Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th May 2014 23:47 UTC
Internet & Networking

For years, the US government loudly warned the world that Chinese routers and other internet devices pose a "threat" because they are built with backdoor surveillance functionality that gives the Chinese government the ability to spy on anyone using them. Yet what the NSA's documents show is that Americans have been engaged in precisely the activity that the US accused the Chinese of doing.

What surprises me the most is that there are still people who are surprised by this.

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I'm surprised by many things.
by siraf72 on Tue 13th May 2014 01:01 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

Not this stuff though. No, not this stuff.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I'm surprised by many things.
by bassbeast on Tue 13th May 2014 09:12 UTC in reply to "I'm surprised by many things."
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

"You die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain"

What is sad is that we in the USA had our parents and grandparents fight and suffer to stand up against fascism and totalitarian regimes only to become fascist and totalitarian. Sorry folks in the EU but We, The People have no say in our government anymore, we have two bought and paid for parties, any attempts at grass roots change is quickly hijacked by the corps, see how the Tea Party became the Koch bros Tea Party Express, and any protests are stuffed into "free speech zones" and completely neutered.

So try to remember as the NSA spies on you and the US corps try to jam their endless self enriching laws using bribery and the state dept saber rattling into your countries that the people here in the U$$A have no more control or say than our counterparts in the USSR did during the cold war. For what little its worth I'm sorry our tax dollars were/are used to develop the tech your governments use to spy on you, but they don't listen to us anymore.

Reply Score: 6

Kochise Member since:
2006-03-03

Well...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War
...

When civilians and citizens loose faith and confidence into their imposed/voted politics and representatives, there's no 100s of solutions :/

Kochise

Edited 2014-05-13 11:36 UTC

Reply Score: 1

renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Well...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Revolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War
...

When civilians and citizens loose faith and confidence into their imposed/voted politics and representatives, there's no 100s of solutions :/


Ah! What you forget is that the French Revolution is a very good example of "You die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reign_of_Terror

Reply Score: 3

hackus Member since:
2006-06-28

You are correct.

But there is one solution that always works:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution

Reply Score: 1

Kivada Member since:
2010-07-07

Actually in most cases it ends up being even worse., hence the French"Reign Of Terror" and the dozens of other examples.

The reason the American Revolution worked at all was because it was overthrowing and outside controlling force, not one that was here on the mainland.

Violent revolutions always end up as bad as outside governments coup d'état much like we've seen in our own meddlings here in the US, most of our military actions have been to put out fires we started.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm surprised by many things.
by some1 on Tue 13th May 2014 13:53 UTC in reply to "I'm surprised by many things."
some1 Member since:
2010-10-05

I'm surprised there are still no people on the streets with pitchforks and torches.

Reply Score: 4

v So...
by 1c3d0g on Tue 13th May 2014 04:51 UTC
RE: So...
by Soulbender on Tue 13th May 2014 07:40 UTC in reply to "So..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Maybe it's also about the "don't buy those guys stuff, it's unsafe and they spy on you. Buy our stuff so that we can spy on you" thing.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: So...
by 1c3d0g on Tue 13th May 2014 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

And you somehow think that you're "anonymous" on the Internet? Is there a name for this imaginary world that you live in? ;)

As soon as you're connected to the Internet, your privacy goes out the window. Basic networking knowledge. I thought most people knew this by now...

Edited 2014-05-13 13:18 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: So...
by WereCatf on Tue 13th May 2014 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

And you somehow think that you're "anonymous" on the Internet? Is there a name for this imaginary world that you live in? ;)

As soon as you're connected to the Internet, your privacy goes out the window. Basic networking knowledge. I thought most people knew this by now...


That's like saying that since people can already see some of your skin while walking on the street you should just discard all of your clothes and go bucknaked. It's a silly argument; even if some parties can track some of the things you do that's not an argument for just nilly-willy sharing everything with them.

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: So...
by 1c3d0g on Wed 14th May 2014 02:44 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

Your analogy is so screwed up, I don't even know where to begin.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So...
by Soulbender on Tue 13th May 2014 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

And you somehow think that you're "anonymous" on the Internet?


No.

As soon as you're connected to the Internet, your privacy goes out the window. Basic networking knowledge. I thought most people knew this by now...


You know this is a different thing, right? Spying from network equipment would give them access to your *private* network and all the data that you're *not* sending over the internet.
Basic networking indeed.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: So...
by 1c3d0g on Wed 14th May 2014 02:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

So, according to you, they invest millions of dollars implementing a back-door (or exploiting an unknown vulnerability), just so they can retrieve my "private" porn collection on my "private" local network? Okay...

