Skip to comments.History lessons on telecom and how we got here [gov spying on all citizens]
Posted on 06/18/2013 10:38:27 AM PDT by Vendome
To safeguard the privacy of innocent persons, the interception of wire or oral communications where none of the parties to the communication has consented to the interception should be allowed only when authorized by a court of competent jurisdiction and should remain under the control and supervision of the authorizing court.
Nothing contained in this chapter or Section 605 of the Communications Act of 1934 shall limit the constitutional power of the President to take such measures as he deems necessary to protect the Nation against actual or potential attack or other hostile acts of a foreign power, to obtain foreign intelligence information deemed essential to the security of the United States, or to protect national security information against foreign intelligence activities. Nor shall anything contained in this chapter be deemed to limit the constitutional power of the President to take such measures as he deems necessary to protect the United States against the overthrow of the Government by force or other unlawful means, or against any other clear and present danger to the structure or existence of the Government.
Upon an application made under section 3122 of this title, the court shall enter an ex parte order authorizing the installation and use of a pen register or a trap and trace device within the jurisdiction of the court if the court finds that the attorney for the Government or the State law enforcement or investigative officer has certified to the court that the information likely to be obtained by such installation and use is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.
A telecommunications carrier shall ensure that its equipment, facilities, or services are capable of expeditiously isolating and enabling the government, pursuant to a court order or other lawful authorization, to intercept, to the exclusion of other communications, all wire and electronic communications carried by the carrier within a service area to or from equipment [and] to access call-identifying information.
Currently, all Internet wiretaps using the Carnivore system begin with an FBI investigation. As with any wiretap, the FBI requires its investigators to ask for permission. According to the Illinois report, the process the FBI follows to obtain a wiretap is as follows:
--For a full mode wiretap only
· A case agent in an investigation determines a wiretap may be needed.
· The agent contacts the FBIs Chief Division Counsel (CDC), familiar with statutory requirements.
· The agent contacts a Technically Trained Agent (TTA); an experienced Special Agent with advanced training.
· After consulting with the CDC, the TTA, and with field office supervisors, the case agent will determine if the wiretap is required.
--For a pen register wiretap only
· The case agent requests pen-register surveillance in writing, with a justification for necessity.
--Then, for either full mode or pen mode
· FBI shows a judge the relevance of the information sought to the investigation.
· FBI shows a judge why traditional enforcement methods are insufficient.
· FBI must submit request with information such as target internet service provider (ISP), e-mail address, etc.
· This process may take up to 4-6 months.
At this point, two court orders are issued; one that authorizes the intercept, and a second, which directs the ISP to cooperate with the investigation. After receiving a court order, the FBI begins conversations with the target ISP. Carnivore is deployed when:
· The ISP cannot narrow sufficiently the information retrieved to comply with the court order.
· The ISP cannot receive sufficient information.
· The FBI does not want to disclose information to the ISP, as in a sensitive national security investigation.
Let's get on a big boat with a huge net and go fishing!
If it is deemed necessary, a Carnivore computer is taken from FBI headquarters and brought to the ISP. The TTA takes responsibility for the installation of the system, for configuration of the system based on the court order, and for securing the work area at the ISP. After this, the TTAs work is done; the TTA does not receive or complete minimization on any of the information collected by Carnivore.
At this point, the case agent can retrieve the intercepted information remotely as it is received by Carnivore, or he can await the information on the Jaz disk from the computer.
The hardware components of the Carnivore system are:
1) a one-way tap into an Ethernet data stream;
2) a general purpose computer to filter and collect data;
3) one or more additional general purpose computers to control the collection and examine the data;
4) a telephone link to connect the additional computer(s) to the collection computer.
Figure 2: Carnivore Hardware Architecture
One Way Tap
The connection from the filtering/collection computer to the ISP's network is a third-party one-way tap. The device, called the Century Tap, is produced by Shomiti Systems. The one-way tap is placed between a link from a switch to a subnet, as illustrated in the figure above.
