Sunday, March 22, 2015


Apparently it's a short list, and this, from Bruce Schneier, didn't make it:
Last May, we learned that the NSA intercepts equipment being shipped around the world and installs eavesdropping implants. There were photos of NSA employees opening up a Cisco box. Cisco's CEO John Chambers personally complained to President Obama about this practice, which is not exactly a selling point for Cisco equipment abroad. Der Spiegel published the more complete document, along with a broader story, in January of this year:


Now Cisco is taking matters into its own hands, offering to ship equipment to fake addresses in an effort to avoid NSA interception.

Wassamatter, NSA guys; you not competent to collect what you want without physically installing sh!t on the router while you have it in your clammy hands?

I know no one gives a fv<k whether I approve of any given NSA activity, but c'mon, this is outside the pale. I find myself really tempted to violate Godwin's Law on this one...


  1. Replies
    1. Enfant, in W.W.II the canonical expansion of the then-new agency's acronym was "No Such Agency," which was also the message to anyone without a "need to know" about it. But "Nazi Spy Agency" sounds about right to me today.

  2. Actually, the NSA has been doing this for years. This is one reason why they weren't upset when the Clinton Administration gave in to reality and de-militarized encryption technology (not that they had a choice, when the NIST decided on a Belgian encryption algorithm called 'Rijndael' as the new Advanced Encryption Standard with which all government secrets are required to be encrypted... it was clear at that point that the genie was out of the lamp).

    Personally, I don't have a problem with it. This is what the NSA *does*. It's why they exist -- to intercept foreign communications. I'm more upset that it got out that this was happening, because that's not in the best interests of the country at all. That said, given that it's out, it's time to stop and find some other way to do their job, for the very good reasons that John Chambers mentioned.

    1. 'Tux, I don't have a problem when the NSA spies on the citizens and intel orgs of other nations, but I do object mightily when they design and implement programs performing and archiving massive surveillance on Americans, or programs that do not bother to distinguish. That is emphatically NOT what NSA "*does*" or at least should be doing.

      NSA is being steadily transformed into America's secret police, including secret use for internal surveillance, and I intend to continue calling them on it until they are disbanded or they cease their self-assumed mission well outside their mandate. Sorry; I can't find it in myself to be polite about it. When I email American friends living in Europe, I usually use the last graf of my email to toss a barb at any NSA agent reading the thing; I ought to be able to engage in personal correspondence with any other American citizen without the goddamn guvmint sneaking around reading my mail. Period!



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