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The Telecom Digest for September 13, 2013
Volume 32 : Issue 194 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.'s (Monty Solomon)
Verizon-F.C.C. Court Fight Takes On Regulating Net (Monty Solomon)
New Details in How the Feds Take Laptops at Border (Monty Solomon)
The Border Is a Back Door for U.S. Device Searches (Monty Solomon)
In digital world, kids gain the upper hand (Monty Solomon)
Retailers tap into college student market (Monty Solomon)
IETF: Security and Pervasive Monitoring (Monty Solomon)

====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Bill Horne and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using any name or email address included herein for any reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to that person, or email address owner.
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We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime.  - Geoffrey Welsh

See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.

Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 02:48:19 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.'s Message-ID: <p06240879ce531f8fe12f@[]> Drug Agents Use Vast Phone Trove, Eclipsing N.S.A.'s By SCOTT SHANE and COLIN MOYNIHAN September 1, 2013 For at least six years, law enforcement officials working on a counternarcotics program have had routine access, using subpoenas, to an enormous AT&T database that contains the records of decades of Americans' phone calls - parallel to but covering a far longer time than the National Security Agency's hotly disputed collection of phone call logs. The Hemisphere Project, a partnership between federal and local drug officials and AT&T that has not previously been reported, involves an extremely close association between the government and the telecommunications giant. The government pays AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the country. Those employees sit alongside Drug Enforcement Administration agents and local detectives and supply them with the phone data from as far back as 1987. The project comes to light at a time of vigorous public debate over the proper limits on government surveillance and on the relationship between government agencies and communications companies. It offers the most significant look to date at the use of such large-scale data for law enforcement, rather than for national security. The scale and longevity of the data storage appears to be unmatched by other government programs, including the N.S.A.'s gathering of phone call logs under the Patriot Act. The N.S.A. stores the data for nearly all calls in the United States, including phone numbers and time and duration of calls, for five years. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/02/us/drug-agents-use-vast-phone-trove-eclipsing-nsas.html
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 08:21:43 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon-F.C.C. Court Fight Takes On Regulating Net Message-ID: <p0624087fce53218a57f8@[]> Verizon-F.C.C. Court Fight Takes On Regulating Net September 8, 2013 By EDWARD WYATT WASHINGTON - Few people would dispute that one of the biggest contributors to the extraordinary success of the Internet has been the ability of just about anyone to use it to offer any product, service or type of information they want. How to maintain that success, however, is the subject of a momentous fight that resumes this week in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The battle pits one of the largest providers of Internet access - Verizon - against the Federal Communications Commission, which for nearly 80 years has been riding herd on the companies that provide Americans with telecommunications services. Verizon and a host of other companies that spent billions of dollars to build their Internet pipelines believe they should be able to manage them as they wish. They should be able, for example, to charge fees to content providers who are willing to pay to have their data transported to customers through an express lane. That, the companies say, would allow the pipeline owner to reap the benefits of its investment. The F.C.C., however, believes that Internet service providers must keep their pipelines free and open, giving the creators of any type of legal content - movies, shopping sites, medical services, or even pornography - an equal ability to reach consumers. If certain players are able to buy greater access to Internet users, regulators believe, the playing field will tilt in the direction of the richest companies, possibly preventing the next Google or Facebook from getting off the ground. The court is set to hear oral arguments starting Monday morning in Verizon v. F.C.C., which is billed as a heavyweight championship of the technology world, setting the old era against the new. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/09/business/verizon-and-fcc-net-neutrality-battle-set-in-district-court.html
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 23:10:06 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: New Details in How the Feds Take Laptops at Border Message-ID: <p06240896ce543df200ea@[]> New Details in How the Feds Take Laptops at Border By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS September 9, 2013 WASHINGTON - Newly disclosed U.S. government files provide an inside look at the Homeland Security Department's practice of seizing and searching electronic devices at the border without showing reasonable suspicion of a crime or getting a judge's approval. The documents published Monday describe the case of David House, a young computer programmer in Boston who had befriended Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the soldier convicted of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks. U.S. agents quietly waited for months for House to leave the country then seized his laptop, thumb drive, digital camera and cellphone when he re-entered the United States. They held his laptop for weeks before returning it, acknowledging one year later that House had committed no crime and promising to destroy copies the government made of House's personal data. The government turned over the federal records to House as part of a legal settlement agreement after a two-year court battle with the American Civil Liberties Union, which had sued the government on House's behalf. The ACLU said the records suggest that federal investigators are using border crossings to investigate U.S. citizens in ways that would otherwise violate the Fourth Amendment. The Homeland Security Department declined to discuss the case. ... http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/09/09/us/politics/ap-us-border-computer-searches.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** I hear the trick is to fly in your own jet: customs checks for the rich and famous are reputed to be very lax. