This is a video I made almost 8 years ago about why NSA wiretapping won’t work. This was back when the NSA was tapping AT&T at their location at Folsom St. in San Francisco. I think it was shortly after I was working at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. As you listen to this just substitute “Obama” for “Bush” and the rest of it still applies.

  1. mustardtits says:

    because you made it private?

    • msbpodcast says:

      What a dweeb…

      • Ah_Yea says:

        All this does is show Perkel is either:

        A) An idiot – if he actually believes marking a youtube video private will keep the video from the people who REALLY count – the US government – instead of putting it at the top of their list;


        B) A douchbag for offering useful information and then wasting our time by offering A) above.

  2. msbpodcast says:

    The NSA wire tapping still works.

    Instead of phone numbers, substitute IP addresses.

    Instead of taping your voices, substitute data packet.

    Voice communications have been compressed, digitized, packetized and transmitted over multiplexing optical fiber since the 80s when X.25 became the standard used by the telcos.

    The NSA’ll only bother to attempt cracking the encryption of your VOIP packets is its necessary, like on of the numbers or IP addresses shows up on one of their lists.

    Since M$ bought Skype, I suspect that the encryption keys are no longer truly random.

    They are probably using the time code of the packet envelope as the seed for the key. That means that your encrypted messages might as well be sent as clear text and open channel.

  3. me says:

    Ha ! He thinks because his video is private, NSA can’t see it.. irony

  4. EA says:

    I don’t think this is what he intended. Problems with the server or Google, just like a couple weeks ago maybe?

  5. bobbo, in Half Crouch says:

    The history of encryption is interesting. So far, 100% of everyone that thought they had an unbreakable code (single message exceptions not relevant here) found out later to their dismay their messages were being read as fast as they were being sent.

    I read about new increased variable codes that would take a super computer 1000’s of years to break and I wonder where/what the break with assumptions is?

    As Mpod suggests above, if the multi-variable code isn’t truly variable and has some kind of time stamp corruption, I can “imagine” unbreakable codes being readily broken by a super computer. How much “brute force” can you apply for a few billion dollars?

    Sure does all seems like silly being piled as high as it will go while our tax dollars get siphoned away: aka…. it is ALWAYS about the money.

    Just look.

  6. Hugo Smedlap says:

    I had an 11 month nightmare working in a call center. I took calls from business level DSL customers. A guy called in and said his company had gone all VoIP. No land lines! His DSL service was down.

    I guess he called in on his cell phone.

  7. Dallas says:

    Engineers are smart but often stupid.

  8. Captain Beyond, famously dancing madly backwards says:

    Once quantum encryption become perfected, all bets are off. Or at least you’ll be able to tell if the message has been snooped upon.

    • IG says:

      How? The NSA is hoovering up everything it can find and storing it. It can always decrypt it’s copy sometime in the future when it needs it.

  9. andrew j says:

    Please put the video on Vimeo or some site where readers can actually see it.

  10. David says:

    A lot of good that multi-layer AES 256 encrypted VOIP stream is going to be when the NSA has a backdoor to your Operating System.

    • deegee says:

      No they don’t have a backdoor.

      • msbpodcast says:

        You’re right.

        Now that M$ is tightly integrating VOIP into Windows, they’ll have i>front-door access to an overwhelming majority of computers on worker bees desktops and, because of the corporate halo effect, on their home machines too.

        Don’t trust big iron Unix, iOS or OS X either.

        Don’t trust Linus distros either unless you can read and understand code and compile it to your target machine.

        (Basically, I’m saying that you’re pretty much fucked.)

        The real issue here is that ubiquitous surveillance is only a problem if someone has exclusive access to the data or meta data.

        If we could all Google for the same info that the government/NSA has then we’d play with it for a few days, and then forget about it, unless of course we can figure out a way to make a buck off of it…

  11. spsffan says:

    I dunno. My experience with an awful lot of VOIP not to mention cell phones is that it doesn’t matter wither it is encrypted or not. You can’ t make out what the other party is saying due to the poor voice quality, drop outs, and whatever the audio version of pixelation is.

