A day late and a dollar short, but we're the ones who'll pay.

For nearly twenty years in the United States a law called CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994) has been on the books. To summarize, CALEA set the federal requirement that telecommunications companies (phone companies, long distance companies, cellular carriers, and so forth) had to modify their infrastructures such that various forms of wiretapping of customers had to be possible upon presentation of a warrant. Contrary to popular belief, there are methods of surveillance other than recording a conversation. The simplest involves making a list of every phone number that a particular number calls, when the calls were …

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Spooks, dirty tricks, and creative linguistics.

It seems that the US federal government has been busy lately - a pair of news articles released last week show the lengths they're going to so that they can get their way while seeming to be on the up and up. As you'll recall, back in July of 2005 the city of London, England was rocked by a number of explosions which were placed by suicide bombers to maximally disrupt the public transportation system of the city. The British government probably asked the FBI to assist in the investigation (as suggested by a number of documents obtained through the Freedom …

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Explosive post queue flush in three.. two.. one....

As one might expect, it's been a busy couple of days (a week, really), which has kept me from being able to post anything. I got back from Philly around 1700 EST5EDT last Friday, and I've been offline pretty much the entire weekend because I've been too tired to do much of anything. After I got back, Lyssa made a wonderful hot dinner (all the more special because temperatures in the tri-state area have been averaging in the mid-twenties Fahrenheit), and then we decided to get together with some friendly faces to hang out for the evening. To that end …

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FBI forgets to pay its phone bill; wiretap goes silent.

It has recently made it into the press that the FBI has been conducting wired surveillance of an international nature - the specifics of the operation aren't known, which is what one would expect of an ongoing investigation. However, due to an ongoing problem with controlling funds allocated to fieldwork, they forgot to pay the telco bill for the wiretap and the telco summarily shut the line off. The FBI's been fighting problems with mismanagement of money and embezzlement for years now, and while the measures they've put in place are helping to some extent they sometimes cause problems. This is …

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Damn, it's good to be a gangsta.

I'm back in Maryland on week two of (possibly two, possibly three) of my field assignment. I'm in another hotel in the same general vicinity as before and approaching dead tired after a long weekend of hot weather, running around, and pulling all nighters of one sort or another. I was running rather late today because I had a number of errands to run, which I took care of before starting the laundry, but now it's academic because it all worked out. Thankfully, the headache and aftermath of heatstroke last night went away while I slept, so I woke up …

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