Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Google Drive- Bullshit on That!

I had somebody propose that we can share documents on a matter by using Google Drive.

Not me. My feeling is anything that I put on a cloud server, especially one run by Google, I might as well just send a copy to the FBI and the NSA. Because they're going to get it eventually.


BadTux said...

Anything you put on a cloud server that you don't want the FBI and NSA to read, you better encrypt with PGP first. Despite many efforts to crack it, they still can't crack PGP except via rubber hose cryptography (implemented here in the U.S. via a judge ordering you to produce the password, then imprisoning you for contempt of court when you refuse to do so). Since they need some sort of probable cause to haul you into court, your docs are safe enough then.

Personally, I assume that everything I'm writing is fully known to the TLA's, and act accordingly. They don't mind me being a pinko commie lefty dissident as long as all I do is rant on the Internets. It's if I started actually doing stuff that they'd get alarmed...

- Badtux the Paranoid Penguin

CenterPuke88 said...

Don't forget credible evidence that the NSA/CIA/FBI has all U.S. digital phone calls archived...for the last several years.

BadTux said...

CP, actually, not. The actual details of the NSA/FBI spying program are of course classified, but I can make some guesses based on the fact that government technology is generally a generation behind publically available technology today. According to the manual for the Asterisk SIP server, which uses GSM-encoded voice recording, you can record approximately 8,250 hours in 500 GB. That probably is about a single person's phone calls for two years. My storage servers at work have 80 terabytes in 8u of rack space, or roughly the ability to hold 320 people's phone calls for a year. So basically a standard rack would hold the phone calls for 1600 people for a year, and for all the people in the US who have phones (roughly 200 million) you'd need 125,000 racks of just storage. Each rack uses 7200 watts of power, so you'd need 900 megawatts of power just to power the racks of storage, nevermind the database servers needed to keep track of what is stored where on that mass of storage and the megawatts of power to air condition that many megawatts of heat. So you'd need a whole nuclear power plant to power this monster. Not happening. Even Google doesn't have that kind of storage, and Google's technology is probably *two* generations beyond what the Feds have. It's clear the Feds store everything of interest to them, and that they monitor everything else for "keywords", but store the actual phone calls themselves for *every* phone call? Not happenin'. The public power grid doesn't have enough juice for that, and a private Fed power plant with the juice to do it would be pretty darn obvious.

Now, PIN register data (who called who, when, from where) is a different story. Even the phone companies keep that for a couple of years for their own records in case they get a subpoena for that info in a civil court case (such as, in a divorce case, a subpoena for a list of all phone calls from the husband to his mistress's phone).

CenterPuke88 said...

Tux, The Guardian had an interesting story on this...you might want to evaluate the information from your side as see what you think. Comrade, it'll interest you too.


BadTux said...

My thought here: The U.S. surveillance state is amazingly incompetent. Think about it. It took some degree of planning to put together those two bombs in Boston -- this wasn't something done on a whim with stuff that was in the kitchen cabinet -- yet the national security state didn't have a clue until the bombs went off.

Given this, it is in the best interests of the national security state to talk up its capabilities in hopes of dissuading future bombers. Based on information that has been leaked, the FBI and/or NSA is hoovering all phone calls and passing it into machines that try to transcribe the calls and look for keywords. My guess is that the machine transcriptions are kept for a very long time, since they are fairly small compared to the actual voice data. Two years is certainly possible. The question is, how long are the actual calls themselves kept? I submit that due to the sheer volume of calls, we're talking about a couple of week's worth of calls max. Beyond that they're stuck with machine transcriptions, which a) aren't admissible in court, and b) are hilariously wrong in many cases (they're especially bad with accents). My guess is that the only calls actually kept are a) those that have been flagged by the computer, and b) those that are flagged manually (such as in the aftermath of the Boston bombing, when most likely every call for the two weeks prior to/from the Boston area was flagged, as well as every call for the next week until they caught the bombers).

In other words: The national security state has some incredible technology at its disposal. But they aren't running data centers that take entire nuclear power plants to power them, which is what they're trying to convince the rest of us they're doing. But the technology keeps getting better... in ten years, figure that what they claim to be doing today, will actually be happening.