    Hear a pin drop? Some of these connections we get folks calling us on you couldn’t hear the World Trade Center crashing to the ground on.

    • Captain Beyond, famously dancing madly backwards says:

      Ha ha. Good point. 🙂

  12. ECA says:

    who HERE UNDERSTAND how MANY ways you can CHAT on the net?

    HOW many games you can CHAT on the net??

    How many Chat engines/IRC you can use to chat on the net..

    Client/server chat programs??

    HOW many of these can be used, EVEN on a cellphone with internet…

    Scanning for ALL these channels, and trying to even SAVE this amount of data is VERY VERY HARD..
    Even after FINDING the channels..they can change..and you have to TRACK them again.
    The Amounts of data and recordings is MONSTROUS..
    then we are counting ONLY international connections?? HOW many games you know about ONLY connect inside the USA??
    World of tanks server in the USA, connects ALL of canada to the HORN in south america.. we are talking at least 10 languages..
    GOOGLE +…WOW, Im interconnected to EVERY NATION..even in gaming..

    This is worse then having 24 hour in a library to READ every book..

    • msbpodcast says:

      Scanning for ALL these channels, and trying to even SAVE this amount of data is VERY VERY HARD..

      Its hard for you because its not your job. The complexity beggars your imagination because you don’t know how to deal with it.

      If you did it for your paid work, in a million square foot facility near Salt Lake city, with lots of fibre connection bandwidth, with lots of computer cycles to throw at any approach you care to try and with an almost unlimited budget to buy new toys, you’d come up with some answers to some pretty novel questions that you couldn’t have imagined asking even two years ago.

      Imagine a social graph of a few trillion Connection instances describing myriad Relationship instances between a few hundreds of millions of Object (people) instances.

      Its actually simple, it only involves three Object Class instances. They really don’t have much behavior to describe and perform, and because of the way that fifth order data models work, they can actually be left partially filled, (without requiring the extensive and time consuming table rebalancing that relational databases require whenever you add or subtract a relationship.)

      The Mormons have been doing some thing like it, in Salt Lake city by the way, for hundreds of years discovering people’s ancestry.

      • ECA says:


        you almost get the point.
        SAVE all the data you wish..
        SAVE all the formats for communication you WISH..
        SORT all of you wish.
        ITS the AMOUNT, you gather..

        its like raking your lawn..Gather it all up. As a group, it can be easy. Get each and every piece you can.
        NOW sort it, by length, width, type of grass, and the location it came from and the grass around it, and if there were weeds near it.
        Automate it..

        NOW look at the pile.
        Consider this communication? yes.
        Think of all the languages you are dealing with.

        THERE are ways to limit your samples..and its Best practices.
        I would limit to MOSTLY, incoming/outgoing Nationally..
        Its easier to SEE the traffic if you limit it to MAIN servers..there are <200 main interlinks in the USA.( I only know of about 6-12 myself)..

        You can monitor all the traffic you want. its like that PILE of grass..
        SORTING and the hard part.
        Then making is digestible to be read by a HUMAN..

        WE had fun on a forum I was in..when we heard about this years ago. We inserted key words into 1 forum chat. we found we could LAG the system about 4 times slower.

  13. Hank Moody says:

    I’m more worried about someone in a certain position feeling the need to justify the expense of all this data saving and processing, thus we enter into another defense contractor bonanaza / I mean “war” for reasons based on allegations devised from this huge store. Then again we have all the money in the world to try to protect ourselves from some guys who are comfortable with knives and home made bombs, but we haven’t the money to educate our own citizens to create our future. And thus, someone else will, who likely speaks Mandarin. No one can defeat America as well as “Americans” can.

  14. You Bube says:

    And now the video is “private” ? Is this Perkel’s idea, or …

  15. fred says:

    dvorak XXcensored

  16. StudioJoe says:

    This video used to be public, I bookmarked & watched it many times. I think just recently Mr. Perkel has been….ah, persuaded to make his video private.


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