Re: Re: security - keywords used by echelon: truth + justice =cyber_terrorrism

Date Sun, 26 Sep 1999 15:29:17 +0200 (MEST)
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> what are the keywords?

"Keyword" is certainly a key word. There is a database of hundreds and
hundreds of key words, ranging from certain dodgy terms (weapons, drugs, crimes
in every slang imaginable) to political words (anarchy, insurrection, etc)
to names and places (heads of state, ?heads of corporations?, organisations,
important places from NATO headquarters to ECHELON sites across the world).
I once tried compiling a list but gave up when it reached more than 500
words. You have to remember that it would also take nearly every language into
account. Naturally this means that millions of messages (voice, fax, data)
are netted by the systems every day. They then sift through them in a
probably very very refined way passing on the REALLY suspicious ones to human
evaluators. Of course a lot of logging also goes on, meaning that if a certain
phone line/email address starts to display a very large amount of suspicious
info this is recorded. The system has three weaknesses:

1. Strong encryption is a problem as Echelon and the computer systems
around it don't have the resources to crack every PGP coded message. This takes
a long time and can, as far as I know, only be done in extreme cases.
Luckily for Echelon, not many people use strong encryption.

2. Storage capacity: The amount of data flowing through the systems is
growing exponentially. Echelon can't record too much information or it would
simply burst. This means that not everybody who uses the word "hacker" is

3. Humans. In the end all highly suspicious message have to reach a human
evaluator. There aren't that many of them that they can deal with too much
information in one day, especially if the subject is highly technical or in a
language other than English. This is where the whole idea of jamming the
works comes in , I expect. Create so much suspicious material that the human
evaluators cannot cope anymore. I think this is a very good idea, sort of
like the street theatre in front of CCTVs. A little bit of programming and
widespread participation should do quite a bit of damage, I can imagine :-) Not
that anybody would want to do anything like that. You know, fool around with
the Men in Black.


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