Skip to comments.CIA funds chatroom surveillance
Posted on 11/28/2004 8:48:51 PM PST by Prime Choice
A university in New York has been funded to keep tabs on IRC conversations with money channelled through the National Science Foundation by the CIA, documents have revealed.
The CIA is quietly funding federal research into surveillance of Internet chatrooms as part of an effort to identify possible terrorists, newly released documents reveal.
In April 2003, the CIA agreed to fund a series of research projects that the documents indicate were intended to create "new capabilities to combat terrorism through advanced technology". One of those projects is research at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., devoted to automated monitoring and profiling of the behaviour of chatroom users.
Even though the money ostensibly comes from the National Science Foundation, CIA officials were involved in selecting recipients for the research grants, according to a contract between the two agencies obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and reviewed by ZDNet UK sister site CNET News.com.
NSF programme director Leland Jameson said on Wednesday the two-year agreement probably will not be renewed for the 2005 fiscal year. "Probably we won't be working with the CIA anymore at all," Jameson said. "I think that people have moved on to other things."
The NSF grant for chatroom surveillance was reported earlier this year, but without disclosure of the CIA's role in the project. The NSF-CIA memorandum of understanding says that while the 11 September, 2001 attacks and the fight against terrorism presented US spy agencies with surveillance challenges, existing spy "capabilities can be significantly enhanced with advanced technology".
EPIC director Marc Rotenberg, whose nonprofit group obtained the documents through the Freedom of Information Act, said the CIA's clandestine involvement was worrisome. "The intelligence community is changing the priorities of scientific research in the US," Rotenberg said. "You have to be careful that the National Science Foundation doesn't become the National Spy Foundation."
A CIA representative would not answer questions, saying the agency's policy is never to talk about funding. The two Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute researchers involved, Bulent Yener and Mukkai Krishnamoorthy, did not respond to interview requests.
Their proposal, also disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act, received $157,673 from the CIA and NSF. It says: "We propose a system to be deployed in the background of any chatroom as a silent listener for eavesdropping... The proposed system could aid the intelligence community to discover hidden communities and communication patterns in chatrooms without human intervention."
Yener and Krishnamoorthy, both associate professors of computer science, wrote that their research would involve writing a program for "silently listening" to an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel and "logging all the messages". One of the oldest and most popular methods for chatting online, IRC attracts hundreds of thousands of users every day. A history written by IRC creator Jarkko Oikarinen said the concept grew out of chat technology for modem-based bulletin boards in the 1980s.
The Yener and Krishnamoorthy proposal says their research will begin 1 January, 2005 but does not say which IRC servers will be monitored.
A June 2004 paper they published, also funded by the NSF, described a project that quietly monitored users of the popular Undernet network, which has about 144,000 users and 50,000 channels. In the paper, Yener and Krishnamoorthy predicted their work "could aid [the] intelligence community to eavesdrop in chatrooms, profile chatters and identify hidden groups of chatters in a cost-effective way" and that their future research will focus on identifying "topic-based information."
Al Teich, director of science and policy programmes at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said he does not object to the CIA funding terrorism-related research in general.
"I don't know about chatroom surveillance, but doing research on issues related to terrorism is certainly legitimate," Teich said. "Whether the CIA ought to be funding research in universities in a clandestine manner is a different issue."
Might I suggest #political on undernet. Those people are warped.
I hope they are keeping tabs on the psychopaths at DU, too.
They'd have to, especially considering the DUmmies' love of terrorists and hatred of America.
Your papers, citizen!
Not all of us.
I remember that nonsense. It was an oversimplification of what Echelon is and what it does. Echelon was never "jammed" by the keyword saturation. Echelon dealt exclusively with semantic forests which rendered those messages irrelevant.
And even if those messages had to be processed, the very idea ignores the sheer computing processing power that the NSA possesses. And baby, it's stuff we won't see on the open market for another 5-10 years.
Dah-dah dah dummmmmm.
Another one they already monitor is PalTalk... "talk" chat rooms where there are plenty of explosive discussions, threats, etc. Alot of information there; I cut my teeth on the koran in there, taught by a Coptic Egyptian whose family suffered the consequence of islam. We listened to teachers who taught us the filth of the koran and the true islamic agenda for world dominance. We googled. We debated. And, for sure, those rooms were heavily monitored by the feds. And I say "GOOD"!
I myself called the F.B.I. on more than one occasion. They preach sedition and anarchy.
There are good people who go there as well, defending our country and president.
All Your Chat Rooms Are Belong To Us!
Magic Lanterns are at the upper Echelons of Carnivore - Kubark PING.
Anyone have a link to that FRoldie Goldie, "NSA, COLD BUSTED!!!!!!!" Remember that one?
