Link barrage: How mass NSA wiretaps work; Manchurian Obama©; International tensions and other boring matters (that will still ruin your wallet)

Who Planned the Anthrax Attacks?- by Justin Raimondo

I gots to filch a few grafs about how the wiretap system works - and how the Big Machine in the Sky is reading our to/from packets quite a lot: Everything about Pat Lang is friggin awesome - this one came from one of his old school buddies in the telecom spy game: Sic Semper Tyrannis 2008: FISA and All Those Numbers

But let's say Mr. Terrorist is somewhere in Maryland between Baltimore and Washington DC, and he is using a prepaid cell phone he bought with cash. His NPA (area code) can be 240, 301, 410, 443, 202, or 703 depending on his carrier. Each one of those NPAs can have up to 792 NXX codes assigned to it. And each one of those NXX codes can have up to 10,000 numbers. Now we're really starting to see a problem. The government already knows which blocks are owned by prepaid cellular carriers, but there are still hundreds of thousands of telephone numbers in one small region to sift through. This guy may only pop up for a few hours before trashing his phone – I know I would!

How does the FBI or NSA tap his phone based on the number? Here’s what I suspect has been happening behind the scenes with the FISA battle.

It is physically impossible to monitor all the calls traversing the telephone networks. The tinfoil hat crowd likes to scream about the NSA “monitoring all our calls” but it just isn’t physically possible. When I worked for a long distance carrier we were processing around 1 million calls per day, per junction (a junction is a large central office), and our network had about 7-8 junctions. That was in the late 1990s. Call volume is much higher today. And that was one carrier out of many.

What we can look at, however, are the messages the telephone network uses to connect, maintain, and disconnect your calls. This process is known as call signaling, or call processing. In the old days, intercepting the call signaling of a large portion of the network was difficult since both the call processing and voice connection used the same physical circuit. Now, a signaling technology called Signaling System 7 (SS7) has made that job much easier – the signaling process has been decoupled from the voice circuit. All the SS7 messages are carried on a network separate from the network that connects the two phones together for the conversation. (For the techno-geeks among us, Wiki SS7 )

Although the land line telephone network can operate without SS7, the cellular networks cannot. They all use SS7. Most likely the FBI and NSA are exploiting this portion of the telephone network. But remember, the SS7 network is only carrying call signaling messages. Inside those messages are the telephone numbers of the calling party and the called party, but no names. These messages containing each telephone number in a call can be stored in huge databases and mined for anomalies. The SIGINT folks are probably looking for call patterns – anything that will make the target stick out. If there is an interesting call pattern, then resources can be applied to actually monitor the conversation.

So, is it really wiretapping if the government is only monitoring call patterns and no names are associated with numbers? Is it really wiretapping if no voice conversation is monitored? I don’t know. That’s for the lawyers to decide. I do know that the amount of data collected would be incredibly huge – for every telephone call there will be many SS7 messages generated. Multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of calls processed by the prepaid cellular carriers per day, and you start seeing the problem our law enforcement and SIGINT folks are tackling. Sifting through all these millions of call singling messages is a huge undertaking.

Most likely the process is becoming more and more automated with signaling anomalies triggering the automatic monitoring and storage of conversations. Although this would make life much easier for the collection folks, this automation would be where the legal points become shaky since the warrant would have to be applied after the fact. I do not know for sure, but I suspect that total automation is feasible to a degree. It would still require a lot of resources. What if the trigger was in error and you recorded two innocent people, should you still have to get a warrant even if internal procedures ensured the recording was deleted? Sometimes innocent Americans get caught up in SIGINT collections overseas, and there are existing oversight policies to deal with that.

Be sure to check it all out on Lang's site!!

From the always ominous Cryptogon: Teachers Get Guidance On How to Relay the Lessons of Sept. 11

and worse: Leading British Intelligence Official, Alex Allan, Found with “Blood Everwhere,” Now In a Coma, Nothing to See Here, Move Along

Dana Milbank - The Economy? Words Fail Me. - washingtonpost.com

No evidence needed under terror profiling plan | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

The Associated Press: ISPs still considering tracking Web use

Ron Paul: I hear members of Congress saying "if we could only nuke Iran"

Crucial analysis: Bringing Ireland to Baghdad: How the Resistance Will Eventually Kick the Americans Out | War on Iraq | AlterNet

Military action 'would destabilise Iraq' - Middle East, World - The Independent

Talabani-Barak handshake angers some Iraqi MPs | Reuters

BBC NEWS | Pakistan's future in the balance

$100 for a Tank of Gas? Especially in an S.U.V., It’s Hard to Say ‘Fill It Up’ - NYTimes.com

Hilarious!

Wampum: Viacom v Google

Fallen Stars: Celebrity Foreclosures - CNBC.com

Fannie, Freddie Shares Plummet on Capital Worries. Move along...

Daily Telegraph PSYOPS at an end? LobeLog.com » Blog Archive » The Bolton-Telegraph Scare

The strange saga of Larry Johnson continues: it's pretty grumpy over @ No Quarter,

The Adulation of a Leader: a Cautionary Tale : NO QUARTER

The anti-Obama audience Webster Tarpley has purchased some blog ads for his mysterious book, Obama - The Postmodern Coup: Making of a Manchurian Candidate: Webster Griffin Tarpley, . Described as such:

Barack Obama is a deeply troubled personality, the megalomaniac front man for a postmodern coup by the intelligence agencies, using fake polls, mobs of swarming adolescents, super-rich contributors, and orchestrated media hysteria to short-circuit normal politics and seize power.

Obama comes from the orbit of the Ford Foundation, and has never won public office in a contested election. His guru and controller is Zbigniew Brzezinski, the deranged revanchist and Russia-hater who dominated the catastrophic Carter presidency 30 years ago. All indications are that Brzezinski recruited Obama at Columbia University a quarter century ago. Trilateral Commission co-founder Brzezinski wants a global showdown with Russia and China far more dangerous for the United States than the Bush-Cheney Iraq adventure.

Obama's economics are pure Skull & Bones/Chicago school austerity and sacrifice for American working families, all designed to bail out the bankrupt Wall Street elitist financiers who own Obama. Obama's lemming legions and Kool-Aid cult candidacy hearken back to Italy in 1919-1922, and raise the question of postmodern fascism in the United States today.

Obama is a recipe for a world tragedy. No American voter can afford to ignore the lessons contained in this book.

I am a fan of the idea that these NGO "color revolutions" around Europe are some trendy synthetic PSYOPS type shit. And that Obama's advisors would run with the "synthesizers". Anyway.

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