Fwd: GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back

david at gbenet.com david at gbenet.com
Thu Aug 21 15:19:46 CEST 2014

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- -------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back
Date: 	Wed, 20 Aug 2014 18:02:21 -0400
From: 	Free Software Foundation <info at fsf.org>
Reply-To: 	Free Software Foundation <info at fsf.org>
To: 	david cooper <david at gbenet.com>

Dear david,

GNU community members and collaborators have discovered threatening details about a
five-country government surveillance program codenamed HACIENDA. The good news? Those same
hackers have already worked out a free software countermeasure to thwart the program.

According to Heise newspaper
the intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New
Zealand, have used HACIENDA to map every server in twenty-seven countries, employing a
technique known as port scanning. The agencies have shared this map and use it to plan
intrusions into the servers. Disturbingly, the HACIENDA system actually hijacks civilian
computers to do some of its dirty work, allowing it to leach computing resources and cover
its tracks.

But this was not enough to stop the team of GNU hackers and their collaborators. After
making key discoveries about the details of HACIENDA, Julian Kirsch, Christian Grothoff,
Jacob Appelbaum, and Holger Kenn designed the TCP Stealth
<https://gnunet.org/kirsch2014knock> system to protect unadvertised servers from port
scanning. They revealed their work at the recent annual GNU Hackers' Meeting
<https://www.gnu.org/ghm/> in Germany.

You can view a video announcing the discovery on fsf.org. Please be sure to share this with
everyone you know who cares about bulk surveillance.

We must fight the political battle for an end to mass surveillance and reduce the amount of
data collected about people in the first place
<https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/surveillance-vs-democracy>. On an individual level we have
to do everything we can to thwart the surveillance programs that are already in place.

*No matter your skill level, you can get involved at the FSF's surveillance page

Ethical developers inside and outside GNU have been working for years on free software that
does not keep secrets from users, and programs that anyone can review to remove potential
vulnerabilities. These capabilities give free software users a fighting chance against
surveillance. Now, our community is turning its attention to uncovering and undermining
insidious programs like HACIENDA. Free software and its ideals are crucial to putting an end
to government bulk surveillance.

*Share this news with your friends, to help make people aware of the importance of free
software in fighting bulk surveillance.*

/Jacob Appelbaum of the TCP Stealth team gave a remote keynote address at the FSF's
LibrePlanet conference this year. Watch the recording of "Free Software for freedom:
Surveillance and you."

Libby Reinish and Zak Rogoff
Campaigns Managers

/You can view this post online

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<https://fsf.org/blogs/RSS> | Join us as an associate member <https://www.fsf.org/jf>

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