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[liberationtech] On the technical and legal aspects of security, transparency, and audibility of the NSA surveillance data.

Jae Kwon jkwon.work at gmail.com
Sun Jun 30 15:16:50 PDT 2013


There is debate about whether the NSA's PRISM program is related to
Palantir's products.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/23/1218189/-HBGary-Palantir-Prism-Facebook-The-Industrial-Surveillance-Complex

Whether they are related or not, it seems that the government's claims of
transparency and audibility of the NSA's PRISM program is related (perhaps
directly) to the claims of Palantir's. Search for "immutable auditing"
below:

http://www.palantir.com/wp-content/static/pg-analysis-blog/2009/07/Privacy-and-Civil-Liberties-are-in-Palantirs-DNA.pdf

It seems that even professor Lessig has bought into their marketing.

http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/54268127504/on-the-freedom-to-speak

(Palantir's product is the kind of thing that prof Lessig had always
wanted, as you can read in his book "Code: and Other Laws of Cyberspce". In
trying to strike a "balance" between copyright and privacy, prof Lessig
proposes solutions that fail to prevent blanket government surveillance.)

We need to scrutinize these technically incredible claims. I wager that for
any given system that touts immutable audibility, there is a way to hack
around it. As long as the NSA can tap the wires and record information in
vast databases for cold storage, we are absolutely in risk.

Technical/legal concepts that need to be scrutinized:

* immutable audit log (see http://www.std.com/~cme/non-repudiation.htm)
* non-repudiation
* chain of custody

 - JaeKwon
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