On Mon, Sep 08, 2003 at 09:55:41PM +0000, David Wagner wrote:
> Trei, Peter wrote:
> >Why the heck would a government agency have to break the GSM encryption
> >at all?
> Well, one reason might be if that government agency didn't have lawful
> authorization from the country where the call takes place.
> (say, SIGINT on GSM calls made in Libya)
        Just to amplify this a bit, does anyone seriously think the
NSA's satellite and embassy based cellphone interception capability is
primarily targeted against - US - GSM calls ?   Or that they can
routinely get warrants to listen in using the wired tapping
infrastructure in say Russia or France or Iran ?

        And for that matter would you want the US government to grant
the Mossad or GCHQ or other allied spy agencies the right to ask for and
use CALEA wiretaps within the US on targets of interest only to THEM who
might well be law abiding US citizens minding their own business (at
least more or less) and not subject to legal US wiretaps ?

        It is true that POLICE (eg law enforcement) wiretaps can be
mostly done with CALEA gear (and should be to ensure they aren't done
when not authorized by a suitable warrant), but national security and
intelligence wiretaps are a completely different kettle of fish,
particularly overseas.

        And this says nothing at all about the need for tactical
military wiretaps on GSM systems under battlefield conditions when
soldiers lives may depend on determining what the enemy is saying over
cellphones used to direct attacks against friendly forces.

   Dave Emery N1PRE,  [EMAIL PROTECTED]  DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass 02493

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