T-Mobile Makes it Harder for Spooks to Snoop

Mass surveillance becomes more difficult with A5/3 encryption

#Privacy

Tue, Oct 28th, 2014 11:00 by capnasty NEWS

The Washington Post reports that T-Mobile, the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States with Deutsche Telekom as its majority shareholder, has been "quietly upgrading its network" in order to make it "harder for surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on calls and monitor texts."

In places where T-Mobile is using A5/3 encryption, mass surveillance becomes more difficult because equipment that passively collects cellular signals from the air often cannot decode calls. Active attacks, involving a device called an “IMSI catcher,” may still be able to eavesdrop on individual calls by manipulating a phone’s security settings directly, without having to crack the encryption.

Speaking of spooks, reportedly the FBI has identified a second leaker who, much like Snowden, has been handing "over sensitive documents about the U.S. government's terrorist watch list." Wired's James Brandford had already proposed the existence of a second leaker back in August.

Greenwald tells a visibly excited Snowden about a new source inside the U.S. intelligence community who is leaking documents. Greenwald then scribbles notes to Snowden about some of the details, including one briefly seen about the U.S. drone program and another containing a reference to the number of Americans on the watch list.

"The person is incredibly bold," Snowden says. Replies Greenwald: "It was motivated by what you did."

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