When people say the feds are monitoring what people are doing online, what does that mean? How does that work? When, and where, does it start?

Pete Ashdown, CEO of XMission, an internet service provider in Utah, knows. He received a Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) warrant in 2010 mandating he let the feds monitor one of his customers, through his facility. He also received a broad gag order.
We had to facilitate them to set up a duplicate port to tap in to monitor that customer’s traffic. It was a 2U (two-unit) PC that we ran a mirrored ethernet port to.

[What we ended up with was] a little box in our systems room that was capturing all the traffic to this customer. Everything they were sending and receiving.

  1. dcphill says:

    What can I say, my head is exploding to the idea. First my country doesn’t trust me, now my government doesn’t trust anybody.

    • msbpodcast says:

      No, your government doesn’t trust anybody, anything, anyhow at any time.

      Its is a distillation of the worst aspects of man, not the best. We’ve come a long way from Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, in the other direction.

      I gave up being cynical when I was forced into retirement just before the economic crash and I have been proved not cynical enough ever since.

      My only saving grace was, is and shall remain that I was, am and shall always, not be greedy.

  2. Tim says:

    All those non-disclosure NSL’s. If I watch 2g1c over and over, will they still throw up?

  3. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:


    The other shoe dropped…libertarians knew Obama care was all about extorting money from 1/6th more of the us economy…the number of lobbyists bearing gifts on K Street would grow exponentially, as businesses noticed they were being put out of business by punitive regulation…

    And we lovers of true knew it was all about control…the party having the power to dole out medical procedures to supporters and target enemies for death would surely fall no more.

    But few understood the power medical records gave the government…combined with all other data mining, we truly are helpless before our Government masters…

    • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

      The now have the ability to take down entire social networks…easily round up everyone of a particular political or religious persuasion….even liberal reactionaries to a part of the statist agenda can now be easily terminated…surgically removed, with little or no collateral damage…easily…No more laborious labor and time intensive investigations…its all in the data…logarithms proved it all…

    • Tim says:

      A generation goes, and a generation comes,
      but the earth remains forever.

      The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
      and hastens to the place where it rises.

      The wind blows to the south
      and goes around to the north;
      around and around goes the wind,
      and on its circuits the wind returns.

      All streams run to the sea,
      but the sea is not full;
      to the place where the streams flow,
      there they flow again.

      All things are full of weariness;
      a man cannot utter it;
      the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
      nor the ear filled with hearing.

      What has been is what will be,
      and what has been done is what will be done,
      and there is nothing new under the sun.

      Is there a thing of which it is said,
      “See, this is new”?
      It has been already
      in the ages before us.

      There is no remembrance of former things,
      nor will there be any remembrance
      of later things yet to be among those who come after–Ecclesiastes 1:4-11

      Other than besides being kinda lame, it is not on topic even to start before we drift off.

      • deowll says:

        And yet in the midst of all the futility you still have the option to do the right thing.

        • Tim says:


          • Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

            You misunderstood Solomon…its a matter of perspective…all you desired when above the surface of the earth, is lost to you below the surface of the earth…therefore your earthly pursuits are vanity.

            As are your posts.

            Vapid babbling of a mind stuck on station identification.

          • Tim says:

            How have I ‘misunderstood’ Solomon? I offered no interpretation but only the quotation.

            You do realize that Ecclesiastes is a biblical work of fiction, don’t you? ‘Dude, it is a poem written at least 300 years after Solomon’s reign.


            You are still butt-hurt because of your stance on corporeal punishment, are you not?

            Well, I apologize. { …pretentious, puritanical git.}

    • Anonymous Ass says:

      You’re NOT helpless. You too can can LIE!

      I predict that all this left leaning socialism is really going to do is eventually force everyone into maintaining a second or even third IDENTITY! Maybe more.

      Remember, you’re dealing with the GOVERNMENT! It doesn’t take a genius or even a very bright person to lie to the government. For crying out loud! Look at who empowers the government. Look at the majority of VOTERS! But lying will take some tenacity along with a less than honorable character to effectively do it. Just ask a Congressman. Ask YOUR Congressman! (Most of them are LAWYERS so they already know.)

      So if you’re not already a mindless pawn in the corrupt big business model and don’t easily believe every little thing the political power mongers tell/promise you (like many of our clueless “dumb-ass-crap” bloggers do) you can probably lie about who YOU are even BETTER!

      The key is to not be stupid. But that’s something that seems to be easier said than done for the majority of the people reading this. (Are you one of them?)

  4. Taxed Enough Already Dude says:

    Irish superwoman Obama slayer video has gone viral


    She is striking, and her intellect clearly superior to most in the us senate and congress. Although a liberal, she is a classic liberal…whom libertarians sprang from…and we have lots in common.

    Unlike the pseudo liberals here in the us, allegedly progressive….statist all, anti classic liberal…our liberals actually want Big Brother!

    • Tim says:

      That one is very, very good. Adam&John played that on the podcast a couple weeks ago. Good reminder. I would not kick her out of bed unless she wanted to shine a different light on Obummer on the floor.

  5. Rick says:

    We had a security breach at work and DHS came in and plugged a small 2U pre-configured server into our system and it captured every byte that was coming in and going out.