The configuration reported in the Illinois report only works for standard Ethernet. Although the tap is capable of being used with full-duplex Ethernet, the researchers at the IITRI have determined that the presence of collisions could cause packet loss, or even the capture of wrong packets. In full duplex mode, this problem is exacerbated by increased throughput.
The computer which resides at the ISP is a Pentium-class PC installed with a 2 GB Jaz Drive, a standard 10/100 Mbps Ethernet adapter, a modem, Windows NT, and the software package pcAnywhere, produced by Symantec. It connects to the one-way tap through its Ethernet adapter. It connects to an outside control/examination computer through a modem using a special telephone link. According to the Illinois report, the computer is installed without a monitor or keyboard.
Any computer may act as a control/examination computer, so long as it has installed on it: pcAnywhere, the DragonWare package including CoolMiner and Packeteer, a modem, and the proper keys and passwords to access the Windows NT administrator account, pcAnywhere, and the telephone link.
The filtering/collection computer communicates with the control/examination computer through a telephone line, which is installed especially for its use. The telephone line is protected by third-party devices from Computer Peripheral Systems, Inc; (CPSI) from their line of Challenger Security Products (CSP). The protection devices come in pairs; a Lock is a device attached to the phone line on the end of the filtering/collection computer, and a Key is another device attached to the phone line on the end of the many control/examination computer being used.
Figure 3: Carnivore Advanced Menu
"Carnivore software is a component of a software suite called DragonWare written by the FBI. The other components of DragonWare are Packeteer and CoolMiner, two additional programs that reconstruct e-mail and other Internet traffic from the collected packets." The software will be examined in two ways, first its functionality, and second its architecture.
Carnivore's functionality can be broken up into 3 areas: Filtering, Output, and Analysis.
The filtering system provided with the software is intended to take the large amounts of data passing through the tapped network stream and prevent the unwanted data from being stored. The software provides the user many different options for filtering and the combination of filters:
Can choose a range of IP addresses.
If not in fixed IP mode, one can choose to include packets from in either Radius or DHCP mode.
One can choose to include packets from TCP, UDP, and/or ICMP in either Full mode, Pen mode, or none.
One can include packets that contain arbitrary text.
One can select particular ports to include (i.e. 25 (SMTP), 80 (HTTP), 110 (POP3)).
E-mail address Filtering
One can select to include packets that contain a particular e-mail address in the to or from fields of an e-mail.
The software produces three types of files when storing packets, files with extensions '.vor', '.output', and '.error'. The actual data collected from the network is saved in a .vor file. The '.output' file contains a human readable version of the settings used to collect the data in the corresponding '.vor' file. Finally, the '.error' file keeps track of any system messages that may have been generated during collection. The software does not prevent files from being stored on the local hard drive, but they are typically stored on the 2GB Jaz Drive attached to the system.
The DragonWare package provides two programs to analyze the information stored in the '.vor' file produced by Carnivore.
This program takes the collection of IP packets in .vor files, reconstructs the TCP session, and creates a series of files that can be viewed with CoolMiner.
This program can be set up to show only certain types of packets.
The Carnivore software consists of four components: TapNDIS driver, TapAPI.dll, Carnivore.dll, and Carnivore.exe
TapNDIS (written in C) is a kernel-mode driver, which captures Ethernet packets as they are received, and applies some filtering. The source is divided into 13 files, 9 of which are borrowed intact or with only minor changes, from WinDis 32 sample programs. 2 others were generated by Microsoft Developer Studio. The remaining two files contain all the logic for driver-level filters and for writing data to a file. The IITRI assumes this to be the core of the Carnivore implementation.
TapAPI.dll (written in C++) provides the API for accessing the TapNDIS driver functionality from other applications.
Carnivore.dll (written in C++) provides functionality for controlling the intercept of raw data. This is where pen mode truncation occurs.
Did you understand any of that? I do but, this is my job.
