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Thread: PROMIS: Big Brother’s Big Brother?

  1. #1 PROMIS: Big Brother’s Big Brother? 
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    I was just wondering if any of you know much about PROMIS software. I recently finished a book; Crossing the Rubicon by Michael Ruppert. In it he presents some intriguing arguments for several conspiracy theories. To me, some seem dubious, some seem plausible. He has a chapter about PROMIS software. I know nothing about it and was wondering what any of the rest of you may have heard. According to Ruppert, PROMIS:

    1) Has evolved over the last 25 years from a National Security Administration project.
    2) Has the capacity to analyze incredibly huge amounts of network communications in real time.
    3) Was modified in 1981 with a secret “back door” and sold to Canada and other countries.
    4) This back door version has subsequently compromised security in countries that bought it.
    5) Some later versions have been further modified to compromise security (both “ours” and “theirs”) in other ways.

    (This is a gross condensation of a long story.)

    Do any of you know anything about this? Is it plausable?
    Thanks,


    Terrapin
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  3. #2  
    2112
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    Sounds like the Dan Brown book, Digital Fortress. In it they describe how the internet was invented by the government and how they have a huge processor that keeps tabs on email and everything else happening on the internet. They also describe how one of the characters discovers that a back door is written into the code of a program sold to somebody... Anyway it sounds very similar. It is fiction, though. I'm not sure how much of it is factual.


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    You mean Echelon 3? There is a global AI (Artificial Intelligence) scanning all phonecalls, all email messages, web posts, blogs and all other information on the internet for potential threats.

    "White House will experience heavy rain tomorrow"

    ^That sentence will be checked by the AI, and will be identified as a potential threat.

    However, do I believe anyone is listening to all the stuff I post? Hardly. Considering there are millions of gigabytes of information, it is unlikely that anyone will ever read anything at Langley will read what you write.

    Still, the AI could potentially be used to find bad information on a person, for blackmailing purposes and the likes...

    Mr U
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    you know it dose, digtal fortress is a great book .. but it is fiction

    people may be listening into us and beyond but i doubt any country would be interested in anything we say..

    they more than likely focas on the threats such as all those nasty beheadings,
    Stumble on through life.
    Feel free to correct any false information, which unknown to me, may be included in my posts. (also - let this be a disclaimer)
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    Okay everyone thanks for your input. I find it hard to have much faith in the incredibly detailed story that Ruppert weaves when no one seems to have heard of the software, and the only serious reference I can find to PROMIS is an add for a commercial, industrial version.
    Terrapin
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2112
    Sounds like the Dan Brown book, Digital Fortress. In it they describe how the internet was invented by the government and how they have a huge processor that keeps tabs on email and everything else happening on the internet. They also describe how one of the characters discovers that a back door is written into the code of a program sold to somebody... Anyway it sounds very similar. It is fiction, though. I'm not sure how much of it is factual.
    Digital Fortress was indeed an amazing book, but then again so are all of Dan Brown's book. In regards to the validity of his claims, I think you'll find that he does a hell of a lot more research on the subjects he is writing about that most imagine. A lot of the information he gives in Digital Fortress has been proved true, even if it is not information publically endorsed by the White House. You should check out his website [danbrown.com], interesting stuff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodgod3rd
    you know it dose, digtal fortress is a great book .. but it is fiction

    people may be listening into us and beyond but i doubt any country would be interested in anything we say..

    they more than likely focas on the threats such as all those nasty beheadings,
    Haha, it is not that other countries are intercepting ALL internet, phone, and satellite communications we makes, it's rather that our own government is doing so, and doing so without publically acknowledging it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Locke
    Haha, it is not that other countries are intercepting ALL internet, phone, and satellite communications we makes, it's rather that our own government is doing so, and doing so without publically acknowledging it.
    Eh, not quite. They are 'intercepting' all internet traffic... but so do several non-governmental agencies. That's just a side-effect of having nodes. Anyone who expects their internet communications to be secret doesn't really understand how it's works. It's akin to complaining the the postman can read your postcard if it has blood all over it. Regardless, not every packet is looked at... it simply not possible. There's a preliminary 'quick' filter.

    Telephone... once again, not quite. There is absolutely zero benefit for the government to do this, and just about zero ability. They CAN listen in to any line they wish (how far this power extends is debatable), but they are limited to how many they can tap at a time by simple techonological limitations.

    Satellite communications... possibly. Mostly this is only because satellite communications eventually fall back into a ground based telecom. There is no built in governmental repeated in all satellites, and not enough satellites to monitor everything from the ground.
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    So if governments are limited by telephone technology from tapping into all lines, how does Voice Over Internet Protocal change this? Monitoring VOip data would be as easy as what they are currently doing with internet traffic, right?

    Haha, it is not that other countries are intercepting ALL internet, phone, and satellite communications we makes, it's rather that our own government is doing so, and doing so without publically acknowledging it.
    To be technical, I would say they monitoring instead of intercepting. Don't think the Echelon system is following your conversation with your wife while you talk to her on your cell phone. Probably how the system works is in tagged levels, where data is tagged for potential interest. I imagine that by the time any data intercepted by Echelon is anaylzed by a human, it has gone through many filters. Imagine the way Google ads work - matching data to a database. What goes into Echelon's databases? Probably things like what the Patriot Act created - databases of known terrorists and 'evil-doers' .
    Satellite data beamed down to Earth is probably the easiest data to intercept, along with cell phone transmissions.