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: So...
by Alfman on Wed 14th May 2014 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

1c3d0g,

What's with the privacy paranoia lately?

So, according to you, they invest millions of dollars implementing a back-door (or exploiting an unknown vulnerability), just so they can retrieve my "private" porn collection on my "private" local network? Okay...



Hyperbolic much? I hope you understand that the government's right to do anything comes from the people, otherwise it cannot be democratic and the founding fathers would have had us stand up and abolish such unjust power. Nothing short of our freedom depends on it.

“The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home.” - James Madison

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” - Charles Montesqueu

“A great wave of oppressive tyranny isn't going to strike, but rather a slow seepage of oppressive laws and regulations from within will sink the American dream of liberty” - George Baumler

Government is overstepping it's authority and treating us like subjects of itself rather than subject to us, this should not be taken lightly.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: So...
by 1c3d0g on Thu 15th May 2014 01:38 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: So..."
1c3d0g Member since:
2005-07-06

Look, I'm trying to understand your point of view. I really am trying hard here. What I don't get is why some people get their panties twisted whenever the NSA is mentioned.

Come on, man! You really think these folks are out there to get you? Just to take your porn collection and family photo's? Come on! Might as well put your tinfoil hat on.

The NSA has much better things to do than that. If they've implemented a back-door on routers, obviously this is for national security reasons and intended for whoever they deem a serious threat to the U.S. Of course this is dirty tactics, but this spying sh!t has been going on for ages! No single battle or war was won by being nice.

The Chinese use these methods extensively, so I really believe it's a good thing they get a taste of their own medicine. Or would you rather NOT know what those sneaky bastards are up to?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: So...
by Alfman on Thu 15th May 2014 03:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: So..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

1c3d0g,

Look, I'm trying to understand your point of view. I really am trying hard here.



It really doesn't take a microscope to understand it. Some people are evidently willing to give up their individual rights in return for some perceived security, but not all of us are. Many of our principals are based in freedom from the rule/power of others. We the people need to know what the government is doing instead of the other way around.


Come on, man! You really think these folks are out there to get you? Just to take your porn collection and family photo's? Come on! Might as well put your tinfoil hat on.


Just earlier you claimed to be "trying to understand", but here you let loose a straw man... I'll pretend I didn't see that.


The NSA has much better things to do than that. If they've implemented a back-door on routers, obviously this is for national security reasons and intended for whoever they deem a serious threat to the U.S. Of course this is dirty tactics, but this spying sh!t has been going on for ages! No single battle or war was won by being nice.


Dictators say this too, it's a crap justification for intercepting the personal communications of one's own people. Even if you want to condone this behavior, you still have to acknowledge the blatant hypocrisy.


The Chinese use these methods extensively, so I really believe it's a good thing they get a taste of their own medicine. Or would you rather NOT know what those sneaky bastards are up to?


Let me get this right, since China does something, then it's ok for the NSA to do it too? I'll admit that before the leaks, much of the NSA's behavior would have been attributed to the likes of China, but China has a terrible reputation on civil rights for it's own people. That's not something I would want my country to emulate.

Edited 2014-05-15 03:18 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Not surprised
by p13. on Tue 13th May 2014 06:40 UTC
p13.
Member since:
2005-07-10

I 3DES my toilet paper. They'll never get me!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Not surprised
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 13th May 2014 14:01 UTC in reply to "Not surprised"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

3DES?

Is that a brilliant commentary on the usefulness of the cipher, or are you stuck in an embedded world where that's your only choice?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Not surprised
by p13. on Tue 13th May 2014 14:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Not surprised"
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

There's a geek with a grudge for every kind of situation.
Apparently, there's even a geek with a grudge for toilet paper encryption algorithms.

It was a joke?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Not surprised
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 13th May 2014 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Not surprised"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

If you don't know the history of DES, maybe you don't get the joke you made.

I thought you did understand the history, and were making a brilliantly funny comment on it.

DES was developed by IBM, with some modifications ( the "S boxes") by the NSA. No one really knew why they made those modifications. Those modifications were later discovered to be specially designed to make differential cyrpto-analysis as difficult as possible.

So, by 3DES-ing your toilet paper you were triple wrapping yourself in the protection of the NSA, while giving the appearance to anyone outside of the knowledge of DES history to be a paranoid freak. That's hilarious. Although, now that I had to explain the joke, much less so.

Edited 2014-05-13 15:24 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: Not surprised
by p13. on Tue 13th May 2014 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not surprised"
p13. Member since:
2005-07-10

No ... it was definitely not intended that way.