All you really need to know is this part: "At this point, the case agent can retrieve the intercepted information remotely as it is received by Carnivore"
The FBI perform's its own minimization. That is, "control of the information is removed from a third-party source". The FBI and other agencies such as DOJ and DEA have no clients to protect. That means they have no legal or lawful reason to actually perform minimization, the 1st and 4th amendments be damned! Remember Reagan's sarcastic joke "I'm from the government. I'm here to help"??? You just have to trust they are of the highest morals and operate with pure and nuetral ethics.
Has there been any news of late that would give you a reason to trust them?
Well, you shouldn't as the FBI IITRI review of Carnivore states the statutory suppression remedy available for illegal interception of other communications in Title III is not extended to electronic communications the data gathered would not automatically be thrown out as evidence.
Wow?! you mean you could just keep the information and use it later whenever it suited you? Courts said "Yeah, they can do that".
You’re just a little too full of yourself.
I asked him to repost it.
In the 60’s I worked for the bell system, in a long distance switch central office. We had equipment with large tape reels in them, it was called “Green Star”.
Two first level supervisors were cleared for top secret, only they had keys to the cabinet, they would remove the tape reels and send them via a courier service. None of us knew what this project was.
Thank you JR. Now that I think of my dumb mistake I think it good that was reposted earlier in the day so more people would eventually see it.
I don’t post vanities to get recognition, in particular on the issue of warrant-less and warrant obtained information that I believe is unconstitutional and will lead to abuses by other agencies and persons with agendas or mutual thinking.
Think about Joe the Plumber. How is it that his private and privileged tax information was publicly released?
Someone was an ardent supporter of Obama and acted on behalf their man to smear someone who had the audacity to challenge Obama’s “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” philosophy.
I seek only to educate in layman terms, for the most part, so everyone understands the stakes.
I know JR has been in the field Communications for a number of years and much of what I posted he would be very familiar with as the nature his businesses over the years were directly affected by all these laws and intrusions into services he provided.
I forgot about Green Star.
You must be frickin old! /S LOL
Well, I worked as a service bureau programmer in the 70’s and 80’s where we used leased teleco lines to connect our clients to our computers (pre-internet), but I don’t claim to have any communications expertise. Rcognize some of the buzzwords is about it.
thought you owned a BBS or ISP in the 90’s?
We did. Small local ISP with dial-up lines.
Vendome, so glad you created this thread to document and to share your knowledge and experience with all of us.
71 and counting, soon to have 6th. grandchild.
Thank you for your article on greenstar, I finally found out after all these years, I meant to thank earlier, but had trouble finding the thread.
I worked many years in Verizon Security Unit. When I first started wiretaps for the FBI I would send data or content in X.25 format. They had to get a router and translate the X.25 and configure it using only the B Channels and ignoring the D channel of an ISDN circuit. I also would demand a faxed warrant even if I was doing the tap from my home. It came down when the warrant said so, and that pissed them off.
Late 70’s to early 90’s?
Late 90’s to 2002. CALEA.
Sorry, I worked for General Telephone/GTE/Verizon from 78 to 02.
Most people have no idea what x.25 is.
The FBI sure as hell didn't.
The idea is that they've been able to track us for many years now...and meta trolling as well.. the phone companies are seen as partners to the FBI and now NSA in whatever information they want to get.
I was aware anything on line was open for whoever wanted to get the information before i had my computer...I also knew the telephone company had means to tap onto your line unknown to you ..many years ago.
So the news wasn't new to me...even if i didn’t understand how they obtained the information. They could get it in more ways then one as well.
Just bumping this...important for people to read...explains much.
Glad Jim put it in the header too or I would have missed it!
I especially understood this sentence:
You are so screwed.
So I guess the next few steps might involve something akin to star chambers and gulags, maybe more Breitbarting? Or am I just crazy?
Nope. You’re right. In fact, PA II has elements of star chamber and FISA as well.
They can arrest you and not give cause but, being charged under PA II you are barred from discussing even your arrest with an attorney .
Further, NSA can search your private communications at will and does not have to inform you before hand.
What’s going to happen, Vendome? It’s as though we’re all on a boat and the huge falls are coming up closer and closer and we can see the spray and the roar of the falls is getting louder and louder, and the current of the river is getting faster and faster....
