1997-01-14 - Re: Newt’s phone calls

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From: AIDAS <aidas@ixsrs4.ix.netcom.com>
To: “William H. Geiger III” <whgiii@amaranth.com>
Message Hash: d32412f6b704c9e69103c41e963c8793620c2059d80a52f755eb9a9c78fcda00
Message ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970114004006.3279B-100000@ixsrs4.ix.netcom.com>
Reply To: <199701140349.VAA01437@mailhub.amaranth.com>
UTC Datetime: 1997-01-14 06:48:09 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 22:48:09 -0800 (PST)

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From: AIDAS <aidas@ixsrs4.ix.netcom.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 22:48:09 -0800 (PST)
To: "William H. Geiger III" <whgiii@amaranth.com>
Subject: Re: Newt's phone calls
In-Reply-To: <199701140349.VAA01437@mailhub.amaranth.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970114004006.3279B-100000@ixsrs4.ix.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Mon, 13 Jan 1997, William H. Geiger III wrote:

> In <>, on 01/13/97 at 08:12 PM,
>    Clay Olbon II <olbon@ix.netcom.com> said:
> >I just caught the news reports of Newt Gingrich's cell phone calls being
> >taped by "a little old retired couple" with a scanner.  These were then
> >given to a congressman, who gave them to a newspaper.
> >The take on this that we won't hear is: "This is outrageous!  Why don't
> >cell-phones offer encryption to ensure our privacy?"
> >Unfortunately, I think crypto is still so far beneath the public
> >consciousness that the obvious solution to these sorts of problems is
> >ignored in favor of the "there oughta be a law" non-solution.  (Of course,
> >in this case there is a law!) What I really hope this incident spawns is a
> >market ...
> There is a very basic reason that cell phones are not encrypted; the government does not
> want them encrypted. Many an arrest has been made from infromation gathered from
> cell/wireless phone conversations. AFAIK the police do not even need a search warent to do
> this.

I remember hearing somewhere that a cell phone manufactuer had created an
"encryption" algorithm for their phones. It inverted the waveform or
something like that. Now, I ask of you, how hard is that to get break? Not
very. It will keep Beavis and Butthead from listening to cell phone calls,
but that's about all.

Like you said, a lot of arrests have been made by evesdropping on cell
phone calls. I wouldn't put it past the NSA to be running SIGINT on such
calls. If these were encrypted using a method similar to how ssh does
shell connections, the NSA would be screwed.

And, incidentally, I really wish ssh was more standard than it is. I'd
like to be able to hit my ISP and such with it. ;) (Most ISPs don't like
you running nohup'ed processes).

> With the cell phone industry regulated by the FCC I doubt that you will ever
> see cell phone's with built in encryption.


> As far as the general public is concerned the majority are sheep. They are
> quite content to know that it is illegal for their neighbor to listen in and
> ofcource Big Brother would only listen to those nasty drug dealers & mobsters.

Of course. And that stops their neighbor. Yeah.

My father bought himself a scanner for his birthday last year. The first
night he had it I went over, and we sat on the front porch. We heard a
load of cordless phone calls, including one to which a "friend" of mine
was a party, which was quite interesting indeed. We also heard a great
number of cell phone calls.

The majority of the latter were sexual in nature. Christian Coalition,
you're failing miserably. ;)

I wish I had better voice recognition technology, like the NSA surely has.
I'd have the system scan for the voices of people I know and record them;
again, like the NSA does.