Re: Privacy vs. Paranoia

From Hal <>
Date Tue, 05 Sep 2000 00:01:53 -0700

[: hacktivism :]

Agent Smiley wrote:
> [: hacktivism :]
> On Mon, 28 Aug 2000 10:52:30 MDT Tom Anderson <> wrote:
> >& then I receive a posting from a concerned hacktivist who advises me to
> >create an e-mail account with a flase identity to throw them off the scent
> >which to me seems absurd because if these guys in Eschelon are that good
> >then they're gonna be several steps ahead of me and if they're not that good
> >then what's all of the hoopla about.
> they are not watching each of us individually - that is beyond the power of the big snoop in the sky...if, however, you should engage in some online behavior that alerts an intelligence body to you as some sort of a potential threat then you will want defenses ready...things to slow them down and buy time...the more time you have bought with decoy tactics the more chance you have of smelling them as they get caught up in your web...hence, the more of a chance you have to drop out of the center of your web before the brick comes shashing down on you...

IMO, Echelon is the least of my -- or anyone's -- worries.  As Agent
Smiley points out, watching everyone is simply beyond its capability,
even with key words.  Even if they were, it's going to miss most true
subversive e-mail and the authorities know it.  Most conspiracies to
violence are going to be localized.  Simply put the two or three
involved on the same basic server and the messages never hits the ether,
thus never within Echelon's grasp.  No, read the info on Echelon, the
use during Bosnia and the suits the French have instigated.  Echelon is
first, an ECONOMIC weapon.  Boeing actually got data intercepted from
Airbus.  Next, Echelon is a tactical weapon both in the fight of known
terrorists and in disruptive use.

CARNIVORE is a much bigger threat but even there tagging key words and
probing would simply require a human investigative force in the 10s of
thousands.  The threat of CARNIVORE is that, with a bit of ingenuity,
they can legally breach each server with a court order on one resident,
thus opening up the opportunity to monitor anyone's e-mail.  They'll do
it no matter how many assurances they give.

Again, as some of the elders here might remember, this comes from
someone who has already been monitored twice.  So CARNIVORE gives
nothing really new -- just an opportunity to do it on a grand scale and
to do it covertly.

And for most, so what?  Unless you are on a proxy, using remailers and
using a separate news server, you're an open book already.  Your basic
server is already monitoring and recording all of your URL travels and
your NG actions.  With a flip of a key, they monitor all of the
addresses to and fro of your e-mail.  As I well know, with a bit of
effort, the guv simply yanks down a copy of outgoing and incoming

For the individual, CARNIVORE is insidious.  Efforts against its
implementation are needed.  If it goes through, efforts to defeat it are

But, if you're darting about without proxy and other safeguards, you
might as well not concern yourself.  Simply being here is enough to earn
your way on a tickle list.  If you are on a cable modem, you BETTER have
a firewall.  If you're really doing something questionable, you better
be acquainted with remailers, NYM accounts and PGP.


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