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# 19599 23-Feb-2008 13:07
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Article

Apparently goverment agencies have been wiretapping for a while in the US, but what about the idea of anyone who can afford it being able to listen in?

Thoughts?

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  # 112478 23-Feb-2008 14:14
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eXDee: Article

Apparently goverment agencies have been wiretapping for a while in the US, but what about the idea of anyone who can afford it being able to listen in?

Thoughts?


I think you will find the concept of legal intercept is alive and well in NZ also.


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# 112530 23-Feb-2008 18:51
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From the article:

The 64-bit encryption method used by GSM, known as A5/1, was first cracked in theory about 10 years ago, and researchers David Hulton and Steve, who declined to give his last name, said today that expensive equipment to help people crack the encryption has been available online for about 5 years.


So, no this is not something new. It's just a faster way to do it.

About your worry of governments listening to conversations and reading SMS, it's called "legal intercept" in New Zealand and as Fraktul pointed out this is common stuff. The government may request authorisation to listen to conversations in the course of an investigation, etc. The telcos have just to plug into the stream and record what's needed. This is nothing new and there's no "conspiracy theory" behind it.

"Breaking" the GSM encryption is only beneficial for illegal wiretapping, those that are not conducted by officers in the course of a lawful investigation - a very different matter and criminal.

As for "who decides", it is normal process. The police or any other authority requests a judge to issue an order, present it to the operator and then it goes from there. There's no "big brother" stuff involved.




 
 
 
 




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  # 112658 24-Feb-2008 12:59
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freitasm: From the article:

The 64-bit encryption method used by GSM, known as A5/1, was first cracked in theory about 10 years ago, and researchers David Hulton and Steve, who declined to give his last name, said today that expensive equipment to help people crack the encryption has been available online for about 5 years.


So, no this is not something new. It's just a faster way to do it.

About your worry of governments listening to conversations and reading SMS, it's called "legal intercept" in New Zealand and as Fraktul pointed out this is common stuff. The government may request authorisation to listen to conversations in the course of an investigation, etc. The telcos have just to plug into the stream and record what's needed. This is nothing new and there's no "conspiracy theory" behind it.

"Breaking" the GSM encryption is only beneficial for illegal wiretapping, those that are not conducted by officers in the course of a lawful investigation - a very different matter and criminal.

As for "who decides", it is normal process. The police or any other authority requests a judge to issue an order, present it to the operator and then it goes from there. There's no "big brother" stuff involved.


Yeah but its the idea of that the technology is available to do it quickly, by anyone who can afford the $100k that they possibly will sell it for. Theres no point in spending an hour trying to 'break' into the call if someone only talks for 10 minutes.

I know that listening to phone calls is common for governments/police however i was talking about goverments suspected warrentless wiretapping - as in not approved by a judge. Thats just what i've read, not sure if its true. I know its not a reliable source and very bias, but theres quite a few digg articles on it.

I know authorities wouldnt bother breaking the encryption, they can listen in through legal (or possibly illegal) easier methods, im talking about say competing companies, celebrities and things like that illegally being listened to. If they somehow learned of company secrets or some 'celebrity gossip' then it could easily outweigh the cost of doing it. It may be illegal, but somehow i think it wouldnt be too hard to do it without being caught (providing they know what they are doing).

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  # 112861 25-Feb-2008 10:55

Vodafone NZ in late last year handed over thee private key for it's Network to the NZ S.I.S.

Also that under current law it's easy for the Police to obtain an interception warrant, which can also give police powers to obtain records under the 7Access system, which is Vodafone's accounting tracking program, calls, SMS records, bills etc.

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# 112863 25-Feb-2008 10:58
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kingoe: Vodafone NZ in late last year handed over thee private key for it's Network to the NZ S.I.S.


Nothing to see here Citizen. We are with the government and we are here to help. Move along...

(black helicopters hovering above the house, black Ford Tahoe SUVs screaming uphill)




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  # 112872 25-Feb-2008 11:16

It would be great if something like 3000+bit encryption was controlled by the end user, even then the end user in simple terms 'does not own the right to control the network' but i was more so meaning like a P2P or leaf interlinked node network for mobiles.

I love using WLAN for VOIP etc. in hotspots though.

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  # 112882 25-Feb-2008 11:36
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kingoe:I love using WLAN for VOIP etc. in hotspots though.


I hope you use a VPN endpoint! At GSM is secure in a sence, VoIP has no security with only primitive tools such as Wireshark required to record all voice calls using a regular SIP connection!



 
 
 
 


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  # 114088 2-Mar-2008 12:14
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Most GSM networks around the world now offer GSM A5/2 and GSM A5/3 encryption that make it harder if only more time consumming to break into GSM conversations. On the otherhand UMTS is alot more secure as it was developed alto later and has yet to be cracked from what i have read, this will be why Vodafone was requested to hand over the Keys otherwise the SIS would have had no way of listning into phone calls etc without going through the legal intercept channels that the police use.

The only reason GSM is crackable in the first place is apparrently France insisted that it be breakable by intelligence agencies, and at the time they were the only ones that could do it.


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# 114103 2-Mar-2008 13:49
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They can listen in on my voice calls but I think they might be put sleep!

Look at the old TDMA network (025) How easy was that!!

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  # 114197 2-Mar-2008 19:40
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Yeah this stuff is on wikipedia.

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