It seems that detecting whether your internet messages are going through an ATT/NSA data collection point is easier than anyone imagined.

On any PC, go to your RUN window and type tracert followed by your destination website (for example, I┬átyped tracert Sure enough, by hop 6 my packet moved from Seattle’s Comcast network to ATT San Francisco, home of the infamous room 641A – NSA’s listening post in the ATT building there.

See the full story on this at Wired’s 27B Stroke 6 blog.


Under the carte blanche of the so-called “War on Terror”, a carte blance which has a seemingly infinite sweep of coverage, you can now consider your activities in social networks like MySpace to be scrutinized as well, according to an article in the June 9 online edition of New Scientist entitled “Pentagon Sets Its Sights On Social Networking Websites“.

According to Paul Marks, who wrote the piece, the NSA isn’t satisfied with the results of their massive telephone eavesdropping campaign and is looking to “connect the dots” through the much richer information source of online social networks. As Marks puts it, “Clusters of people in highly connected groups become apparent, as do people with few connections who appear to be the intermediaries between such groups. The idea is to see by how many links or “degrees” separate people from, say, a member of a blacklisted organisation.”

For an excellent analysis, read Dana Boyd’s NSA Spying on Digital Publics article.