OT: Protesters try to jam NSA's computer systemgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Protesters try to jam NSA's computer system
Copyright ) 1999 Nando Media Copyright ) 1999 Associated Press
From Time to Time: Nando's in-depth look at the 20th century
By TED BRIDIS
WASHINGTON (October 21, 1999 8:31 p.m. EDT http://www.nandotimes.com) - Angry Internet users flooded the National Security Agency with e-mails Thursday after hearing reports that the agency was eavesdropping on e-mails looking for terrorist plots.
Organizers urged Internet users on dozens of Web sites and in discussion groups to bombard the U.S. National Security Agency with millions of e-mails with subversive-sounding language. "Give the (NSA) their keywords!" one person wrote.
It was unclear who thought up "Jam Echelon Day," as it was called in one message from an Australia-based Web site, but the intent was clear: Flood the NSA's powerful computers with enough suspicious traffic to crash them and disrupt the high-tech listening system, code-named "Echelon."
A 1997 report commissioned by the European Parliament described "routine and indiscriminate" monitoring of fax, e-mail and telephone messages in Europe by the global spy network, which it said was coordinated by the NSA with the help of other nations' security organizations. A follow-up study for the European Union this year found the same thing.
Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., has said he supports congressional hearings to determine the scope of the spy network's capabilities and to prevent abuses. The network is said to include a listening station in Sugar Grove, W.Va., about 250 miles from Washington.
The NSA, which is barred by law from spying on U.S. citizens, declined to comment Thursday on its network or the potential impact of the day's e-mail campaign.
"The agency doesn't discuss alleged intelligence operations," NSA spokeswoman Judith Emmel said. "It doesn't confirm or deny any Echelon-type technology."
But even supporters of the jamming campaign were pessimistic that their efforts would have much effect. They suggested the spy network was smart enough to ignore the e-mails typically sent with lists of random words, especially since many of the messages were in English - not in Arabic or Indonesian, for example.
"I think it will cause a lot of laughter up at NSA, to tell the truth," said Wayne Madsen of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, who tracks news about Echelon. "If they seriously think they're going to bring the computers at the NSA to a grinding halt, they're going to be seriously disappointed."
"It will not, in fact, have any effect on their operations," agreed Duncan Campbell of Edinburgh, Scotland, who wrote the most recent report about Echelon for the EU. "They're used to electronic warfare and screening out noise put up by enemies. This is noise from dissenting citizens."
Supporters said even if their e-mail campaign didn't cause the NSA's computers to crash, it was important at raising awareness of the spy network's rumored abilities.
On the Internet, where conspiracy theorists flourish, it was impossible to count how many e-mails protesters might actually have sent, much less determine their effectiveness.
"I don't think we'll ever know," said Simon Davies, who heads London-based Privacy International, a human rights organization. "I would guess maybe it will be 10 years before we understand the ramifications of any civil disobedience campaign."
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), October 22, 1999
gee talk about spin to this.
-- tt (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
the NSA sucks dead rhino ass...
-- I dont (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
You mean like unabomber anthrax nuclear bomb fissionable plutonium, north korea militia, chemical biological warfare terrorism?
-- winston (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
You're on the right track, winston......... ;>)
FBI CIA NSA IRS ATF BATF DOD WACO RUBY RIDGE OKC OKLAHOMA CITY MILITIA GUN HANDGUN MILGOV ASSAULT RIFLE TERRORISM BOMB DRUG HORIUCHI KORESH DAVIDIAN KAHL POSSE COMITATUS RANDY WEAVER VICKIE WEAVER SPECIAL FORCES LINDA THOMPSON SPECIAL OPERATIONS GROUP SOG SOF DELTA FORCE CONSTITUTION BILL OF RIGHTS WHITEWATER POM PARK ON METER ARKANSIDE IRAN CONTRAS OLIVER NORTH VINCE FOSTER PROMIS MOSSAD NASA MI5 ONI CID AK47 M16 C4 MALCOLM X REVOLUTION CHEROKEE HILLARY BILL CLINTON GORE GEORGE BUSH WACKENHUT TERRORIST TASK FORCE 160 SPECIAL OPS 12TH GROUP 5TH GROUP SF
-- Don Chen (DChen@musician.org), October 23, 1999.