EFF: DEA Has Deleted Its Phone Call Database

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by HardOCP News, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. HardOCP News

    HardOCP News [H] News

    Messages:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 1969
    The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced today that it has confirmation that the Drug Enforcement Administration’s practice of collecting bulk phone call data has stopped and that the database has finally been destroyed.

    From the 1990s to 2013, the DEA secretly and illegally collected billions of records of Americans’ international calls to hundreds of countries around the world. In April 2015, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client, Human Rights Watch, challenging the constitutionality of the program and seeking to have the records purged from the government’s possession.

     
  2. jojo69

    jojo69 [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,390
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
  3. cocheese256

    cocheese256 Gawd

    Messages:
    784
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2005
    Database has finally been destroyed.........backup server farm still up and running in undisclosed location.

    I believe this would be more accurate.
     
  4. Nebulous

    Nebulous [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,405
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    I agree.
     
  5. amddragonpc

    amddragonpc [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,996
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    LMAO because the EFF believes the database is destroyed.
     
  6. Axdrenalin

    Axdrenalin [H]ard|DCer of the Month - Nov. 2009

    Messages:
    6,183
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Absolutely this... :mad:
     
  7. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

    Messages:
    5,725
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    The sheer concept of data being "destroyed" in today's world is laughable at best: nowadays whenever I delete email on Outlook.com, the first thing I see as soon as it's all gone is "Would you like to recover email you recently deleted?" and that's after I actually empty the folder of any and all content which should be permanent deletion of it.

    I mean really, is there anyone that has a clue anymore? :)
     
  8. jfreund

    jfreund Gawd

    Messages:
    954
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    That just leaves NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, and probably several other agencies we've never heard of.
     
  9. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

    Messages:
    11,603
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    bullshit_karl.gif
     
  10. Ihaveworms

    Ihaveworms [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    4,328
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    They added a column to the database labeled "MARK_DELETED" and set it to true.
     
  11. bomni

    bomni Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    143
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    Whatever they didn't say ANYTHING about the backups.
     
  12. Nebulous

    Nebulous [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,405
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    For every one copy destroyed, you know dam sure they have others stored away.
     
  13. MrTryfe

    MrTryfe Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    435
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    A big LoL to this news, and the NSA supposedly shutting down their surveillance program.

    Makes you wonder why there's such a big fuss to get the CISA bill passed (and the news today is looking grim), if there wasn't a need for this data collection and outright spying.
     
  14. tesfaye

    tesfaye 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,419
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2003
    This all day.
     
  15. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    I hadn't previously heard of this one but there are some things in that article that sound strange. The NSA bulk meta-data program is supposed to be offline now, the database of existing records is supposed to be kept still for like 5 years or so. This article almost makes it sound like it's the same database.

    Another issue related to definitions of terms. Traditionally, collection is a specific term and relates to the actual intercept of signals, like setting up a receiver and intercepting a signal, collection would involve the entire process of doing that including targeting a signal or transmitter. Just rolling around a frequency range and listening to signals long enough to determine what it might be isn't collection. If you keep information from that process, data-base, and particularly if you start doing analysis on it, then you are collecting, even more so when you actually target that signal specifically, you know, deliberately choose to gather information from it, this is collection.

    That's sort of why there is a problem or a difference in this, the definition of collection, and what the bulk meta-data phone record database was. It's because they weren't targeting anything specific, they were requesting the call record data from a company and dumping it into a database. I'm not arguing that this makes it OK. I am simply pointing out that it's hard to get away from the problems with using the word collecting when your talking about this issue.

    This article makes me wonder of the DEA was copying everything the NSA was getting from the service providers into their own storage systems or if they were using the same database the NSA was. We already know the FBI had access to PRISM.

    There is another issue, the article references EO12333 but that Executive Order was written to govern Intelligence Agencies, not Law Enforcement Agencies. The FBI is a strange agency, it crosses the line between the two in many ways where the CIA and NSA are definitely not Law Enforcement, the FBI has responsibilities across both areas. The DEA on the other hand does not and is specifically Law Enforcement only. At the same time, following 9/11 and the formation of DHS, there was a huge push for cooperation between these services. It would seem that this is the hidden risk, that asking these agencies to corporate means they have to share information and communications but that in doing so you blur the lines between intelligence collection and law enforcement and this causes problems when it comes to the Privacy Rights of US Persons.

    For instance, from an Intelligence standpoint I don't have a big problem with the NSA's bulk meta-data program. But I do have a problem with the DEA having access to the same thing. The reason is because the NSA isn't law enforcement and their mission is about foreign governments, military's, and extremist groups overseas and such. But the DEA is purely Federal Law Enforcement and they are responsible for policing Americans so to me, there is an issue here.

    The DEA never should have had access to this kind of information, even if it came from the NSA.
     
  16. Retronym

    Retronym Something big is coming.

    Messages:
    11,603
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
  17. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    We agree on more then you'd think. My message get's lost sometimes because I am complaining about the reporting, not the topic :D
     
  18. Tyler-Durden

    Tyler-Durden 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    2,302
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    If the DEA truly did this, then at least a half dozen other agencies still have the info for "inter-agency cooperation" purposes.
     