    Interesting they seem to have a bunch of servers handy for just that purpose eh?

  6. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    XMission, the ISP in the article, has published this list of requests from government agencies: http://xmission.com/transparency

    XMission declines those without a warrant.

  7. noname says:

    What do you expect in America 2.0 when:

    *money is free speech and the masses will always have less than the elites do!

    *when the masses working 40hrs/wk, is no longer enough to support a family and democratic civic responsibilities! Guess democratic civic responsibilities goes first!

    *when the only justification authorities need for any atrocity is a “story”! Common example: “It’s for your safety” or “we thought xx was doing yy”.

    *when news media doesn’t report or journal, instead uncritically redistributes press releases, because it’s cheaper and people will still uncritically watch it anyway!

    *when investigative journalism is destroyed by our government, who prosecutes legitimate whistle-blowers, despite their false rhetoric of open and uncorrupted transparent government! There is a reason our government is “Afraid of Informed Public Demanding Constitutional Government”.

    *when Americans routinely elect officials based on false rhetoric and these officials have no intention of following through on what they promised!

    *when banks aren’t allowed to fail, but encouraged to grow bigger and bigger on free money, QE4!

    *With QE4, an $85 billion-a-month program of open-ended asset purchases, do you think banks want the economy to recover and/or unemployment to drop?

    *when Americans become uncritical of their governments, banks, votes, media, opinion, and don’t stand up and calls B.S. to what’s being obviously done….

    *when self-government and civic involvement is what others do, because; the masses don’t have time for it.


    We are morphing into America 3.0, where the wealthy elites control everything and voting is media controlled, manipulated and denuded of any authentic American spirit.

    We are morphing into the very thing American has created overseas…a banana republic.

    The question is where are the Americans to stop it?

    As far as I can see, there are only two Americans in congress who are fighting for the average American, Al Franken and Elizabeth Warren! Why only two?

  8. MikeN says:

    So what’s the problem? Wiretaps work kinda like that too.

  9. Glenn E. says:

    I beileve the US Govt. is think ahead, and building a defense against its impoverish citizens. Who will someday be coming after the 1% who have scarfed up all the wealth for themselves. But for now, it’s mainly the Govt. maintaining the status quo until all hell breaks loose. Then they will activate the private armies, to defend the Martha Stewarts, and Donald Trumps, in their mansion hideaways.

    • noname says:

      Isn’t that the truth! It’s why the Repukatons are big in funding the military and corporate welfare and defunding anything the supports the middle class!

    • Anonymous Ass says:

      I agree! The Donald is tops on my list too. However, I may want to think twice about Martha. Isn’t she already an ex-con?!

  10. MikeN says:

    Meanwhile, government has mandated that all cars have black boxes that can be accessed as evidence against the owner.
    I don’t see where such a mandate is authorized by law.

    • Tim says:

      That is only fair if an equal number of white boxes are also installed.

    • spsffan says:

      It is quite simple. Cars are manufactured by corporations, which exist at the pleasure of and as protectorates of the state.


    • spsffan says:

      Oh, and bye the way, were you planning on driving that car on non-government roads?

      I thought not.

    • Greg Allen says:

      MikeN is a little lake to the game:

      From Feb 2013:

      >>This week ended the public comment period on a proposed law that would put so-called black boxes in every new car sold by September 1, 2014. The thing is, most cars already have them unbeknownst to many drivers.

      >> Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years.


      Best I can tell — the “box” doesn’t transmit any metadata back to the government. They have to physically access it.

      • Greg Allen says:

        A juicy little detail from the article I cited above:

        >> Data collected by the recorders is increasingly showing up in lawsuits, criminal cases and high-profile accidents. Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray initially said that he wasn’t speeding and that he was wearing his seat belt when he crashed a government-owned car last year. But the Ford Crown Victoria’s data recorder told a different story: It showed the car was traveling more than 100 mph and Murray wasn’t belted in.

        >> In 2007, then-New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was seriously injured in the crash of an SUV driven by a state trooper. Corzine was a passenger. The SUV’s recorder showed the vehicle was traveling 91 mph on a parkway where the speed limit was 65 mph, and Corzine didn’t have his seat belt on.

  11. Dallas says:

    Very cool. It’s exciting to think that in the future video camera built into the set top box would be able to interpret your facial expressions as well as your ethnicity and body type.

    If necessary , Obama (maybe Pres Chelsea Clinton) can see if you swear during his/her state of the union address!

  12. Greg Allen says:

    The NSA spying story made me switch from Google to StartPage.

    StartPage claims that they don’t log searches, so there is no meta data to collect.

    It’s a token gesture, I know. But, I want to affirm a company who cares about the privacy of its customers.

  13. Greg Allen says:

    I just read the article. I wish all businessmen had the conscience of Pete Ashdown.

    When I lived in Dubai, I met a salesman who was selling telephone call monitoring software to the government there. Dubai is famous for monitoring democracy advocates, religious minorities, feminist workers, etc. etc.

    He was a perfectly friendly guy. He probably reads to his kids at bedtime and barbeques on the weekend.

    But, the IBM salesman who sold the punch cards to the Nazis for tracking the Jews probably did the same.


Bad Behavior has blocked 13870 access attempts in the last 7 days.