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Passive E-Mail Monitoring Leads To Arrest

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the dropping-the-echelon-bomb dept.

Communications 921

www.2advanced.net writes "The world's first arrest resulting from passive monitoring of electronic communications is being reported by Globe Technology. In the article, sources reveal that 'an e-mail message intercepted by NSA spies precipitated a massive investigation by intelligence officials in several countries that culminated in the arrest of nine men in Britain and one in suburban Orleans, Ont. -- 24-year-old software developer Mohammed Momin Khawaja, who has since been charged with facilitating a terrorist act and being part of a terrorist group.'"

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Orleans (5, Interesting)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792300)

For those of you who have no idea where Orleans is in Ontario, its very close to Ottawa [mapquest.com] (minutes away), and about 2 hours from Montreal and 3.5 hrs from Toronto, making it an ideal spot to plan terrorist action in Canada. Ottawa is a couple hours from the US/Canadian border [mapquest.com] , and for those of you who have never driven the distance, it's a very somber drive, with extremely easy access into the United States. I knew a rum-runner once who would move liquor out of the states at an alarming rate through the St. Lawrence River border; a hardly monitored area concerned more with tourism than security, then. Today, it's a different story, I'm told.

Today it's a different Story (5, Funny)

rwiedower (572254) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792362)

Today, we must FEAR those EVIL Canadians and their rum-running abilities. In fact, we have to use our "army of cryptographers, chaos theorists, mathematicians and computer scientists" to defeat just one of those crazy canuck masterminds.

Re:Today it's a different Story (1)

WaterTroll (761727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792505)

and don't forget to send in the "Computer Forensic Specialists" too.

The US should watch the Canadian border (3, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792553)

There is no need to fear evil Canadians. There is a very significant need to fear apathetic Canadians.

Our politicians still don't think we have a terrorist problem. Our politicians think the Americans are the cause of all their terrorist problems. Our politicians think that if the Americans would just be nice to everyone all the time, everything would be just fine.

So, while we raise taxes for 'anti-terrorism' the money actually goes into a big pot and is spent on anything but solutions that the government finds unnecessary.

I'd ask anyone outside our borders who actually cares to forgive the average Canadian - we currently don't have a viable center or right-of-center party for whom to vote. Ostriches on the left, and book-burning, bible-thumping fanatics on the right.

In the meantime, the US shouldn't trust any person or vehicle coming across their northern border.

Re:Today it's a different Story (1)

tzanger (1575) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792555)

I for one welcome our rum-running overlords.

Re:Orleans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792382)

Paranoid society! where are the proofs? where are the facts?

The fact that those arrests occured is a sad story for canadians, but I'm not sure of the reasons why.

Re:Orleans (1)

deviantonline (542095) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792418)

3.5 hours from Toronto?

Last time i made the drive it took me 12! For Canada day a few years ago, several of my friends and I took a road trip to Ottawa, departing from Brantford (an hour south of Toronto). In Ajax the Ford Tauras I was driving (my friends car, should be called ford poor-ass) overheated and started on fire because he hadnt put any coolent in it (as it was a leaker). Pulling over in the busy long weekend traffic was difficult and geting the car fixed took a couple hours out of the drive.

A few hours later in Smiths Falls, the alternator belt broke. This of course rendered the car useless as within minutes the battery had died and we had to pull over. Getting the car fixed was not an option at this point because it was after 9pm and the local crappy tire was closed. Getting the car towed took money and more time off the clock.

When we finally got to Ottawa is was dark and late, so it was difficult to know where we were going. Needless to say, we overshot Ottawa and ended up in Hull - the ensuing detour took more time off the trip.

I wish it only took 3.5 hours from Toronto.

Wrong Way (1)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792440)

You took the long way pal. Ottawa to Toronto in about 3.5 hours if you drive fast, and 4.5 if you drive slow. Branford? Eeek. That's further than an hour from TO. Ending up in Hull is a bad sign... HEHE Just don't get arrested there!!!!!
*pow* *pow*

Re:Wrong Way (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792554)

Cocksucking liar.