Here's something they have over at DU....
June 14, 2001
Title: "America at War in Macedonia"
Author: Michel Chossudovsky
July 26, 2001
Title: "NATO Invades Macedonia"
Author: Michel Chossudovsky
Faculty evaluators: Elizabeth Burch, Phil Beard, John Lund
Student researchers: Alessandra Diana, David V. Immel
The CIA destabilized the political balance in Macedonia to allow easier access for a US-British owned oil pipeline, and to prevent Macedonia from entering the European Union (EU), thereby strengthening the US dollar in a German deutschmark dominated region.
Without Macedonia in the EU, British and US oil companies have an advantage over European counterparts in building oil pipelines......
.......The fact that Al Qaeda continues to support KLA terrorist operations in Macedonia, with the full support of NATO and the US government, has been carefully overlooked. With the complicity of NATO and the US State Department. Mujahideen mercenaries from the Middle East and Central Asia were first recruited to fight in the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) in 1998-99, largely supporting NATO's war effort.
Bin Laden had visited Albania himself. His was one of several fundamentalist groups that had sent units to fight in Kosovo. He is believed to have established an operation in Albania in 1994. Albanian sources say Sali Berisha, who was then president, had links with some groups that later proved to be extreme fundamentalists. (Sunday Times, London, 29 November 1998.)........
Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting in Macedonia (October 2001), in the ranks of self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), are Mujahideen from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union. Also within the KLA's proxy force in Macedonia are senior US military advisers from a private mercenary outfit on contract to the Pentagon. (Scotland on Sunday, Glasgow, 15 June 2001)
Extensively documented by the Macedonian press and statements of the Macedonian authorities, the US government and the "Islamic Militant Network" are working hand in glove in supporting and financing the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA), involved in the terrorist attacks in Macedonia. The NLA is a proxy of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In turn the KLA and the UN sponsored Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) are identical institutions with the same commanders and military personnel. KPC Commanders on UN salaries are fighting in the NLA together with the Mujahideen. In a bitter twist, while supported and financed by Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, the KLA-NLA is also supported by NATO and the United Nations mission to Kosovo (UNMIK).
The KLA-NLA terrorists are funded by US military aid, the United Nations peace-keeping budget, as well as by several Islamic organisations including Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, drug money is being used to finance the terrorists with the complicity of the US government. US military advisers mingle with Mujahideen within the same paramilitary force, Western mercenaries from NATO countries fight alongside Mujahideen recruited in the Middle East and Central Asia.
The Bush Administration has stated that it has proof that Osama bin Laden is behind the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. A major war, supposedly "against international terrorism", has been launched by the Bush Administration. In Macedonia, however, the evidence amply confirms that the Bush Administration (together with NATO) is directly supporting terrorist organisations which have links to Al Qaeda. In other words, the Bush Administration is harboring international terrorism as part of its foreign policy agenda. The main justification for waging the so-called war on terrorism has been a total fabrication. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future......
That they do, FRiend. That they do.
My friends at certain computer companies confirm what you say is the truth.
I may have worked with some of your friends in an advisory capacity. :o)
I guess we'll just have to learn to screw with "semantic forests".
Have a look at the patents filed by NSA people on the subject. Makes it difficult to insert chaff that can be convincingly taken for the genuine article.
Thank you. That was quick. I thought it would have been relegated to the dust bin by now.
I went and took a look at it.
It's not as funny 4 years later.
Nowhere near as many people use IRC these days. Not like it was just a few years ago. I believe IRC is dying. A lot of IRC networks/servers are gone now.
If memory serves, only the NSA is precluded from spying directly on American citizens in these United States. The CIA, on the other hand, is not thus handicapped.
I think you're right. I personally believe that instant messaging has taken its place. Fortunately, for the surveillance crowd, very few IM services offer encrypted messaging, and even fewer people use any form of encryption.
Recall just after 911 when all the dems/libs and LBs were all screaming because jetpilotz(a)somehost.com and other email addresses used by the Islamic skyjacker terrorists were not caught by the FBI and CIA?
Either way it's Bush's fault they say......
Just like the "homeless" propaganda I heard on WABC 770am NYC alleging to be "news" about how the "homeless" problem Slick Willie fixed is back and worse than before the Dark Ages in Europe.
I guess it's Bush's fault as they say......
I recall back a bit when a lib asked if I was carrying one of my Colts as I went with her on a side errand to a bank before heading to a museum; just why is it that libs all are against certain things until it involves their personal safety and money and then they expect someone else to carry the burden for them?
This curious little legal quirk has matured over the years into Echelon and related systems.
Right.... and the free-sharing of information. However, this IS one of the things that drives the rest of the Euros crazy ;-).
Yeah, oldie but goody.
