Friday, May 12, 2006

How the NSA Conducts Wiretapping: Introducing The Narus ST-6400 and NarusInsight by Narus Ltd.

I try to keep this blog free from general politics, so, I'll focus on the technology behind the US\NSA wiretapping program while providing some additional comment:
=Narus ST-6400 and NarusInsight by Narus Ltd. Under Gen. Michael V. Hayden the NSA has forced tecom companies to implement massive domestic spying hardware. Even though Gen. Hayden has said at the National Press Club that "As the director, I was the one responsible to ensure that this program was limited in its scope and disciplined in its application." The NarusInsight is one type of domestic spying hardware. Capable of monitoring 10 billion bits of data per second in real-time. This means the NarusInsight can monitor an OC-192 in realtime. For reference 10 billion bits is 10 million Kbts, divide that by the average DSL user witch is 256 Kbts (10000000/256) you get monitoring of 39062.5 DSL lines in realtime for every piece of hardware. After data capture Narus softeware can replay data. What does this mean well acrodding too Narus website "Capabilities include playback of streaming media (for example, VoIP), rendering of Web pages, examination of e-mails and the ability to analyze the payload/attachments of e-mail or file transfer protocols." Think of it as Tivo for the internet able to replay 39000 US DSL users activity in realtime for every piece of hardware.References: Narus Ltd http://narus.com
Essentially with a product like Narus attached to a big digital pipe, you can see everything at any level of detail, store it, and play it back at will. So you go to their website and who do you find offers add on services? Well none other than Verisign. That name might be familiar to you if you have ever purchased anything on the internet. "Protected By Verisign". Why should I care you ask? Read the fine print in the article to see what a full range of "services" they offer.
VeriSign will first use Narus LI for IP lawful intercept, but the company also has the right to outsource NarusSecure, NarusAnalyze and NarusMediate IP security and management software elements. Carriers, many of whom are just starting in IP telephony, will be able to outsource their lawful intercept responsibilities to VeriSign which, in turn, will use Narus' licensed software to work with law enforcement agencies in tapping IP phone calls. "They (carriers) get a warrant from the government ... but they don't really want to do it themselves. Now they have an opportunity to turn to one of the most trusted security brands in the world and have those folks do it as a managed service for them," said Steve Bannerman, vice president of marketing at Narus. "VeriSign goes through all the machinations of capturing the information and providing it to law enforcement."
The machinations are not only capture, and provision, but decryption. See Verisign holds the keys to the encryption kingdom. Ah but what telecom carriers would allow such unlimited access to the US Government. Well the ones that want to keep their licenses. Here's a sample of their predicament. Hayden did the research years ago, to head off the government's inability to see into the big fiber optic pipes and quickly realized it was a tall task, until he was handed an opportunity. The largest provider of fiber optic capacity on Earth Global Crossing went bankrupt. Can't have that happen can we, especially when they carry so much secure traffic for the US Government. What an opportunity to test the data collection technology from vendors like Narus. Not to mention adding virtually every important fiber optic connection point in the world to the NSA's visible world. A match made in heaven. So in rush foreign investors from China, but wait, Singapore (can't have the Chinese mafia so close to our technology) and here's the price they pay to play -
Network Security Agreement On September 23, 2003, the U.S. Government granted approval under Section 721 of the Defense Production Act of the investment in GCL by Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte Ltd ("ST Telemedia") pursuant to the GC Debtors? plan of reorganization. In order to obtain this approval, we entered into anagreement (the "Network Security Agreement") with certain agencies of the U.S. Government to address the U.S. Government's national security and law enforcement concerns. The Network Security Agreement is intended to ensure that our operations do not impair the U.S. Government's ability (1) to carry out lawfully-authorized electronic surveillance of communications that originate and/or terminate in the U.S.; (2) to prevent and detect foreign-based espionage and electronic surveillance of U.S. communications; and (3) to satisfy U.S. critical infrastructure protection requirements. Failure to comply with our obligations under the Network Security Agreement could result in the revocation of our telecommunications licenses by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC").
And who oversees this ability?
The Network Security Agreement affects our corporate governance as well. The GCL Board of Directors maintains a Security Committee comprised solely of directors who are U.S. citizens and who already possess or are eligible to possess U.S. security clearance. These "Security Directors" must satisfy the independent director requirements of the New York Stock Exchange, regardless of whether any of GCL's securities are listed on such exchange. At least half of the members of the GCL board nominated by ST Telemedia must be Security directors. See Item 10 below. A Security Director must be present at every meeting of the board of directors of GCL and of any of our U.S. subsidiaries unless such meeting in no way addresses or affects our obligations under the Network Security Agreement.
Check out who these "overseers" are. An Admiral, General and the Honorable Pete Aldridge, who to quote his bio:
From May 2001 until May 2003, Mr. Aldridge served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. In this position, he was responsible for all matters relating to U.S. Department of Defense acquisition, research and development, advanced technology, international programs, and the industrial base.
So, Why can't the DOJ learn about the NSA's wiretapping program? Why hasn't anyone in the Congress or Senate actually been fully briefed? Because the truth would change the world, just like the impact on religions of the world if a deity walked the planet. Imagine KNOWING beyond a doubt that there is NO digital privacy. Not even encrypted or SSL communications. Not even private business channels on high speed communication highways -the ones companies and governments pay dearly for. Well that's what the NSA has implemented. The technology for lawful intercept. Keep in mind that to George Bush it's ALL legal. Never mind that with the Narus technology and Verisign to unlock it there is no secure communications of any kind: private, governmental (that's other governments traffic on these digital pipes) or business. And like tapping into the results from the track, they can see news before it happens. Can someone make money this way do you suppose? Or secure their power through digital oppression? When will someone really take notice? Welcome to Oceania. George Orwell would be proud.


  • Great Article! ! ! I came across it resaerching, and It's better than I could've wanted! Now I don't have to write one, I can direct here!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/20/2008 10:35:00 PM  

  • I'm not sure how you can conclude that "... Verisign holds the keys to the encryption kingdom." Although they are a provider of SSL Certificates, Verisign is not provided their customer's private keys. So unless they have some how solved the problem of factoring large numbers they are no better prepared to decrypt SSL traffic than a common WiFi hacker.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/14/2010 11:22:00 AM  

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