I suppose you are a smoker too?

Please do us all a favour and find a nice 38 revolver and use it to blow your fucking head off. Because we HATE cigarette smokers. Lowest forms of life, they are.

Re:Orleans (3, Funny)

the real darkskye (723822) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792492)

maybe those are 3.5 canadian hours, given the current exchange rates that could translate to 12 US hours.

Its funny, laugh

Re:Orleans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792565)

What makes you think anyone here cares about your lame story about your friend's car breaking down?

Re:Orleans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792445)

3.5 hours from Toronto? You are either a cocksucking liar, or a cocksucking law-breaking speeder, because it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours just to get to Ottawa from Kingston, and from Kingston to Toronto it takes 2.5 to 3.

How fast are you travelling, 180 km/hour?

Re:Orleans (1, Insightful)

csbruce (39509) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792474)

For those of you who have no idea where Orleans is in Ontario

You seem to be assuming that the Merkins would have known what "Ont." means.

Orleans Is Ottawa (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792479)

Orleans is part of the city of Ottawa- they almalgamated in Jan. 2000, but it's still not part of the postal system yet.

It's been a huge blow up about the man being arrested- apparently they took one of his brothers out of school (Ottawa U) to question him, and brought in the entire family for questioning on a raid. It's kind of a touchy subject around here right now.

Re:Orleans (1, Redundant)

cybergrue (696844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792536)

Due to a municipal restructuring that took place a few years back, Orleans is now part of the city of Ottawa. It is sort of a bedroom community on the eastern side of the (now very large) city.

Re:Orleans (4, Interesting)

irix (22687) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792540)

For those of you who have no idea where Orleans is in Ontario, its very close to Ottawa

Orleans is part of Ottawa [ottawa.on.ca] actually - one of the east end suburbs.

Also, the guy alledgedly was planning something in the UK, not the US, so the proximity to the US border isn't really an issue. Besides, something like 90% or our population is within a few hours of the US border.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792307)

Please don't arrest me!

empy thread... cannot resist.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792308)

fp

Remember... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792324)

When its hot outside, and your hemmoroids are
even hotter, just look to the cool relief of Preparation-H
to get you on your way.

not good (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792325)

is this echelon and the aquinas router combined? Who is runing the show, if not the WTO? We must all watch ourselves carefully, for there are malicious entities out to get us. Those who would choose safety over liberty deserve neither.

Sigh (0, Redundant)

vraT (767544) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792337)

That's just horribly scary. I'm not sure which part is worse, email monitoring (sure, they SAY it's passive...) or the terrorist activities.

Your ignorance is worse (4, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792399)

It is so easy to monitor InterNet plain text communications, that I ALWAYS presume its been done since the start of the Net.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

rjelks (635588) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792538)

I'm all for catching "terrorists", but I agree...scary.

"'Foreign traffic that comes through the U.S. is subject to U.S. laws, and the NSA has a perfect right to monitor all Internet traffic,' said Mr. Farber, who has also been a technical adviser to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission."

I've never been under the illusion that internet traffic was private, but could someone tell me what law give them this power? I'm not being sarcastic here, I'd really like the information.

-

Doh... (4, Insightful)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792342)

All your base are belong to NSA

Though it really surprises me that the NSA would actually take responsibility for passing along tips.

Generally they just pass stuff to the other three letter organizations and they take it from there.

Re:Doh... (2, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792431)

It isn't plausibly deniable that it was NSA who obtained the information. May as well be straight about it, because that will bolster denials on other subjects in the future.

Re:Doh... (4, Insightful)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792496)

Though it really surprises me that the NSA would actually take responsibility for passing along tips.

Generally they just pass stuff to the other three letter organizations and they take it from there.

I suspect that with all the attention being paid to the traditional lack of cooperation between the various TLA orgs, they're probably falling all over themselves now to show how cooperative they can be. NSA has always been a little better than the others, as this is its primary function-- it doesn't use (ahem) "field operatives" to the same degree that the FBI and CIA does. The real head-butting goes on between the FBI and CIA. The culture of "cops" vs. that of "spooks" creates a lot of friction. They've never worked well together.

