Monday, September 3, 2012

Project Indect & Narusinsight

You may not have heard of either of these phenomenon. Narusinsight is the more effective replacement of "Carnivore", the Clinton-era FBI program that monitored internet traffic to protect us all from ? It monitors just about everything that passes between servers and individual PCs, searching for info that Janet Napolitano and Leon Panetta can use to arrest and prosecute the "evil-doers". Naturally, a lot more information is obtained as well. This excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on the the company that developed the software explains its use:
 The intercepted data flows into NarusInsight Intercept Suite. This data is stored and analyzed for surveillance and forensic analysis purposes. Other capabilities include playback of streaming media (i.e. VoIP), rendering of web pages, examination of e-mail and the ability to analyze the payload/attachments of e-mail or file transfer protocols. Narus partner products, such as Pen-Link, offer the ability to quickly analyze information collected by the Directed Analysis or Lawful Intercept modules. A single NarusInsight machine can monitor traffic equal to the maximum capacity (10 Gbit/s) of around 39,000 DSL lines or 195,000 telephone modems. But, in practical terms, since individual internet connections are not continually filled to capacity, the 10 Gbit/s capacity of one NarusInsight installation enables it to monitor the combined traffic of several million broadband users. According to a company press release, the latest version of NarusInsight Intercept Suite (NIS) is "the industry's only network traffic intelligence system that supports real-time precision targeting, capturing and reconstruction of webmail traffic... including Google Gmail, MSN Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail" [11] It can also perform semantic analysis of the same traffic as it is happening, in other words analyze the content, meaning, structure and significance of traffic in real time. The exact use of this data is not fully documented, as the public is not authorized to see what types of activities and ideas are being monitored.
 Other countries would also be interested in what their citizens were discussing via the web waves, too. But now a consortium of countries, the hugely successful EU, is setting up a trans-national version of an internet traffic analysis program. It's called Indect and is described here. Those who remember the '80s movie Brazil can't help but see the parallels.  The differences are more important and ominous, efficiency and the increasing detachment of humans in favor of artificial intelligence.

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