nsa mass surveillance

perm url with updates http://xahlee.org/comp/nsa_mass_surveillance.html

NSA Mass Surveillance

Xah Lee, 2010-02-23

(some blog comment about mass surveillance in USA)

I watched parts of the movie The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009 film) and reading Wikipedia about it. It has this quote in the Critical Recption section:

In a review for MSNBC, Alonso Duralde was critical of John Travolta's performance in the film, comparing it to his roles in Swordfish and Battlefield Earth: "Travolta remains singularly unbelievable as a villain. In movies like this and 'Swordfish' and, let's not forget, 'Battlefield Earth,' the actor strives for malice but generally can’t get much darker than playground-bully meanness."[26]

Swordfish is a crime thriller about computer hacking, but i haven't seen it. Heard it isn't so good. Reading Wikipedia, it has this quote:

Stanley Jobson (Jackman) is an elite hacker who infected the FBI's Carnivore program with a potent computer virus, ...

Swordfish isn't worth watching, however, Carnivore (software) gets interesting. Quote:

Carnivore was a system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications. It used a customizable packet sniffer that can monitor all of a target user's Internet traffic. Carnivore was implemented during the Clinton administration with the approval of the Attorney General.

After prolonged negative coverage in the press, the FBI changed the name of its system from "Carnivore" to the more benign-sounding "DCS1000." DCS is reported to stand for "Digital Collection System"; the system has the same functions as before. The Associated Press reported in mid-January 2005 that the FBI essentially abandoned the use of Carnivore in 2001, in favor of commercially available software, such as NarusInsight.[8]

NarusInsight. Quote:

Narus is a US private company which produces mass surveillance systems. It was founded in 1997 by Ori Cohen, who had been in charge of technology development for VDONet, an early media streaming pioneer.[1]

It is notable for being the creator of NarusInsight, a supercomputer system which is used by the NSA and other bodies to perform mass surveillance and monitoring of citizens' and corporations' Internet communications in real-time, and whose installation in AT&T's San Francisco Internet backbone gave rise to a 2006 class action lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T, Hepting v. AT&T. [2]

Hepting vs. AT&T. Quote:

Hepting v. AT&T is a United States class action lawsuit filed in January 2006 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) against the telecommunications company AT&T, in which the EFF alleges that AT&T permitted and assisted the National Security Agency (NSA) in unlawfully monitoring the communications of the United States, including AT&T customers, businesses and third parties whose communications were routed through AT&T's network, as well as Voice over IP telephone calls routed via the Internet.

The case is separate from, but related to, the NSA warrantless surveillance controversy, in which the federal government agency bypassed the courts to monitor U.S. phone calls without warrants. Hepting v. AT&T does not include the federal government as a party.

In July 2006, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California – in which the suit was filed – rejected a federal government motion to dismiss the case. The motion to dismiss, which invoked the State Secrets Privilege, had argued that any court review of the alleged partnership between the federal government and AT&T would harm national security.

The case was immediately appealed to the Ninth Circuit, where it has been argued and awaits a decision.

See also: NSA warrantless surveillance controversy.

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