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<nettime> 2 messages: US Agencies, Net Privacy, US Domain Future Developments

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>Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 11:12:43 -0400
>From: Eric Weisberg <>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>Subject: [Fwd: [ispc-list] US Domain Future Developments (fwd)]
>This is one of the most significant and frightening posts I have seen.
>I trust this will be thoroughly discussed and dealt with in spite of
>other pressing business.
>From: "Bruce Koehler" <>
>To: <>
>Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 10:44:59 -0400
>>>>>>>>>>>  WARNING  <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
>The USPS is a not-for-profit corporate agency of the US government that
>Congress has oversight with.  Both the FBI and NSA have direct working
>relationships with this agency.  In other countries, such as Britain and
>Germany, the Government Post Office also runs the Telecommunications within
>that country.  Within those countries, their intelligence agencies monitor
>and target specific users "at will."  This means that if just one individual
>at the intelligence agency wants to 'listen in' on your e-traffic
>(legitimately or illegitimately), they can and do.  The Intelligence
>Oversight Program prevents the storage of communications between US persons
>only within the United States or where both parties are KNOWN US citizens,
>where one is within the US and the other is outside.  It does NOT prevent
>(and I speak from experience) the 'casual monitoring' of US citizens.
>With the USPS involved and all the implications on "private communications'
>this will have a chilling affect on the individual users = and hence the
>customer-base for business and e-commerce.
>Can you imagine the NSA & CIA monitoring your stuff and passing it on to the
>IRS, INS, FBI, and others? Though I am not personally concerned, it is the
>Principle of Freedom that truly concerns me.  I didn't spend 20 years in the
>military in defending the Constitution, to have it trampled by bureaucrats
>doing what, in any other scenario, would make perfect sense.  This can and
>WILL lead to a direct invasion of privacy.  This MUST be stopped!
>Bruce Koehler, Owner
>The Koehl=Mine Computer Consulting
>From: Aaron Sawchuk <>
>To: <>
>Date: Friday, June 19, 1998 11:03 PM
>Subject: [ispc-list] US Domain Future Developments (fwd)
>>This is interesting...
>>Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 14:42:31 -0700 (PDT)
>>From: Jon Postel <postel@ISI.EDU>
>>To: us-dom-adm@ISI.EDU
>>Subject: US Domain Future Developments
>>About a year ago we sent a memo about the possibility that it might be
>>necessary to begin charging for delegations of locality names in the US
>>It turns out that we have avoided that by obtaining further funding
>>through 30-Sep-98.
>>And we have had discussions that will most likely lead to funding for
>>the next year (Oct98-Sep99) or more from the United States Postal
>>Service (USPS).
>>Since there has been some news about the USPS becoming involved in the
>>US domain today we want to clarify the situation.
>>ISI will need some funds from a new source to continue management of
>>the US domain after 30-Sep-98.
>>Brian Kahin (of the US Government, OSTP) did introduce management
>>people in the USPS to me, and we have had some positive meetings, and
>>now have a general understanding that the USPS is interested in
>>supporting our work on managing the US domain at ISI for the year
>>Oct98-Sep99 (and possibly additional years).  No contract as yet,
>>though pre-contract paper work has been exchanged.
>>I believe that in the long run nearly all the country codes will have
>>some government influence acting on their management.  Within the US,
>>the USPS is a very unusualy thing in that it is not officially part of
>>the government but an independent non-for-profit corporation, yet
>>closely supervised by the government.  If the US Government told the
>>IANA to allocate the US domain to some agency or another there could be
>>a lot of worse choices.
>>The USPS is trying to think of ways to provide additional services
>>through the the US domain.  They've asked me to review some of these
>>and there may be some ideas they haven't told me about yet.
>>One of the discussions is about ways to add branches to the US domain
>>to make more desirable to businesses to use names in the US domain.
>>Another idea is that everyone with an address that the USPS can deliver
>>physical mail to could automatically have an email address in the US
>>domain.  I think this idea still needs a lot of work to understand all
>>the implications both technically and socially.
>>No one expresed any desire to keep any of this secret, on the other
>>hand no one felt things had progressed to the point that a public
>>announcement or press release was warranted.
>>There may be internal confidential memos about proposed ideas that are
>>still being debated within the USPS, and i wouldn't know about that.
>>In managing the postal system the USPS is a very significant user of
>>Internet technology.  The following is a brief description of some of
>>their Internet capability.
>> The Postal Service currently manages a large information
>> systems network.  he USPS manages a class A license for IP
>> addresses (56.X.X.X). Within the internal USPS network are 15
>> autonomous systems, with 16 areas each, which provide service
>> to up to 34,000 local area networks. When fully deployed, the
>> USPS internal network will provide TCP/IP connectivity to over
>> 150,000 individual networked devices. Within the
>> second level domain, the SPS has one primary and sixteen
>> secondary domain name servers which currently handle over
>> 125,000 individual host names. Because of the high bandwidth
>> demands of the digital image traffic used in mail sorting, USPS
>> networks have a total capacity equivalent to over 700 T1 lines.
>> Firewalls between the USPS intranet and the public Internet
>> handle 1.5 million transactions per day at a peak rate of
>> 140,000 transactions per hour, exchanging 14 GB of data in the
>> form of web pages and files. In addition, the USPS, as a
>> non-profit government enterprise, is able to obtain the best
>> technical expertise available from private industry through
>> consulting and contracting arrangements. The USPS
>> organizational structure and supplier ourcing agreements
>> currently in place can provide services within the existing .us
>> TLD, and will scale readily to handle any growth in future
>> demands.