Shouldn't this be YRO? (5, Insightful)

Xshare (762241) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792344)

It seems like YRO, I mean, they were monitoring his email, they probably are monitoring ours!

Re:Shouldn't this be YRO? (4, Interesting)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792389)

Come to think of it, spam makes the job of the NSA more difficult. Must be hard finding an e-mail about a terrorist plot among all the mail for a larger. Shouldn't the government do something about spam: It's a national security issue. OTOH, if the NSA has a good spam filter they use before reading my mail, i'd be happy if they could share the technology with the rest of the world.

Re:Shouldn't this be YRO? (1)

va3atc (715659) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792472)

Probably has more to do with whom your connected to (aka who else sends you email, who you send email to) then the actual email itself.

Re:Shouldn't this be YRO? (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792539)

Some conspiracies think that Spam is an elaborate encryption technique of spies to send encrypted messages.

For example if you send out thousands and thousands of encrypted messages - guess what your busted. I know that you're doing something attention is drawn to you.

Yet if you send out a certain sequence of Spam letters it is much harder to decipher. Some software can even embed text inside images. So I'm sending out pictures of my vacation no big deal. I send out Spam letter one that has the first part of the message, second with the second and so on...

Spam is truly evil; Wait is it true or not?

I don't give a shit. (1)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792506)

I don't care if they are monitoring mine, I'm not plotting against anyone. And if I were, I'd deserve to be caught.

Re:Shouldn't this be YRO? (1)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792570)

Guess what? E-mail isn't secure! I've always been taught to think of unencrypted e-mail as a postcard: anyone can read it and given the chance, most likely will.

GMail (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792353)


seems Googles new "free" email service could be abused like this as they will still retain emails even if you close your account
of course we trust google now, but as they are a US based company this will seem like a goldmine for Asscroft and his chums who will have unprecedented access via the magic word "terrorism"

Re:GMail (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792397)

For godsake, if you're that concerned about your privacy, you had better already be using public key encryption for any remotely sensitive email.

Yeah right... (4, Insightful)

bcmm (768152) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792356)

Yeah right, like any terrorists would use unencrypted email.

Re:Yeah right... (2, Funny)

shackma2 (685062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792401)

Good thing terrorists waste time on the monkey bars instead of learning about computers.

Re:Yeah right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792428)

i don't get it, please explain

Re:Yeah right... (0)

shackma2 (685062) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792477)

Remember all those videos of terrorists on monkey bars? When does a terrorist really need the ability to swing, one arm over the other, into a battle. And by battle, i mean crowded bus.

Re:Yeah right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792576)

hehe

Re:Yeah right... (4, Insightful)

arc.light (125142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792414)

These guys aren't accused of being geniuses, just violent thugs.

Re:Yeah right... (4, Interesting)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792420)

Encrypted to you perhaps, but really encrypted to the NSA? I don't think so..

I don't know where i read this. A terrorist group was using hotmail to plot terrorist attacks. One terrorist in Pakistan would compose a message and save it in the drafts folder without sending it. The other terrorist across the world would log into the same account and read the message from the drafts folder.

Re:Yeah right... (3, Interesting)

bcmm (768152) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792438)

Yes, the NSA can decode most stuff if they want to. But decypher every encrypted email? It would take too long.

Re:Yeah right... (1)

spooky_nerd (646914) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792429)

Well if they weren't using it before, they are using it now.

Re:Yeah right... (4, Interesting)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792452)

Yeah right, like any terrorists would use unencrypted email

Hey, these are the same dipshits that confused AM/PM on their bomb in Spain, and blew themselves up in Gaza because they didn't account for daylight savings time.

I am sure that some of them try to use encryption, but:
1. I would guess a mojroity of the traffic is in the clear, "security through nonchalance and obfuscation"

2. What makes you think that the encryption systems available to the general public aren't easily cracked by the boys in Virginia and Maryland?

Re:Yeah right... (5, Insightful)

wishus (174405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792518)

2. What makes you think that the encryption systems available to the general public aren't easily cracked by the boys in Virginia and Maryland?

