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comment by am_Unition
am_Unition  ·  1783 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: INCENSER, or how NSA and GCHQ are tapping internet cables

Pretty sure that's Borat/Sacha Baron Cohen on one of the presentation slides.

Anyway, pretty terrifying overall, but it makes sense; Owning the nodes = owning inter-country internet communication.

I'd love to know whether these capabilities have actually yielded any worthwhile results, but I'll bet that's the most classified tidbit of information about this entire operation.

kleinbl00  ·  1783 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Bamford doesn't think so. He sums up the whole NSA approach as "if you want to find a needle in a haystack, your best bet is to make sure you check all the hay."

The fact that the article speculates about how quickly the surveillance devices have to dump the caches brings up an interesting point - typically, the stuff grabbed on the US side sits in vaults to be parsed as needed. If you have to jettison the framestore every 24 hours, though, that means you're looking for specific things. That actually makes it more like an old-fashioned wiretap than dragnet nonlinear surveillance. I mean, if it happened last week but you only found out about it now, that data is gone. That means you actually have to be looking for something in order to find it, rather than vacuuming the rug in case you need to screen it for pubic hairs six months from now.

There's nothing new about any of this, by the way - ECHELON is like 40 years old.