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Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 17:19:58 -0400
From: (MediaFilter)
Subject: Discussions about US Agencies and Net Privacy

       Discussions about US Agencies and Net Privacy

Note:  This discussion centers mainly around the question of the
       US Postal Service taking control over the ".US" domain.
       What it fails to account for is that such surveillance
       routinely takes place already and has nothing to do with
       controlling domain name registrations per se.

       The significance of organizations with ties to ANY government
       having control over domain name registrations is that they
       by default have a listing of "whos-who" on the net, domain
       by domain.  In the case of the USPS assigning personal email
       domains to each snail-mail recipient, the USPS would then
       have the personal identities and addresses of all email users
       under that domain and therefore have instant access to real
       identities of users.

       The importance of the DNS discussion, which many have ignored,
       centers around the issues of privacy and autonomy from government
       control over communications.  By registering with any of the
       existing agencies, be it InterNIC (NSI), RIPE (in Europe) or
       APIC (Asia/Pacific) you are giving the Feds your vital info,
       and now, you PAY them to keep tabs on you.  This in any case
       is a good reason to support the independent namespace movements
       in the event that such purpose was hitherto misunderstood or

       Silence and inaction = Complicity
       when the time comes, don't say you weren't forewarned.

For further info on the global surveillance of the net, and other
acts of surveillance perpetrated via the use of technology, see:

      Exposing the Global Surveillance System

      Are the Feds Sniffing Your Re-Mail?

      Big Brother Goes High Tech

      Crypto AG:  The NSA's Trojan Whore

And this article on how the NSA and FBI gets "permission" to spy on people:

     The Secret FISA Court:  Rubberstamping on Rights

--Paul Garrin

>Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 11:30:00 -0400
>From: Eric Weisberg <>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>Subject: The second of two
>          Re: [ispc-list] US Domain Future Developments (fwd)
>     Date:
>          Sat, 20 Jun 1998 11:09:43 -0400
>     From:
>          "Bruce Koehler" <>
> Reply-To:
>       To:
>          <>
>YES!  If the FBI or other investigative agency suspects that the sender or
>receiver is 'dangerous,' (criminal or even politically) they will get the
>USPS to let them inspect, and even open and read the person's mail (this is
>after getting a court order where even the individual is kept unaware).
>With the NSA a court order is NOT required if the individual's
>communications were come across in 'casual intercept.'  Given the past, I
>would not doubt that they are monitoring IP Header information and
>targeting specific individuals = they have the capability = and they were 
>doing in other areas of communication.  The NSA acts as a government 
>'broker of information' = agencies send them requests of "We need 
>information on this individual" or "We need information on every person 
>discussing..." and NSA complies within their capabilities.  This is a very 
>dangerous situation, and I will be pulling off the internet myself, the 
>same as I pulled from my cell phone and pager...  There is a large 
>possibility that we are being watched...  (or why such a big fuss over a 
>back door to encryption?  I understood EXACTLY what NSA was concerned 
>Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 12:50:08 -0400
>From: Eric Weisberg <>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>Subject: Third of?
>Subject:        Re: [ispc-list] US Domain Future Developments (fwd)
>Date:            Sat, 20 Jun 1998 11:36:22 -0400
>From:           "Bruce Koehler" <>
>To:                <>, <>
>As an 'operative' it was extremely easy to monitor telephones, cell phones,
>faxes, pagers, etc., REGARDLESS of encryption!  Though we were targeted
>against other countries' communications, US citizens overseas would also be
>heard in 'casual search.'  I've come across more credit card and personal
>information than you would believe!  I knew who was fighting with their
>wife, who was divorcing who, and who was 'screwing' who.  I could tell you
>there names, locations, their itinerary, their phone numbers, how many kids
>they had, what problems they were encountering at work, problems their
>company was having, project details etc.
>If this is something you want other folks to have (and not hide), then feel
>free.  How did you vote last year?  You could be on the list.  Going for a
>job interview?  Well, that company has a government contract, and they've
>been 'advised' that your employment would be 'unacceptable.'  Late on your
>taxes, how would you like it if the IRS knew that your brother loaned you
>$10,000 to start up your business, and now EVERYTHING in that business is
>open to scrutiny?  Doing development work and having a problem?  Now the
>SBA could readily announce that fact to the World = "Don't expect this 
>project to be coming out of [your company] any time soon.  They have hit 
>a wall regarding ...."  How do you think that would affect your customers'
>confidence in you?
>Now, we know the internet is not necessarily secure, but if you put our
>government in charge, they will be able to have a direct listing of
>'enemies' they want to 'hose.'  Personally, I don't want to be in that
>Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 14:05:17 -0400
>From: Eric Weisberg <>
>To: Multiple recipients of list <>
>Subject: Fourth and Last?
>I apologize for the cross posts.  This should be the last.
>Rachel Luxemburg wrote (on the ISP/c list):
>> Maybe I'm just being naive here, but why should this concern Joe/Jane
>> Person  unless he/she has something to hide?
>> Rachel
>Eric Weisberg replied:
>Are you Jane?
>Have you ever engaged in political or commercial activities that might be
>of interest to someone else? I have.
>As for your personal life, let me tell you that there are other
>"interested" parties. The following may not apply other than to show
>how people become "interested."  You can extrapolate from there.
>This month, Internet Texoma was asked to secretly forward to the father
>all e-mail of his 16 yo daughter.  The daughter was mailing from her 
>mailbox under the father's account.   The father was involved in a nasty 
>divorce from the mother and wanted to know which side the girl was taking.  
>Needless to say, the girl was probably communicating with other friends 
>and relatives, expressing her private thoughts and they theirs.
>You may not have anything to hide, but mothers with teenage children have
>to worry about drugs in their homes, as an example of something in which
>governmental authorities are interested.
>I am representing a quadriplegic and her home health aid who were
>terrorized by the raid of the quad's home by about 20 masked men pointing
>semi-automatic weapons at them, shouting, throwing the 300 lb aid on the 
>floor and cuffing her hands behind her back for 30 minutes while they 
>searched the house only to find five marijuana seeds in a pie tin under a 
>sofa in an unused room.   This was on the basis of a tip from an unnamed 
>informant.  The quadriplegic lost her home health care benefits for about 
>2 weeks while we convinced the state health care agency that they should 
>not enforce their rule against providing home health aids to residents of 
>premises which are alleged to have been used for drug activity.
>Last year, the Texas Attorney General illegally subpoenaed the e-mail and
>everything else relating to 27 members of the organization known as the 
>Republic of Texas in connection with a civil suit against the organization 
>for filing false tax liens issuing out of the Republic's "courts."  Eight 
>of  the ten ISPs recieving such subpoenas complied without a question,  
>sending boxes of materials to the AG.  Shortly afterwards, the AG got the 
>court to issue contempt citations and ordered a raid of the Republic's 
>leader's "compound" in the Davis mountains.  The group was reputed to make 
>heavy use of the Internet.  What JP (or, indeed, federal magistrate) would 
>closely scrutinize requests for warrants to look at 100s of peoples' e-mail 
>at such a time?   Remember, we are talking about the rights of all the 
>people who were communicating [including (if not predominantly)
>conversations on unrelated matters] with these political activists who 
>were not suspected of a crime.
>You can give your own experiences.
>Here is the bottom line.  There is no "Jane."  There are only people like
>you living in an increasingly smaller space trying to be human. We have
>entered a time in which monitoring is frighteningly effective and privacy
>increasingly at risk.  We must recognize this danger and expose it before 
>1984 arrives (read the book)  and withdrawal from the trap impossible.  
>No one will like living in this world if we don't!
>Eric Weisberg, Gen. Counsel
>Internet Texoma
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