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[liberationtech] Details needed about monitoring and data retention in Syria

Andrew Lewis andrew at pdqvpn.com
Tue Jan 10 14:01:29 PST 2012


Jacob, 

The people I have talked to claim to be from the tech side of intelligence agencies, and indicated a disorganized mess with competing fiefdoms. All my other poking and proding internally point to a ton of different and random equipment across different ISPs. However I have no info or access to the demarc at this point, so I'll take what your saying as the truth, I am merely indicating that my sources are not just average joes as far as I know and is based on my own investigations into the matter. 


Yes mobiles are terribly weak from a security PoV. And since this is where most of the Internet and communication penetration is at in these countries, it is even scarier.  

-Andrew

Somewhat ironically, Sent from my iPhone



On Jan 10, 2012, at 9:33 PM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at appelbaum.net> wrote:

> On 01/10/2012 01:11 PM, Jillian C. York wrote:
>> No, but it's certainly useful when putting the surveillance in
>> perspective.  Just as many of the Egyptians who later accessed their files
>> from State Security offices had never been detained or questioned, it's
>> quite possible that much of Syria's surveillance is for surveillance's sake.
>> 
> 
> I imagine that the Narus systems likely running in Egypt will have in
> impact in a number of years. Just the same as the snort IDS at the edge
> of Syria. These are databases that over time become more and more
> valuable. When smart people learn about them, smart people will do much
> much scarier things than the original creators of these systems.
> 
> 
> I think it's really important to keep perspective about perspective.
> 
> We're still around fifteen days away from a full year of revolution in
> Egypt. I'm sure we haven't seen everything yet and I'm certain that what
> we have seen, we probably don't understand very well. If the Egyptians
> were using Narus or Cisco interception, would we know? I've been told
> that the Cisco interception is used for arrests, so what do we make of that?
> 
>> Which is not to say the recommendations are wrong - they're not.  But the
>> full picture includes both the reality of the surveillance systems and the
>> reality of how authorities are using their capabilities.
>> 
> 
> Sure, I think we agree on the first point. Additionally, I'd add that
> different authorities use their capabilities in myriad of ways.
> 
> We do not know the full reality, only the capabilities. By being
> cautious, we're trying to mitigate many of the possibilities even in the
> worst of actualities.
> 
> The irony is that for internet chatting and web browsing, I think we've
> got an ironclad solution; where as for phones, we're basically all
> doomed - from billing to content.
> 
> All the best,
> Jacob
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