Why would we want to do that? Don't you want them to intercept the Jihadis communications as they are planning a terrorist attack?
Was this prior to 9/11? Maybe your "jamming" contributed to the FBI's failure to maintain surveillance on Atta's gang.
Someone (Bamford?) said that NSA measures their computing power not in number of workstations, but in acres.
Didn't those rules prohibit the CIA from informing the FBI that Mohammed Atta and his gang were in country in August of 2001? Was that good?
Che Guevara was nailed by trapping his satellite call to his mother; OBL was another mother we tracked with technology (Predator/Hellfire), only to have the Clinton Administration fail to make the sale.
But in the larger sense, is there a proven CIA presence here, or more dark hints?
150K? William Byrd spent that every day on a post office with his name on it.
The CIA? Really? Gee, violated their charter? When it is the FBI tasked with the domestic counterterrorist threat?
What would Colleen Rowley say?
Yet the prevailing chorus is to ram through the extant intelligence "reform" which emerged from the Olympian 911 Commission giving the DCI command of all satellites--
OBL and his crew are reduced to using human messengers because they fear electronic monitoring--
Just as the robust law enforcement presence on the net caught Scott Ritter making a date with two minor girls, so it can intercept and prevent darker deeds.
As long as they aren't after misspellers, FR has nothing to fear.
Only well-meaning twits unfamiliar with the algorithmic technology think you can use keyword spam to mess with the email spying system. It is a far more sophisticated mathematical technology and would require a very sophisticated attack designed by very knowledgeable mathematicians to spam. I've seen no one suggest an Echelon spamming technique yet that would defeat even a primitive implementation of the theory, and this is an area of mathematical theory I am very familiar with.
Fortunately, the terrorists are generally as ignorant as the internet using public in this regard. There is not that many countries that produce large quantities of decent mathematicians, never mind terrorist producing countries. Welcome to the future battlefield...
A really oldie, but goody:
ECHELON: the Global Surveillance System
ECHELON: America's Secret Global Surveillance Network
CIA Patching ECHELON Shortcomings
Worldwide spying network is revealed - (Should we be complaining about Echelon?)
'ECHELON' WAS MY BABY
(NSA Echelon-Big Brother-All-Seeing Eye Is Watching) (Unprecedented) Privacy Warning Across Europe
What are those words that trigger Echelon?
EU Echelon Committee Calls for Increased Use of Encryption
U.S. to Close Eavesdropping Post [ECHELON]
Echelon Panel Calls It a Day
Japanese Newspaper Reports American Echelon Spy Activity
Echelon - Japanese diplomatic dispatches infiltrated by English-speaking spies
Bush facing EU condemnation over spy network (Echelon)
Echelon - When spies fall out
What is ECHELON?
How does ECHELON work?
Skeptics question scope of NSAs information gathering with Echelon
Newspaper: Echelon Gave Authorities Warning Of Attacks
Did Echelon Overlook Terrorist Threat?
Echelon Gave Authorities Warning Of Attacks
Hunting Terrorists And Leaks(Echelon recorded terrorists -Nobody listened)
Precisely. Which is why those idiotic email "echelon spamming" things are so stupid. This is not some wanker-esque keyword matching scheme but sophisticated mathematics.
Incidentally, far slicker technology than semantic forests is under development in the US private sector. There have been some very interesting theoretical developments in the computational side of algorithmic information theory, which is the grand-daddy of all this stuff. People have no idea what kind of wicked ingenuity comes out of the US.
Fast supercomputing systems are small. Memory latency matters A LOT for supercomputing codes of these types, and you can't get good latency at the clock speeds of today when your system is scattered hither and yon. Speed of light and all that.
They may have acres of systems, but they'll probably be racks of conventional systems for the most part, just like any other big data center. For better or worse, consumer grade crap is pretty close to the cutting edge of performance for this type of thing. The AMD64 systems being a glorious example of this.
I've learned lots about Islam on Paltalk also. I just wish I could understand what is being said in some of those Arabic speaking rooms. I'm sure they are monitoring those, and they should from what I've heard.
Whitfield Diffie is yer friend !
I think you're flacking for him, and it's not the first time it's crossed my mind.
49 Posted on 02/29/2000 04:24:08 PST by metalbird1
Thanks for the ping!
"NSA and CIA are indeed so prohibited. However, there is no prohibition at law against NSA/CIA/USwhomever listening in/monitoring citizens of the UK ... and similarly there is no prohibition at law against MI6 listening in/monitoring citizens of the US."
"This curious little legal quirk has matured over the years into Echelon and related systems."
Then, throw the Mossad and KGB into this mix, and the Islamofascist trolls who use the internet as a communication or PR tool, could be in for a knock, knock game.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.