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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Tech behind the spying

Ars Techinica has recently posted two stories - one on the believed methods and technology behind the evesdropping the president approved in 2002 and the other a follow up on the writer's opinion about why it's a bad idea and a waste of time.

It's now easier for me to understand why and how the president decided to go the route he did. The tapping is most probably done in bulk. Meaning that, let's say, about 2 million phone conversations would be tapped per day. Then, a percentage of those calls are flagged, based on a series of key words on a watch list, And later further processed and followed up on. With this kind of volume, it's no wonder why they aren't attempting to get warrants for them. Simply becasue it'd be impossible.

But, let's say that doesn't matter. Let's ask another question: How efective could such a program be? the effectiveness of such an approach is questioned in the second post, which one can guess just by thinking about it, that it would most probably be largely ineffective - especially for intercepting calls to and from those cells who take every precaution to mask their speech in code. I would imagine this would be very easy to do. And really, who would ever talk openly about "planting" such and such a "Sunflower" over the fucking phone or email?