Mathematics.

Nice to hear (3, Insightful)

neoform (551705) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792357)

That the NSA can just listen in to any/all communications like that. Makes me wonder if they're listening to me right now.

Re:Nice to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792457)

> Makes me wonder if they're listening to me right now.

I'd say so, at +3, Insightful on Slashdot.

Re:Nice to hear (1, Funny)

good(k)night (754537) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792464)

just wait until someone get arrested from passive reading of /. comments...

Re:Nice to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792475)

Yes, we are...

Re:Nice to hear (2, Insightful)

BlankStare (709795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792497)

If you think that they aren't (or couldn't if they wanted to) you have another think coming. The ONLY thoughts that can't be monitored are the ones that have yet to leave your head, and I wouldn't count on THOSE remaining inviolate for much longer in light of recent breakthroughs posted right here on Slashdot...

Re:Nice to hear (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792528)

As an earlier poster said: if you put anything online, expect someone to pick it up. This applies to E-mail, FTP, web traffic, Telnet. . . and it certainly applies to posts on Slashdot.

If you want a reasonable assurance of privacy, use encryption. Otherwise, your best bet is not to say or do anything online that might incriminate you in some fashion.

Re:Nice to hear (1)

BSDFreak (579789) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792549)

No, you're really not worth listening to.

Re:Nice to hear (5, Interesting)

I confirm I'm not a (720413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792556)

Possibly not - obviously the various PATRIOT acts have changed the landscape somewhat, but hasn't it traditionally been against the law for the US government to monitor US citizens without a warrant? Echelon was established in the aftermath of the 2nd World War, and basically provided a mechanism for spying on your own citizens: Canada spies on US citizens, and alerts the US authorities, and vice verca. Insert any combination of UK, Australia and NZ governments here for the full horror.

In other words - the NSA probably don't need to monitor you. They'll find out the naughty things you're plotting, regardless!

I got this one! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792361)

I for one welcome our new NSA spy Overlords!

E-mail to your muthas! WORD!

Yay for passive! (2, Insightful)

zecg (521666) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792370)

As long as the monitoring is "passive" and my GMail inbox is only being read by machines...

Re:Yay for passive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792425)

Yeah, the robots will do that, and then the government will have their special search portal. Lets see who is thinking about using/making a bomb today.

Hurray for the good guys! (5, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792371)

EOF

Somebody forgot to use encryption! (5, Interesting)

Rectal Prolapse (32159) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792376)

Would the NSA investigate if PGP or similar encryption was used?

Whatever the NSA is doing to monitor all the traffic, I'm sure the RIAA and MPAA are drooling at the prospect of using this technology to catch so-called copyright violators. Civilian applications for a military technology, natch!

Re:Somebody forgot to use encryption! (1)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792448)

Perhaps the NSA can decrypt pgp (hint: lots and lots of computers and very bright mathematicians). It could also be that they were stupid about their choice of keys or showed their privates (keys that is...)

Re:Somebody forgot to use encryption! (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792449)

Discussion on this has been running on Full-Disclosure for the fast few hours. The general consensus is that chances are the NSA were already suspicious of the people in question, and were intercepting everything passing through. One of the e-mails intercepted showed something suspicious - enough to give them justification to sent the lads in...
The processing power required to scan everybody's e-mails would be insane - even if you filtered out all the Viagra/porn/credit card/419 etc right at the start.
So, not quite tinfoil hats yet, but it might be time to start looking in origami books for a design you like the look of...

Re:Somebody forgot to use encryption! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792516)

What makes you think that the email wasn't encrypted?

Re:Somebody forgot to use encryption! (1)

caino59 (313096) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792562)


Would the NSA investigate if PGP or similar encryption was used?


Surely the guys from the NSA reading this now can answer that for us....

