Friday, June 30, 2006

The Beginner's Guide to NSA Detection

The guys over at the Wired Magazine blog have published a way of telling if your internet traffic is being routed to the NSA or not. The process is fairly simple, but interpreting the results is a little more difficult.

  1. Hit the Windows key + R to bring up a command prompt.
  2. Type "Tracert", space, then the name of your email host/ ISP, or website you're reading. For example, "Tracert hotmail.com".
  3. Click here and find out what it means, because I'm not 100% sure that I'm techie enough to understand all of it.

2 comments:

John Harvey said...

Tracert is a tool that merely traces your route from your pc to the web destination. By default, it shows (windows version) up to 30 hops or servers/routers. Looking at the router information tells you very little that is useful for determining if you are being "observed". About the only thing tracert is useful for is determining where your packets are dying when there is a breakdown in your path to your objective.

NSA is much more sophisticated than just throwing a router/server out there that is exposed. They will pull your packets apart and read them like they were looking at a National Geographic Picture Anthology. If they want to observe you, they can listen to you over your phones, with the phone on the hook. They can bounce lasers off your windows and make them sound amplifiers. They can read keystrokes by listening to your typing. They can do screen scrapes by picking up Infra red signals. If the NSA wants to listen in, and you don't want them to, you better lock yourself in your closet and apply copious amounts of duct tape to your entire body. You will be 'toast' as they say. Now, having said all that, the NSA is supposed to be on "our" side. And I hope they are!

Freedonian said...

That would certainly be true if the NSA was doing its own work on this. On the domestic surveillance though, they're not. AT&T has been assisting in the data mining wherever information crosses their network.

The magic entry you're looking for is "sffca.ip.att.net". If you see it after a non-AT&T URL, then your information has been rerouted in between points A and B.