That's deep man ...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not surprised
by Soulbender on Tue 13th May 2014 16:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Not surprised"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

168bit 3DES is actually pretty good, it's just that it's so......damn.....slow......

Reply Score: 2

Open hardware
by uggla on Tue 13th May 2014 06:51 UTC
uggla
Member since:
2011-07-06

I hope projects like Novena now takes off big time.


http://www.crowdsupply.com/kosagi/novena-open-laptop

Reply Score: 4

RE: Open hardware
by Morgan on Tue 13th May 2014 11:48 UTC in reply to "Open hardware"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

While that's an awesome project, it won't help you one bit if the router you connected it to is compromised.

Honestly, no matter how open source and secure all of your equipment is, the moment it touches another network, you run the risk of your information being exposed. Every chain has at least one weak link, and as we've seen recently, even projects like Tor are vulnerable to state sponsored monitoring.

Reply Score: 6

Has anyone actually spotted a backdoor?
by Wondercool on Tue 13th May 2014 12:30 UTC
Wondercool
Member since:
2005-07-08

Has anyone actually spotted a backdoor? The fine article alleges that the NSA intercepts orders for routers and then put at a backdoor in.

While I can totally believe that this might be happening, AFAIK very few companies (or persons) have ever discovered a backdoor that could not be attributed to hackers or software vulnerability from outside (after the delivery).

If the NSA is really practicing this, wouldn't they look silly a little bit more often? Wouldn't it be easier to install a device when it is necessary and remove it when the surveillance is over? By making changes to the hardware or adding software to the device it becomes *much* easier to accuse the NSA.

While I agree that the revelations by Snowden point to serious deluded activity by governments especially the USA, it seems now that a lot of virtually unproven allegations are attributed to the NSA. The Guardian seems to pump out new stories to keep us frightened every other week.

I hope I am not wrong...

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Sometimes, I think that Snowden was is a NSA plant. The whole leak thing is just a ruse by them to make people think they are all powerful. In reality, they suck, but if everyone thinks they're watching over everything then thats about 80% as good as if they actually were looking over everything at a substantial discount. They're serving the same purpose as the fake surveillance cameras they put in our school buses as kids.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by M.Onty
by M.Onty on Tue 13th May 2014 14:08 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

What surprises me the most is that there are still people who are surprised by this.


Who?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by M.Onty
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 13th May 2014 15:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by M.Onty"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Reporters.

But that's really fake outrage for the sake of sensationalisim to try and get people to care. But most people don't know enough about it to really care.

This is what most people understood from the first story about the NSA:

NSA is spying on us all.

This is what they will get from this story:

NSA is spying on us all.

Zero, increase in knowledge gained. So, the reporter has to go above and beyond to make it seem more revelatory and surprising than it really is.

Reply Score: 7

Surpise isn't the metric for this now
by thesunnyk on Wed 14th May 2014 01:00 UTC
thesunnyk
Member since:
2010-05-21

We shouldn't even be talking about this in terms of "surprise" any more. We know what's going on, and it's a tragedy. If polio was wiping out an entire nation, 6 months after the outbreak, we wouldn't be talking about how we're "surprised" or "not surprised" that people are still dying of polio.

What's important here is now the scope. What are the NSA doing, how are they doing it, and what's the extent of the damage to the internet, and how do we move forward. Many members of OSNews are software developers, and we've gotten ourselves into this position by not taking security seriously (sometimes in OS design, protocols, or the internet!) This is not the time to talk about surprise, it's time to take stock and actually talk about and build the solutions to this mess.

Reply Score: 3

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

thesunnyk,

What's important here is now the scope. What are the NSA doing, how are they doing it, and what's the extent of the damage to the internet, and how do we move forward. Many members of OSNews are software developers, and we've gotten ourselves into this position by not taking security seriously (sometimes in OS design, protocols, or the internet!) This is not the time to talk about surprise, it's time to take stock and actually talk about and build the solutions to this mess.


I agree with you. In my mind the problem isn't the lack of solutions, it's that the behemoth corporations like google, microsoft, facebook, etc continue to push for poor security designs that keep *centralized* control over all our data. This model is inherently broken in terms of privacy. Developers could improve the privacy of most services by decentralizing them and keeping the data encrypted from the service providers themselves. Companies like Google know this very well, but fixing it would negatively impact their ability to datamine our information and to serve us ads. This is a major conflict of interest with respect to user privacy, and realistically few corporations are principled enough to promote the cryptographically private solutions that would give themselves the boot.

Reply Score: 4