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goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

What the heck, FBI?

The Week

quote:
If there is any upside to the scandal that brought down the CIA director, it is probably that Americans have an extremely memorable reason to be careful about what they put in an email. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has exposed the techniques its cyber forensics unit uses to track down the sources of emails, and even, indirectly, has given the public a glimpse of the assumptions or thresholds they use to widen the scope of any particular investigation. Some of the details are technical, but everyone should avail themselves of the opportunity to learn about them.
Specifics at the link.


StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
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join:2000-08-06
Galt's Gulch
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3 recommendations

I guess I take a different view.

Anyone who thinks their electronic communications, of any kind, are immune from snooping by Bob et al is delusional IMO. What I can't understand is that Petraeus/Broadwell/etc seemed to think they were immune from it. I'm sure everyone at the CIA is watching everyone else. The FBI and CIA are watching each other and the NSA monitors everyone. Hardly a shocker.

To me the political story of all this is much more interesting. Sorta like a Tom Clancy novel.
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KodiacZiller
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said by StuartMW:

I guess I take a different view.

Anyone who thinks their electronic communications, of any kind, are immune from snooping by Bob et al is delusional IMO. What I can't understand is that Petraeus/Broadwell/etc seemed to think they were immune from it. I'm sure everyone at the CIA is watching everyone else. The FBI and CIA are watching each other and the NSA monitors everyone. Hardly a shocker.

To me the political story of all this is much more interesting. Sorta like a Tom Clancy novel.

Petraeus knew he might be watched, which is why he used the dubious technique of having a shared e-mail account with Broadwell. One logged in and typed a message and saved it to the draft. Then the other logged in and read it. This way there is nothing ever sent over the wire.

The problem is, this doesn't help much when someone has access to the account itself, someone like the FBI.
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Getting people to stop using windows is more or less the same as trying to get people to stop smoking tobacco products. They dont want to change; they are happy with slowly dying inside. -- munky99999


StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
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Galt's Gulch
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1 edit

said by KodiacZiller:

This way there is nothing ever sent over the wire.

I disagree. Anything typed into an online email account (e.g. webmail) goes "over the wire" whether you send it or not.

Of course if I compose email on my own PC and never send it it's private (unless I'm hacked). I don't think that happened in this case.

I store nothing online (on a server, in "the cloud" etc). That'd be like leaving a private diary in a library. Your secrets will be public (although you may not know it).
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KodiacZiller
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said by StuartMW:

said by KodiacZiller:

This way there is nothing ever sent over the wire.

I disagree. Anything typed into an online email account (e.g. webmail) goes "over the wire" whether you send it or not.

You're right, it will go to Google's servers. But most of the time that will be encrypted via SSL (which might not matter if Bob is watching him).

I do store stuff on the cloud, but I encrypt it first with my own personal keys I control.
--
Getting people to stop using windows is more or less the same as trying to get people to stop smoking tobacco products. They dont want to change; they are happy with slowly dying inside. -- munky99999


StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
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Galt's Gulch
kudos:2

said by KodiacZiller:

You're right, it will go to Google's servers. But most of the time that will be encrypted via SSL (which might not matter if Bob is watching him).

Not sure if a Gmail account was being used but even if it was and SSL was in play you, as a end-user, have no idea what happens to it after that,

SSL just guarantees an encrypted connection between you and a server. Once you're done does your data stay on that server? Is it transferred over the internet to another server? Who knows. In short you have no control.

And Bob listens to everyone, including Bob.

FYI this is another reason I won't have a device that can send/receive data (e.g. smartphone, tablet with cell etc) over the air. You, as an end user, don't know what/where/when your stuff is doing. I do have a wi-fi tablet but I can control that.
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EGeezer
zichrona livracha
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Midwest
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1 edit
reply to goalieskates

Here's an interesting article on the subject, with relevant story links, nicely written for the general public;

Yes, the FBI and CIA can read your email. Here's how

Summary: "Petraeus-gate," some U.S. pundits are calling it. How significant is it that even the head of the CIA can have his emails read by an albeit friendly domestic intelligence agency, which can lead to his resignation and global, and very public humiliation? Here's how.
...
no matter how far you go to try and cover your tracks, often it always falls down to two things: human error, or sex.

Article here;
»www.zdnet.com/yes-the-fbi-and-ci···0007319/
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Blackbird
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reply to goalieskates

The thing that's so hard to get a grasp of is why someone who is head of CIA would apparently assume that anything he did (especially on a network of any kind) wasn't being subjected to continual tracking/monitoring. In the belly of the beast, that's how the world works - and has to, given the occasional tendency for somebody to turn to the dark side. I would have thought Petraeus would have had at least an elemental understanding of basic tradecraft and how all of the 3-letter black agencies are wired to operate - particularly toward each other. To me, the biggest issue is not even that the affair happened, the nasty potential implications of such things (particularly the potential for extortion or blackmail), that it surfaced, or how. What is really the incredible issue is how a CIA head could live in a world of ignorance of such basics over a period of at least multiple months.
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“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” A. de Tocqueville



StuartMW
Who Is John Galt?
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Galt's Gulch
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said by Blackbird:

What is really the incredible issue is how a CIA head could live in a world of ignorance of such basics over a period of at least multiple months.

Yeah, I'm sure a number of people in the CIA/FBI/NSA are having a good chuckle about that,
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