Patrice Riemens on Sat, 5 Jul 2014 01:21:35 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Kyle Rankin: NSA: Linux Journal is an "extremist forum" and its

More hardened nettimers will probably have the "I am shocked, shocked" 
reaction to all this, yet it is interesting to see ever new constituencies
confronted to (and shocked by) the fact that in the eyes of the power
everybody who's not part of it (and actually, whomever is, too) is a
suspect and a - unfortunately yet unproven - criminal/ extremist/
terrorist etc.
Cheers, p+5D!


Original to:
(with links)
(bwo Maja vdV - don't worry she's 'targetted' since 1980 ...)

NSA: Linux Journal is an "extremist forum" and its readers get flagged for
extra surveillance
Jul 03, 2014  By Kyle Rankin

A new story published on the German site Tagesschau and followed up by
BoingBoing and has uncovered some shocking details about who
the NSA targets for surveillance including visitors to Linux Journal

While it has been revealed before that the NSA captures just about all
Internet traffic for a short time, the Tagesschau story provides new
details about how the NSA's XKEYSCORE program decides which traffic to
keep indefinitely. XKEYSCORE uses specific selectors to flag traffic, and
the article reveals that Web searches for Tor and Tails--software I've
covered here in Linux Journal that helps to protect a user's anonymity and
privacy on the Internet--are among the selectors that will flag you as
"extremist" and targeted for further surveillance. If you just consider
how many Linux Journal readers have read our Tor and Tails coverage in the
magazine, that alone would flag quite a few innocent people as extremist.

While that is troubling in itself, even more troubling to readers on this
site is that has been flagged as a selector!
has published the relevant XKEYSCORE source code, and if you look closely
at the rule definitions, you will see*
listed alongside Tails and Tor. According to an article on,
the NSA considers Linux Journal an "extremist forum". This means that
merely looking for any Linux content on Linux Journal, not just content
about anonymizing software or encryption, is considered suspicious and
means your Internet traffic may be stored indefinitely.

One of the biggest questions these new revelations raise is why. Up until
this point, I would imagine most Linux Journal readers had considered the
NSA revelations as troubling but figured the NSA would never be interested
in them personally. Now we know that just visiting this site makes you a
target. While we may never know for sure what it is about Linux Journal in
particular, the Boing Boing article speculates that it might be to
separate out people on the Internet who know how to be private from those
who don't so it can capture communications from everyone with privacy
know-how. If that's true, it seems to go much further to target anyone
with Linux know-how.

It's bad news to all of us who use and read about Linux on a daily basis,
but fortunately we aren't completely helpless. Earlier in the year I
started a series on security, privacy and anonymity in my Hack and /
column that included articles on how to use the Tor browser bundle and
Tails. With either piece of software in place, you can browse Linux
Journal (and the rest of the Internet) in private.


Kyle Rankin is a systems architect; and the author of DevOps
Troubleshooting, The Official Ubuntu Server Book, Knoppix Hacks, Knoppix
Pocket Reference, Linux Multimedia Hacks, and Ubuntu Hacks.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact: