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

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


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.  


Somewhat ironically, Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 10, 2012, at 9:33 PM, Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at> 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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