1993-02-05 - RE: ‘Sunday Times’ article on GSM changes

Header Data

From: thug@phantom.com (Murdering Thug)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 04879a03d47222d82c86ba95348f2ca0dd4c7b4f40175269029a87f19fe3528a
Message ID: <m0nKYr1-000k1tC@phantom.com>
Reply To: <9302051849.AA18299@ack.adstest.analog.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-02-05 19:40:52 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 5 Feb 93 11:40:52 PST

Raw message

From: thug@phantom.com (Murdering Thug)
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 93 11:40:52 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: RE: 'Sunday Times' article on GSM changes
In-Reply-To: <9302051849.AA18299@ack.adstest.analog.com>
Message-ID: <m0nKYr1-000k1tC@phantom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

(Eric Fogleman writes)
> (Thug writes)
> > According to what I read it seems that the whole issue of cellular radio
> > signal encryption is really a non-issue.  They could have the most secure
> ...
> > What makes you think they don't have the same kind of REMOB/BLV capability
> > to the cellular telephone switches?  I mean, if a conversation is scrambled
> ...
> If getting around GSM encryption is no problem, then why are governments
> pushing the issue?
> Eric Fogleman

The first reason is that they want to steer people's attentions away from the
real issues.  Thus if they are defeated on this one, they can say "Oh well,
we'll be nice guys and you chaps this one.. but from now on leave us alone and
let us go about our business of protecting you from yourselves." Basically,
they want to fight us every step of the way, to make sure we don't get close
enough to really start eating into their security..

The second reason of course is that they want to play super g-men, and ride
around in vans full of cellular equipment following their suspects around
the city.  It's just too damn boring for them to dail up a REMOB at the
cellular switch and listen in that way in the confort of their own offices.
They need outdoor recreation, they need to feel like they're all James Bond
or something.  That's what the second reason is.

Practically speaking though, cellular encryption does hamper their ability
to listen in.  Because sometimes they don't have access to the REMOB at
a cellular switch, like when they are listening in without a warrant.  If
they access the REMOB, that would be noted in a log somewhere and then they
could have problems if the suspect finds out they were wiretapping without
a warrant.  If they just pick it off the air, they don't need a warrant. If
they do a wiretap the old way, they do.  Hence, secure cellular encryption
would actually prevent unauthorized wiretapping, which is something they
never seem to mention to the people they are empowered to protect.