Re:Somebody forgot to use encryption! (3, Interesting)

masouds (451077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792568)

Sure they can. Check your congress' budget book and try to look for those 'missing' numbers. NSA is known to try to implant backdoors inside commercial algorithms or prodcuts, with certain '3rd party' experts coming to your office and asking to help you 'strenghten' your algorithm. For a real life example of Cryto AG surrendering: Look here [mediafilter.org] or Lotus notes [cypherspace.org] . It just makes it harder, not impossible. Remember, PGP/SSL/GnuPG is part of the solution to a secure communication channel. If your Private key is compromised (by any reason), you are toast.

yuck (1, Insightful)

tuxette (731067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792379)

This is the last thing we need - "justification" for more widespread surveillance and other privacy intrusions.

Re:yuck (3, Insightful)

bobsled (70901) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792566)

Right...we'd rather have it the other way around. Don't snoop, don't find bad crap like this going on, don't stop them before it happens... then when it does (because it will) have independent and congressional inquiries to determine blame - and ask "Why didn't you know about this beforehand?"

So this is the first thing we need. You want privacy? I want security more...

NSA is not the enemy - they are protectors. A bunch of dedicated professionals, even IF some of them need to get out into the sun more often...

spies? (0, Flamebait)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792391)

Ha. The NSA has communications experts. The job of the NSA is signals intelligence and decryption.

is it vietnam yet? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792404)

Is it vietnam yet?

Cap'n Crunch goes orbital? (OT?) (2, Interesting)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792412)

A computer hacker who allowed himself to be publicly identified only as ''Mudhen'' once boasted at a Las Vegas conference that he could disable a Chinese satellite with nothing but his laptop computer and a cellphone

That is so cool if it is true. Have the phreakers been hitting comm satellites? Anyplace to find overviews of how they do it?

Re:Cap'n Crunch goes orbital? (OT?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792447)

Two sentences later it says that "Mudhen" was an NSA employee.

Names and FBI profiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792415)

Mohammed Momin Khawaja, who has since been charged

I imagine that every person in the USA that has the name of Mohammed has an FBI profile waiting for him. It kind of stink that so much terrorism is associated with this name - I realy enjoyed Alli the boxer fight he was the greatest. Now for everyone that has the name of Mohammed you have a civial duty to not get in trouble so the name Mohammed isn't accoiated with teriosm. Hell everyone with a name has a duty to not comit terrisom.

All be good...

You should probably know (1)

andy1307 (656570) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792543)

YOu may be an Anonymous Coward to /., but you're not anonymous to the NSA. You could have posted under your own id and raised your karma.

Terrorism & spam (5, Funny)

Dr_Ish (639005) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792422)

Although this news is probably bad for YRO issues, there may be an upside. If the NSA is packet-sniffing e-mail traffic, then maybe they will be motivated to find a way of reducing the amount of Nigerean printer cartridge enlargement spam messages. If we are really lucky, they may even share the solution with us all. Of course, it is also possible that the guys at the NSA may all suddenly become hung like donkeys, NOT!

Unbelievable (2, Interesting)

troon (724114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792423)

No wonder these guys keep getting foiled, if they're stupid enough to use unencrypted email. I'm assuming that the NSA doesn't yet have the ability to routinely brute-force all encrypted mail passing through its doors...

Strange (-1)

Srividya (746733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792430)

From the reading of the Carnivore device it would seem a warrant needed before attaching to specific input port. However seems that this was large-scale net looking for "terrorist" behavior across large sections of Internet. What are other keywords to make my email be read by special analysts?

Passive E-Mail monitoring... (1)

zz99 (742545) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792439)

For me everyday is Echelon day [cipherwar.com] :)

Seriously though, I haven't heard of any organized "silent protest" for a long time.
Does the NSA really have so much computing power that it's useless to even try to bother them?

First terrorism, then porn, then what? (2, Insightful)

The-Dalai-LLama (755919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792443)

Golly, headlines like these sure make me glad the United States is just as keen as ever on ensuring that every citizen is afforded due process, has equal access to the law, and that all of the constitutional safeguards protecting our civil liberties will remain in full force.

I know I'm relieved. This type of activity might be really dangerous in the hands of a government that didn't believe in its citizens rights and privacies.

