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<nettime> homebrew mapping of NSA monitoring
matthew fuller on Thu, 29 Dec 2005 12:23:45 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> homebrew mapping of NSA monitoring

by Richard M. Smith
Dec. 23, 2005

With all of the controversy about the news that the NSA has been 
monitoring, since 9/11, telephone calls and email messages of 
Americans, some folks might now be wondering if they are being 
snooped on. Here's a quick and easy method to see if one's email 
messages are being read by someone else.

The steps are:
	1.	Set up a Hotmail account.
	2.	Set up a second email account with a non-U.S. 
provider. (eg. Rediffmail.com)
	3.	Send messages between the two accounts which might be 
interesting to the NSA.
	4.	In each message, include a unique URL to a Web server 
that you have access to its server logs. This URL should only be 
known by you and not linked to from any other Web page. The text of 
the message should encourage an NSA monitor to visit the URL.
	5.	If the server log file ever shows this URL being 
accessed, then you know that you are being snooped on. The IP address 
of the access can also provide clues about who is doing the snooping.

The trick is to make the link enticing enough for someone or 
something to want to click on it. As part of a large-scale research 
project, I would suggest sending out a few hundred thousand messages 
using various tricks to find one that might work. Here are some 
possible ideas:
	*	Include a variety of terrorist related trigger words
	*	Include other links in a message to known AQ message boards
	*	Include a fake CC: to Mohamed Atta's old email 
address (el-amir {AT} tu-harburg.de)
	*	Send the message from an SMTP server in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
	*	Use a fake return address from a known terrorist organization
	*	Use a ziplip or hushmail account.
Besides monitoring the NSA, this same technique can be used if you 
suspect your email account password has been stolen or if a family 
member or coworker is reading your email on your computer on the sly.

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