Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government? | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
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I’m very skeptical.
They would need the cooperation of thousands of local phone companies. Tens of thousands of people would be involved. And none have spoken up? No possible.
By default, most voice is not encrypted because the process introduces a time delay in the stream. So any router on the Internet can sniff the calls. No Phone company needed.
Notice they said “digital” (which most are even once they leave your analog lines). All you need is a computer sniffing traffic. Usually the host of the router would know and be complicit. But that is not always necessary.
Most telephony is not routed over the internet.
But all digital is. And the claim, by the FBI is “digital” calls. Not the standard analog calls.
Gamecock – Phil is referring to digital phone company routers, not necessarily internet routers. Almost all, if not all, phone calls are digital now whether it is landline or a cellphone. According to the retired FBI source in the article, being digital, the digital data (voice transmission) is being stored for any future listening. The only question remaining is who is keeping the digital copies and for how long.
Of course, the thrust of Steve’s point is that the 4th Amendment is gone. If you don’t want to believe the FBI agent….fine. But just go to YouTube and do a search for unconstitutional traffic stops and observe for yourself that the federal government has been violating citizen’s 4th Amendment rights every day for quite some time.
“So any router on the Internet can sniff the calls. No Phone company needed.”
Hugh says: “Gamecock – Phil is referring to digital phone company routers, not necessarily internet routers.”
You aren’t making any sense. Either one of you.
Sorry Gamecock. Do you understand internet routing?
If you have a dedicated line between 2 points on your network, technically it is not Internet (it probably is a WAN), and is not “sniffable” by anyone except you and the ISP (dirty little secret that is why you HAVE to trust the ISP). So if I make a VoIP call from plant A to Plant B, the government cannot sniff it unless the ISP gives them a tap, or we do (or they do so illegally – we will assume for now the FBI is not doing the 3rd).
But who says the FBI wants to listen in on a call ordering 10 more widgets? So I make a VoIP call to “Sam” and talk about the Boston Bombing. Yep! That one hits any internet router between me and him. And is sniffable. Those are the calls the FBI is talking about. It may or may not include a phone company. But in the bottom line, all phone companies are now are ISPs. Big ones. But simply ISPs. So the FBI does have to get their permission to tap into their equipment. Unless the call is going out of their network. Then it uses other ISPs.
So all VoIP calls use the internet (Vonage, etc.), some regular calls do. And of course cell phone calls are over public airwaves, so nothing stopping them there.
All calls are available to be sniffed by the FBI. As another pointed out, just recording a call is not very useful. Someone has to listen to it to see if it has anything useful in it. But the article was about the ability to listen, not if anyone was.
“There is a giant (NSA) facility being built in Utah right now that’s a 100,000 square feet, and it’s in the town of Bluffdale.”
It all gets vacuumed up, all of it. The state has divine pretensions, and aspires to omnipresence and omniscience.
In the late 60’s the America’s National Security Agency eavesdropped on telephone conversations between Soviet Politburo members such as Brezhnev, Podgorny and Kosygin. As Phil J notes above, the signals aren’t scrambled so it’s easy to do. The operation was called GAMMA GUPPY and was run by the Army Security Agency unit USM-2.
The problem (?) with recording all electronic communications is that there ultimately needs to be a human analyst oversee the results obtained, like a technician who views a fingerprint from a computer generated list.
On the other hand, if a person is already known. information could be easily retrieved.
Petraeus like an’ all.
“The problem (?) with recording all electronic communications is that there ultimately needs to be a human analyst oversee the results obtained”
Exactly right. But what that translates to is that if you are “known” (such as all conservatives under the Obama’s definition of terrorists), they are listening. If you are unknown, they only know when you talk to a known one – or until you exercise one of your rights which puts you on the terrorist list.
Hey Jeff! The NSA has ‘data mining’ programs that can flag any wording or terminology to then be further scrutinized by humans. They are listening to all of us 24/7.
The new NSA facility in Utah is Orwell’s prediction, and our nightmare. It will track citizens from cradle to grave, with the help of the public school system.
Slightly OT, but when were you guys gonna tell us about the White House petition to takeover Australia? Your mate Obama and his apparatchiks are totally whacked. I suppose the NSA will be monitoring all our emails as well now that we are on the way to becoming the 53rd State. The insignia of a koala “riding” a bald eagle on the new flag is now stuck in my head forever.
You can’t become the 53rd state! Obama has already counted 57, plus one to go, plus 2 he will never get to (even though he claims he was born in one of those 2).
61st will have to do for you Aussies. 😉