The Dalai Llama
I know that I, for one, would certainly sleep better if Ashcroft were head of the NSA...

How long until this is applied in drug cases etc? (1)

GeoVizer (724140) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792446)

Considering the way that Ashcroft et. al. have widened the scope of any prosecutorial powers they have, it seems like "e-mail sniffing" will become more widespread as time goes on.

Yea (2, Interesting)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792456)

Finialy people might figure out that email is trivialy easy to monitor it's sent clear test to a well defined port. Switching gear can creat a span based upon that easily enough. This is why all email should be encrypted and with strong encryption.

As to finding out the terrorists great, just remember that the US was founded by people that could be called terrorists.

better make sure (1)

PhuckH34D (743521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792470)

well, better make sure not to use the words "Bush" and "attack" together in one mail.
Oops... I hope they dont monitor /. posts...

US Law? (4, Interesting)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792482)

Foreign traffic that comes through the U.S. is subject to U.S. laws, and the NSA has a perfect right to monitor all Internet traffic," said Mr. Farber
Yeah...no. Am I the only person here who finds this incredibly objectionable? Internet traffic is/should not be subject to any law except for the laws governing the sending/receiving points for it. Under their reasoning, they can apply their own laws to almost the entire Internet, since so much of the Internet is routed through the US's pipes.

Apply American laws to events occuring in America. The United States is big, but it's not everything in the world. How DARE they presume to police the world and its communications.

Quick (1, Funny)

BenBenBen (249969) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792483)

I've often wondered just how fast their turn-around time was once you started using words like Great Satan, infidels, chemical, Bin LaCARRIER LOST

NSA Monitors All Traffic? (1)

ps_inkling (525251) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792484)

From the article:
"Foreign traffic that comes through the U.S. is subject to U.S. laws, and the NSA has a perfect right to monitor all Internet traffic,"
I forsee many nations, corporation, and individuals learning how to souce route their network traffic, and avoid US routers.

One more thing... (1)

The-Dalai-LLama (755919) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792485)

This sounds like Echelon stuff. Is "Project Echelon" a real deal or is that a bed-time story for the tin-foil hat crowd?

The Dalai Llama
they're listening to me right now...

Oh, good (4, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792490)

Well, I've probably got a ton of fans at the NSA due to discussion of privacy issues, security, and how to design systems that disallow monitoring that I've send through AIM/ICQ/mailing lists and other non-secured messaging systems.

Seriously, I'd say that it's a pretty reasonable bet that AIM/ICQ/MSN/Yahoo are routinely monitored. They're easy to data-mine (heck, the commercial data from that *alone* is phenomenal -- if people hear on a show that "Debora Mullins and Sandra Walker will be possibly starring in 'Shredded Metal 2', and there's a mass of messages saying "Debora Mullins sucks", that'd be awfully useful to the production company.

As for the NSA/CIA/FBI, messaging services are frequently used, easy to log and data-mine (no speech recognition necessary) systems that provide no end-to-end encryption that pass through a single point -- in the United States.

Jabber is the only reasonably well-designed IM system I've seen, and nobody *uses* Jabber, sadly enough.

These guys? (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792491)

The BBC (and everyone else) has been running this story [bbc.co.uk] about a US/UK operation to use Osmium Tetroxide in a chemical attack. Given my recollections of the Sarin gas attack on a Japanese tube station a few years back, I'm willing to have my email read if it nails fsckers preparing to do this.

Original Story (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792537)

FYI. The original email-intercept story was reported in the Sunday Times [timesonline.co.uk] .

Re:These guys? (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792573)

WTF happened there! I definately typed "that foiled a plot" - the first sentence *should* have read "a US/UK operation that foiled a plot to use Osmium Tetroxide", as opposed to making it sound like the US/UK were planning on using the stuff.

Spying Done Right (-1, Flamebait)

USAPatriot (730422) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792494)

This is exactly the kind of spying operations that we need more of in today's world. Too often, we don't have the human intelligence to process all the massive raw data out there.

Having this kind of of spying operations to root out terrorists and other evildoers is exactly what we should be applauding, not fearing.