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 08:50:08 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: The Border Is a Back Door for U.S. Device Searches Message-ID: <p06240809ce54ac49dd7d@[]> The Border Is a Back Door for U.S. Device Searches By SUSAN STELLIN September 9, 2013 Newly released documents reveal how the government uses border crossings to seize and examine travelers' electronic devices instead of obtaining a search warrant to gain access to the data. The documents detail what until now has been a largely secretive process that enables the government to create a travel alert for a person, who may not be a suspect in an investigation, then detain that individual at a border crossing and confiscate or copy any electronic devices that person is carrying. To critics, the documents show how the government can avert Americans' constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure, but the confiscations have largely been allowed by courts as a tool to battle illegal activities like drug smuggling, child pornography and terrorism. The documents were turned over to David House, a fund-raiser for the legal defense of Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, as part of a legal settlement with the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. House had sued the agency after his laptop, camera, thumb drive and cellphone were seized when he returned from a trip to Mexico in November 2010. The data from the devices was then examined over seven months. Although government investigators had questioned Mr. House about his association with Private Manning in the months before his trip to Mexico, he said no one asked to search his computer or mentioned seeking a warrant to do so. After seizing his devices, immigration authorities sent a copy of Mr. House's data to the Army Criminal Investigation Command, which conducted the detailed search of his files. No evidence of any crime was found, the documents say. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/business/the-border-is-a-back-door-for-us-device-searches.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** OK, it's a twice-told tale. Except that this time, we learn that Mr. House was raising funds for Manning's defense. Here's the interesting part: if I'm overseas and want to prevent my laptop from being searched, all I have to do is transfer the data electronically before I leave for home. As things now stand, that prevents me being "caught" with something that Uncle Sam wants to use. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:20:10 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: In digital world, kids gain the upper hand Message-ID: <p06240820ce575ed33fa7@[]> In digital world, kids gain the upper hand By Beth Teitell | GLOBE STAFF SEPTEMBER 05, 2013 It wouldn't be fair to say that Whitney Brown has completely given up on trying to pry her offspring from their respective electronic devices. But there are only so many times she can tell 11-year-old Cole to stop playing a "Star Wars" game on the Wii, ask 18-year-old Adison to step away from Instagram, and remind Cole's twin, Spencer, to get off YouTube without spending her life at odds with her children. So it would be fair to say that she has, well, sort of given up. "Sometimes you just reach a point of exhaustion," said Brown, of Paxton. "It's a constant struggle, and I don't always have the energy." Parents say they are as concerned as ever about their children spending too much time playing video games, texting, or uploading selfies to Facebook. But trying to keep track of that time is growing ever more complicated. Not only has the number of devices soared, the social landscape has shifted, with homework assignments and textbooks moving online - making it harder to know when screen time is frivolous. Many parents say they feel so outmatched by their electronic and juvenile opponents that, in the words of one expert, "they're checking out of parenting in the digital domain." ... http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/style/2013/09/05/age-ubiquitous-screens-some-exhuasted-parents-have-stopped-policing/wruDFQbdLFG2KdCkCPLb7L/story.html?s_campaign=8315 ***** Moderator's Note ***** If parents are feeling so overwhelmed, why doesn't it occur to them to stop paying for Internet access? If their children had to pony up for the service themselves, they would appreciate it a lot more and abuse it a lot less. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2013 08:20:10 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Retailers tap into college student market Message-ID: <p06240821ce575f8e6b6d@[]> Retailers tap into college student market At Fenway Park event, retailers attract students with freebies, try to sell them products, and aim for lasting connections with e-mail signups By Gail Waterhouse | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT SEPTEMBER 10, 2013 College students waited in a line 10 deep for the chance to guess what would happen next in clips from "World's Dumbest" - a show featuring home videos of people making silly mistakes. The elaborate staging, game show-like environment, and prizes were all part of a marketing pitch to get students to sign up for Comcast Corp.'s cable service. Comcast and other companies filled dozens of booths lining both sides of Fenway Park's concourse over the weekend as part of College Day, an event run by a Waltham marketing firm, The Campus Agency. More than 60 businesses - from AriZona Beverages to Vera Bradley - hosted games, ran contests, and did whatever it took to attract the attention of nearly 9,000 college students lured to the event with reliable bait: free stuff. Beyond selling a product to students, many companies aimed to create a lasting connection by having students sign up for e-mails, or become aware of new products or services. ... http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2013/09/09/college-day-brings-students-retail-marketers/YL8GnHBl3VVA8iBmYCbbBL/story.html?s_campaign=8315
Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 08:49:14 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: IETF: Security and Pervasive Monitoring Message-ID: <p0624080bce54bb0a52a5@[]> Security and Pervasive Monitoring The Internet community and the IETF care deeply about how much we can trust commonly used Internet services and the protocols that these services use. So the reports about large-scale monitoring of Internet traffic and users disturbs us greatly. We knew of interception of targeted individuals and other monitoring activities, but the scale of recently reported monitoring is surprising. Such scale was not envisaged during the design of many Internet protocols, but we are considering the consequence of these kinds of attacks. Of course, it is hard to know for sure from current reports what attack techniques may be in use. As such, it is not so easy to comment on the specifics from an IETF perspective. Still, the IETF has some long standing general principles that we can talk about, and we can also talk about some of the actions we are taking. ... http://www.ietf.org/blog/2013/09/security-and-pervasive-monitoring/
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