    I remeber telling someone about Echelon and their response was something like: How could they monitor the internet? That'd mean the government is storing the largest collection of porn somewhere.
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    Do you really think that terrorists transmit their secret data in plaintext? Why would the government listen when the only stuff they would be interested in would be encrypted?

    How would they listen in on all internet communications? The internet is decentralized (as are phone lines and cell phone systems), they would need to be listening in on internet backbones throughout the world.

    Get a grip, take your foil hats off, there's no-one monitoring you.
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    How would they listen in on all internet communications? The internet is decentralized (as are phone lines and cell phone systems), they would need to be listening in on internet backbones throughout the world.
    I don't want to pretend I know everything about networking, I don't have an advanced degree in it or anything. I assume you know as much as me.
    The Echelon system is not centralized either. It's a system or a network just like the internet.

    Get a grip, take your foil hats off, there's no-one monitoring you.
    I said they weren't monitoring citizens. The chances that you (as in a regular joe) will catch the attention of an actual person involved in Echelon is slim. I said it probably works like, for a lack of a better analogy or explanation, Google's ads. It processes information to compare against databases. 'Big Brother' isn't watching and this is not 1984. Questioning your government versus being paranoid about your government are different in my opinion. I am not saying governments are denying Echelon's existence because they are using it against innocent people for questionable purposes. It's part of many nations' security policies to not publish details about all their intelligence gathering methods.

    Do you really think that terrorists transmit their secret data in plaintext? Why would the government listen when the only stuff they would be interested in would be encrypted?
    Believe it or not, your assumption that people labled as terrorists would have encryption for all their communications sounds as paranoid to me as how I probably sound to you - judging from your "foil hat" comment.

    Anyway, the presence of an encrypted satellite-phone signal in a remote area of lets say Afghanistan wouldn't be interesting to the governments who are fighting terrorism? Intelligence gathering is a system that involves many parts. The Echelon system is a part of it - it is not the intelligence gathering system.
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    Do you really think that terrorists transmit their secret data in plaintext? Why would the government listen when the only stuff they would be interested in would be encrypted?
    Believe it or not, your assumption that people labled as terrorists would have encryption for all their communications sounds as paranoid to me as how I probably sound to you - judging from your "foil hat" comment.
    I didn't say all their communications, I said any communications they want to keep secret. How is that paranoid? It's trivial to communicate securely.

    Once I can be sure that I have your public key (there have been no man-in-the-middle attacks) I can securely send you mine. From here on all of our communications will be secure to the extent that even the USA, with all the Cray supercomputers it can buy, will not be able to decrypt them.
    With it being so easy to have secure communications, why is it paranoid to think that a terrorist would do so if he wanted to communicate securely?

    Anyway, the presence of an encrypted satellite-phone signal in a remote area of lets say Afghanistan wouldn't not be interesting to the governments who are fighting terrorism? Intelligence gathering is a system that involves many parts. The Echelon system is a part of it - it is not the intelligence gathering system.
    Interesting, perhaps. But worth the billions it would take to snoop on communications worldwide? Absolutely not.
    The only reason to want to detect such cell phone calls would be to find where they're coming from, seeing as you'll never know what is being communicated. This doesn't need a worldwide intel gathering/processing system, just a few teams scattered throughout Afghanistan. And this is all assuming terrorists communicate with cellphones.

    How would they listen in on all internet communications? The internet is decentralized (as are phone lines and cell phone systems), they would need to be listening in on internet backbones throughout the world.
    I don't want to pretend I know everything about networking, I don't have an advanced degree in it or anything. I assume you know as much as me.
    The Echelon system is not centralized either. It's a system or a network just like the internet.
    At every point where the Echelon system gathers data there would have to be lots of processing power and storage space; tons if you're talking about voice analysis and storage. For Echelon to snoop on decentralized networks there would have to be a powerful computer at every internet node and telecom station. You couldn't possibly hide it, it would take the co-operation of every country which it operates in, it would cost billions, it wouldn't pay off because those who it looks out for would encrypt their communications, it's absurd. End of story.
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  14. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grazzhoppa
    So if governments are limited by telephone technology from tapping into all lines, how does Voice Over Internet Protocal change this? Monitoring VOip data would be as easy as what they are currently doing with internet traffic, right?
    Well, I would 'think' that this would have to be filtered out at the intitial stages. I think the main use of internet monitoring would be the same as telephone tapping. You already know who you want to watch, and record everything from them.

    At the same time, there is likely some weak/quick/dirty form of pattern matching that filters out 99% of internet traffic, and passes the remainder on to be recorded, analyzed and erased.. I doubt VOIP would be tagged toget through initial filters due to bandwidth and state issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by kestasjk
    At every point where the Echelon system gathers data there would have to be lots of processing power and storage space; tons if you're talking about voice analysis and storage. For Echelon to snoop on decentralized networks there would have to be a powerful computer at every internet node and telecom station.
    Yes and no. Through legal means the government does have processing power and storage space at every telecom... available through either a warrant or the Patriot Act.

    At the same time though, most internet traffic passes through one of several nodes. Assuming most traffic is ignored by hardware means, it's quite possible to monitor what remains.
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