Maybe even geek terrorists will learn there's no place they can hide. Law enforcement and Intelligence agencies have every right to search the Internet for the bad guys.

This is a win for justice.

anyone know what he's charged with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792501)

specifically I mean? What with the Maher Arar business & the people at Guantanamo who turn out to be taxi drivers, Project Thread etc arrests for terrorism concern me a bit these days because my faith in the competence of the people making these decisions is not all that high. I'm waiting to hear that the guy has been deported to Syria by accident (is that the new code for "shot while trying to escape"?), and turns out he was innocent but it's OK, the Syrians promised not to torture him too much, so move along nothing to see here...

Maybe he is a terrorist, who knows - and if so this is a perfect example of how security-apparatus heavy handedness is counterproductive

I dunno...should we trust privacy intruders? (1)

qualico (731143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792502)

Are we not jumping the gun here?
How do we know if these guys are even guilty?

Iraq was supposed to have weapons of mass destruction.
Now look at the mess the US is in.

Trust is something I won't give away to any organization that can't respect my rights to privacy.

Anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792508)

Anyone against total control by the federal government and the establishment of a totalitarian New World Order is a TERRORIST.

Anyone who supports the Bill of Rights, owns guns, and/or has any skills other than turning on a TV is also a TERRORIST who needs to be promptly destroyed by the authorities. PERIOD.

Support the government and the New World Order at all costs!

Re:Anyone... (2, Funny)

bcmm (768152) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792563)

No no no, people with guns are good patriotic guys who elect Bush.

Before putting on your tinfoil hat... (5, Informative)

dmoore (2449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792519)

I know this story is probably going to get a lot of people riled up. However, it is still my understanding that the NSA goes to great pains to avoid intercepting any communication that comes from a U.S. citizen. They are strictly prohibited from doing so.

If you are a U.S. citizen, your main privacy concerns should be with the FBI and the DoJ with their powers granted by the Patriot Act.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Troll)

weeboo0104 (644849) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792529)

...email intercepts YOU!

Seriously though

I'm glad these guys were caught, but it's a shame that they had to be caught with these methods.

Alright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792533)

Here we go, - on with the thinfoil-hat!

uhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8792535)

A computer hacker who allowed himself to be publicly identified only as ''Mudhen'' once boasted at a Las Vegas conference that he could disable a Chinese satellite with nothing but his laptop computer and a cellphone

Good to know that there are NSA folks at Defcon :)

Okay everyone: (1)

bnavarro (172692) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792541)

Time to send a PGP encrypted e-mail message to yourself that reads:

Dear NSA:
Stop reading my e-mail. ;-)

Re: Passive E-Mail Monitoring Leads To Arrest (5, Insightful)

manavendra (688020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792552)

The quoted article seems kinda wierd to me.

The article starts off with a diabolically, highlighting the boast of a mysterious hacker who works as NSA. No names are quoted. The whole thing is given a hollywood-esque charm (the hacker known only as "Mudhen" (mud hen? duh!), a charming pseudonym for NSA - Puzzle Palace).

After adding sufficient soundbites to attract reader's attention, besides making one thing is it one of those devious secrets about NSA, it suddenly changes tone and highlights the achievement of NSA "spies". Charming. Other gems:

"army of cryptographers, chaos theorists"

"that may have pulled in the first piece of evidence"

"massive investigation in several countries "

And then finally a quick rundown on TCP/IP.

One could almost mistake it for communistic propaganda, if only it hailed the fatherland (or the motherland) as well...

ps: don't forget, there are no facts or figures mentioned anywhere in it well.

NSA or CIA? (0)

SlayerofGods (682938) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792559)

Why is the NSA spying on other country's citizens?
I thought the NSA was only there to spy on Americans and it was the CIA's job to keep tabs on other counties...

New Spam Solution (4, Funny)

mackman (19286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8792569)

We need a group of people to start discussing how cheap Viagra, a larger penis, and low-interest home mortages can be used for terrorism. Blip! Suddenly all the spam vanishes off the internet. I always hoped the NSA could be used for good as well as evil.
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