarding internal operations
and the machinations of the entity. However, I am chiefly a political
science nerd and the quality of cool is different for me than normal people.

I had considered forwarding the documents to Cryptome and making the .tar.gz
available. However, on further consideration, I am cautious of releasing the
archive for a number of reasons, not the least endangering individuals.

Concerned with value in the data being fresh, I am writing the list for a
number of purposes:

   1. Suggestions from the list about what to do with this archive,
   2. Questions or ideas on what I should look for,
   3. Soliciting the attention of members of academia that may be interested
   in the dataset,
   4. Best practices on anonymizing sensitive information.

I would be happy to answer questions off-list for those concerned about
exposure.

Cordially,
Collin Anderson
-- 
*Collin David Anderson*
averysmallbird.com | @cda | Washington, D.C.
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