  19. xorbe

    xorbe [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,996
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    i don't believe you.gif
     
  20. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    A database like that is huge and grows really fast. It would be damned expensive to maintain. Chances are they just had access to it. That's the same reason I am thinking this is actually the NSA database and they don't mind saying it's destroyed because they never owned it to begin with is my bet.
     
  21. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,766
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    I actually would be interested in the storage size, running cost, and even a picture representation of the facility just out of curiosity. Probably a lot bigger than my .wav folders from back in the day for pc sounds lol.
     
  22. erexx

    erexx Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    472
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Nothing has been "deleted."
    Liars by trade.
    To them it doesn't matter if what happens is the really the truth or not.
    The Truth doesn't matter to Believers.
     
  23. Government's MO to keep secrets, "Keep feeding them disinformation as leaks" That way no one will know what the truth it.
     
  24. mullet

    mullet [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    BINGO!!!
     
  25. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Does this give you an idea? :D

    [​IMG]



    OK, truth is, this facility was probably built to do a lot more then just hold the NSA's meta-data database, but this is the site that the general public suspects holds that data where-house.
     
  26. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Shit that was a bigger pic then I expected :eek:
     
  27. Darunion

    Darunion 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,766
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    haha, it really does help to illustrate it though :)
     
  28. sliverjazz

    sliverjazz Gawd

    Messages:
    747
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    If someone would recover the yahoo mail purge from a few years ago, i would offer 2 million usd for my cherished family emails.
     
  29. cgrant26

    cgrant26 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,416
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2003
    They are being stored on a server in Hillary's closet.
     
  30. mullet

    mullet [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,629
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    That picture is just scary.
     
  31. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Why?

    The NSA collects data from all over the world, all kinds of signals data. The US is like one of 196 countrys in the world with less than 5% of the world's population. The NSA already had a pretty large facility in Maryland, it's old, and it's not big enough anymore. Any planner would have had to predict a future need to establish a new facility and because of the size, etc, the middle of nowwhere Utah makes a lot of sense compaired to trying to carve out a place like this in the Northeast. IT workers draw between 130K and 170K working in the Beltway / Pentagon area, and almost as much around Ft Mead Maryland where the NSA is Headquartered. There is a significant level of savings by locating this new facility in an area that has a lower cost of living and it actually makes it easier to get IT people to accept jobs there. No way you could get me to move to the Beltway area and deal with the commute and the traffic and all the crap out there. I wouldn't take a job there, or in LA, or anywhere like them. But Utah I might consider.

    It is a huge building, but most of it isn't a data whearhouse, I think that part is just over by all the big heat exchangers in the front part of the picture.
     
  32. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Actually, looking a little closer, I would bet that the first building is just for the cooling, and power for the two buildings next to it. I suspect those two buildings are the actual data/server farms and they are seperated in order to keep major classification levels physically seperated. Notice that the same setup is reversed at the other end of the row of buildings. That could easily be for disaster recover, everything replicated so that if one farm goes down the other can take over serving the data. But that's just what it looks like to me but I am not imagery analyst so... Your guess is as good as mine :D
     
  33. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    17,118
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    The shorter buildings are clearly generators with the things sticking up in the middle being the exhaust stacks.
     
  34. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

    Messages:
    17,118
    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
  35. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,478
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    The NSA was giving the DEA their data as long as they masked its origin. In otherword, bullshitted up some excuse how they got the info via legal [for the DEA] means. This was exposed a few years ago. I guess since no one really made a fuss, they formalized the practice and got a full copy from the NSA.
     
  36. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Have you seen anything in writing that specificly says the NSA database is stored on storage systems that are not the NSA's system's?

    Or could it just be people's assumptions?

    Are you certain the NSA was giving them the data as opposed to giving them access to NSA data? I don't have time at the moment to look into it and see how it all was written and examine government statements on the issue.
     
  37. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Ahh, good catch, I had forgotten the typical requirement of generator backup and hadn't looked hard at the stacks. As an IT guy I can appreciate the beauty of the facility's design. I work at one where we struggle just to get proper backups established, DR is something we are working to impliment, and a COOP site or a Hot Site, those are wishful dreams. Seeing a site that has the potential to have all these safety measures designed and allocated from the very start is, well, the way it should be, and so rarely ever is.
     
  38. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    7,478
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    I would assume the DEA has a much narrower focus on much fewer people. An when they were busted request were specific.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...rds-to-the-dea-and-the-dea-is-covering-it-up/
     
  39. Stryker7314

    Stryker7314 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    226
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    I don't even know why they release information like this, do they actually think people will believe it?:confused:
     
  40. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    10,537
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Following 9/11 the DHS was created. A good part of why DHS was created was to eliminate redundant LE and Intel Agencies and strengthen coordination and information sharing between the remaining Agencies. So what they are talking about in this article is a direct result of this history. Now each of these Agencies, both the extinct ones and the ones still here today, were created for specific purposes. Some have changed over time and others not so much, but these problems we have now are directly related to 9/11 and the idea that the information to prevent 9/11 was there, just not all in one place where the threat could be seen. I can't tell you if that is true, but I can tell you that from what I have seen, the government and what it get's done, both good and bad, is more the result of inertia then intent.

    The Federal Government is too big, it's into too much of our lives. It's like a dinosaur, it can't move without crushing something and it really isn't good at doing anything other then feeding itself.

    But that's just how I see it.