The company I worked for had a closed network till the mid nineties. Large national bank. We were told that it was a cost decision to go over the internet. Makes me think how much the government was involved in making it cheaper or influencing large companies such as bank to leave closed networks. They could monitor both with the right access but it would be a lot easier to over the internet. I makes me wonder why highly sensitive sites such as the power grids are not on a closed network.
Eventually someone has to come to my side of the argument and force the government to back off and properly go through the warrant and the”probable cause process.
Right now they operate outside the 4th with their own”reasonable” cause and they wrongly presume your billing information is not sacrosanct .
I say it is.
You buy a phone, the service provider issues you a new number or ports your old number, they manage your number, which you own and take to any other carrier, they provide a service to you based on your number for which you force over mucho diners.
Now their argument fails on the basis of private individuals contracting with the private people and/or private entities.
How can they find permision to do to you what an ordinary person cannot Do without sanction?
So, they a Law Enforcement? Does that give them the authority to abuse any other rights by merely meeting a greater good? I think not.
They can’t enter a house in which I contract with a private entity for the loa, ,
Every body is asking each other; “HOW DID WE GET HERE”? Hey people, that is a very stupid question. My answer is “LOOK IN THE MIRROR”, if you want to know who got us here. We voted for them. Instead of asking pertinent questions during election time, we, like sheep, listened to the propaganda. Anyone that said anything against the propaganda were laughed at and called all kinds of names. Even today, there are more and more people that are shouting warnings of what these politicians are doing to all of us, and, I’m sorry to say, it’s still falling on deaf ears. Why? Because these politicians are telling the people; “IF YOU LISTEN TO THOSE PEOPLE AND VOTE US OUT, YOU WILL LOOSE ALL YOUR “GOODIES” AND YOU WILL BE LEFT ON YOUR OWN”.
These two links might be interessting to those who care about the constitution.
Do you have actual citations for all of the source info (links to the quotes, article excerpts, etc... that you used in this vanity)?
UHmmmm.... Pretty sure they are in the body of the post but, you can google anything you question.
I recalled most of it off the top of my head and confirmed my recollection googling my thoughts.
I am correct and the post is right.
I wasn’t questioning the veracity of it, I was just looking for referenced citations (like a wiki of sorts). I was hoping you had some or all of them handy to do this with.
No problem, I was just asking to see if you had them is all.
Oh, sorry. do you have specific questions or do you want a generalized footnotes?
You are of course correct.
But how to make them stop?
I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about that statement and how it might be accomplished.
Some ideas are in my head and I think by 4th of July I may have enough for a series of vanities exploring strategies .
I do know a founding member or two at EFF and I’m thinking they may have considered many of the same things I have but, need precedent to proceed on just one issue.
I’ll post my 1st answer to that question next week.
Oh! I see. Sure. There are seems of publications on this.
Let me go back through my snide vanity and get back to you in a manner that won’t require any work.
Look FO a ping in a few days.
It’s the end of the month and I have to finish out and do paperwork.
Not a big issue, if you have them handy and it doesn’t require a lot of effort on your part, no prob. Otherwise I will do some digging on my own and ping you back if I find items that look like they match to see if they ring any bells.
Your vanity post was the first thing I thought of when I heard the guy making such a broad brush adamant statement that Snowden was somehow a traitor for unveiling something a lot of us knew was going on well before (ala carnivore et al.).
It’s not a real problem but, I’m in the middle of closing out my month, getting orders straight and occasionally entertaining myself on FR.
Here are links to FISA and their reasonable cause arguments
Excellent resource. Note the number of different technologies, databases used, etc.
This is how I know Snowden is full of Chit and cannot just type in a few commands to get access to this.
Symopsis of 1934 Communications Act:
The act itself:
Article revealing what the 1934 Communications act made possible:
Pay attention to Olmstead.
Here is one document I relied on for my research:
You will need to enter a captcha to download but, it is very, very good and there are excellent footnotes there.