An eye opener

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Tinribs, Oct 24, 2002.

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  1. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    I have just completed a 4 day course on SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierachy) thats to do with my work with a major Telecommunications,Digital TV, and Broadband company.

    Although I cant say too much I thought I was well aware of privacy concerns when it comes to personal information such as email and broadband data transfer, I was wrong.

    Lets just say that for about the last several years our email privacy is nowhere near as private as we thought,I had my suspicions to snooping but never to this extent.

    For those unaware of SDH it basically deals with the means and ways that voice and data are transmitted across a 'network' whether locally or internationally.

    To give you an idea there are several multi billion lawsuits in process with regards to Industrial espionage, so the common man is very insignificant with regards to this.

    Basically, you can rest assured that every single email sent IS monitored.
    Obviously not by a team of goons in a dark office but by several floors of equipment running complex algorythymns to poke and pry and scan.
    Lets just say that I have uninstalled PGP.

    Please dont ask for any more info,I wont say much more, but dont think this as 'scaremongering' or 'sensationalisation', its fact.
    May I just add that the protocol involved in the transfer is not specific to my company but to the industry as a whole,this means there must be thousands of people 'in the know'
    Anyone knowledgeable in SDH (and even PDH= Plesiochronous Digital Hierachy) will be aware of Path Overheads etc and is possibly well aware of what I refer to,if so I would like to hear from them.


    Addendum: I have been in conversation tonight with my NOM and I am not happy this is going on on such a scale, he has 'advised' me that its not beneficial to my career to 'worry' about it, but I will spend this weekend deciding whether its worth risking my career to expand on it and start the ball rolling with regards to making it more widely known and give full details. Frankly people it has disgusted me enough to risk a career I have had since 17 years old to go with it. I need to discuss things with my family and see, I doubt anything I could say proved anyway and maybe its not worth the grief but at the moment I am seething and when I have cooled down I'll decide.
     
  2. bb

    bb Guest

    Hi,

    I can understand your dilemma. Its a difficult situation to be in.

    Could you just clarify one point you made. Am I right in assuming that even with PGP there is no privacy with email . That PGP does NOT make a difference and each email is scanned regardless and without difficulty .

    Thanks !
     
  3. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    Depends who you mind reading it, dont get me wrong, this doesn't refer to lower government and local authorities.
    If your planning to blow up a major military establishment and you tell me in an email, well then I'll see you inside.
    If you are sending me a crack to a software program then we will be fine,PGP or not,but yes PGP is still a very useful tool and I was hasty and shall be reinstalling it.
     
  4. controler

    controler Guest

    It is good to have you aboard Tinribs. When I get steamed I usually don't take the time to calm down like you are. LOL
    Isn't it strange how long PGP has been out but people still won't use it? I have a two edged philosophy. On one hand I don't like invasion in any form and on the other, I just don't have that much to hide so I let it slide. I was alway taught to never start a fight but never back down from one either. This is what this board is all about. Looking out for the little ones. ;)
     
  5. luv2bsecure

    luv2bsecure Infrequent Poster

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    Very well said, Controler!
     
  6. root

    root Registered Member

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    Hi Tinribs. I have thought about this and I would just like to add my perspective to your delima.
    I think for the most part, people that do a little research into security and privacy on the internet eventually find out there is nothing the average person can do to stay away from the prying eyes of the Governments, especially the US and England, or from the information gatherers of big business for that matter.
    As an example; I do not use PGP because I know it would only attract the attention of certain Government sniffers, and if they want to know whats encrypted, they will get the information. As for others, such as blackhats, I don't store or send information that could be useful to anybody else.
    I believe that most know there is not much hidden from the prying eyes anymore and behave accordingly. If you were to come up with new information to substantiate that, it would possibly be useful to some, and even bring some change about. But the spys are not easily driven from their course.
    I think you need to consider the impact disclosure would cause, as opposed to the impact it will have on your ability to pay the bills.
    As you well know, in the past when certain informants have gone public, they have been discredited, harrassed, and driven to ruin by forces so much greater than one individual.
    It is true, one person can make a difference, and we need to stand up for what we believe. I guess the question really is, how do we wage the war? Do we go for full frontal assault, or do we attack from different quarters. There are perhaps different ways you can approach disclosure without making yourself an instant target.
    Just some thoughts as I tried to put myself in your shoes for a moment.
    I know you will make the right decission.May it bring vast reward. ;)
     
  7. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    Some good points root, and I/we came to the same conclusion.
    Whilst I would dearly love to start banging the drum I doubt it would get far and I doubt many would listen.

    I spent most of the day thinking and I shall stay tethered up for now, I dont want to put my family in any financial worries and they come first as always.
    The subject will not be forgotten though and I shall spend some time delving deeper and seeing what I find and what others have already found.

    Thanks root and the others for their kind words, much appreciated.


    ps Paul , I feel it may be beneficial to remove this thread,I'm aware alot of security concious people come here and alot of inexperienced and worried users come here for help,I dont want to add to their woes by having them read this thread.

    Thanks
    Kev
     
  8. Paul Wilders

    Paul Wilders Administrator

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    Kevin,

    First and foremost: I applaud you for the way you are dealing with this issue.

    I tend to disagree - with due respect. IMHO you have pointed out at least in general a very substantial and important issue. It will not harm anyone reading this thread to be alerted. Kudoos ;).

    regards.

    paul
     
  9. bb

    bb Guest

    Hi,

    I agree with Root. At the end of the day you have to think of yourself.
    Second lets say you come out and reveal what you know. Whats going to happen ? Probably nothing. Most people don't care. And dont want to know any more.At worst , you'll end up perhaps without a job and very frustrated.

    MY suggestion is this :

    Dont write any more about this on ANY forum .

    Write anonymous letters which cant be traced back to you to news organizations. or whoever.
     
  10. Tinribs

    Tinribs Registered Member

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    Thanks peeps, thanks Paul, its nice to have support from top brass here.

    I will seethe quietly,and privately. It doesn't sit well but I guess I'll wear it.

    Thanks
    Kev
     
  11. Paul Wilders

    Paul Wilders Administrator

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    Kev,

    In case you feel bad about this thread, please drop me an IM. In no way we want to put a members well being at risk.

    regards.

    paul
     
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