1994-02-03 - Re: Canadian gov’t eavesdropping

Header Data

From: Matthew J Ghio <mg5n+@andrew.cmu.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 3d6b9cc0433c1b1fe0405a47a8065d46fa1bdf86592bb69bc8b78e8ad0d6b21d
Message ID: <khIGbGu00awQI2M1A1@andrew.cmu.edu>
Reply To: <9402021727.AA04813@netmail2.microsoft.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-03 16:54:43 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 3 Feb 94 08:54:43 PST

Raw message

From: Matthew J Ghio <mg5n+@andrew.cmu.edu>
Date: Thu, 3 Feb 94 08:54:43 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Canadian gov't eavesdropping
In-Reply-To: <9402021727.AA04813@netmail2.microsoft.com>
Message-ID: <khIGbGu00awQI2M1A1@andrew.cmu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Eli Brandt <ebrandt@jarthur.Claremont.EDU>
  sent the the following to cypherpunks:

> > HIGH-TECH SNOOP GADGET.  A super-secret branch of the Canadian
> > Security Intelligence Service has awarded three contracts to a Montreal
> > firm to make equipment that can quickly isolate key words and
> > phrases from millions of airborne phone, fax, radio signals and other
> > transmissions. The hardware has the "Orwellian potential to sweep
> > through ... and keep records of all conversations," said one CSIS critic.
> > (CTV National News, 01/31/94 11:00 pm).
> Dunno how feasible this kind of keyword recognition presently is,
> but here's another reason to encrypt.

VERY feasible.  The US government has had this technology for several
years; the Canadians are just catching up.  In the late 80s the US
military launched a satellite to spy on the Russians.  The satellite was
programmed to scan radio transmissions - especially cellular phones -
searching for key words which might be related to military or government
activities.  It seems a few communist party members got a little too
confortable with their cellular phones in their limosuines, and spoke
very loosely about some secret government projects...

They have mentioned this in the series "Space Age" which airs
periodically on PBS.