Seth Schoen, EFF's staff technologist, attended a talk on wiretapping techniques at Stanford and produced a set of fascinating, thoroughgoing notes:
Loop extenders connect target line to a designated "friendly" line. The part at the telco is the loop extender, and the part attached to the friendly line back at the LEA is called a dialed number recorder (DNR) or collection device. The loop extender must perform some kind of electrical isolation to prevent detection. Interestingly, all of the audio is always sent over the friendly line; the only difference between a pen register and a full-audio collection is the configuration of the collection device equipment at the LEA's premises. The phone company can't directly control what LEAs see.
It's inconvenient to get this equipment in order to study it because normally only authorized agencies are allowed to possess it. 18 USC 2512 may make it a felony to own the equipment. Vendors also won't necessarily sell it to just anyone.
"So, we had to shop on eBay."
LEAs, like everyone else, sell their used equipment on eBay. Within about a month, you'll get a lab full of wiretap equipment sold at bargain-basement prices. (Also, they often accidentally sent you recordings of old taps!) And it even looks like wiretapping equipment.
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]