New Zealand Spy Agency To Vet Network Builds, Provider Staff
Patrick W. Gilmore
patrick at ianai.net
Tue May 13 21:52:58 UTC 2014
On May 13, 2014, at 17:47 , Tony Wicks <tony at wicks.co.nz> wrote:
>> Cc: NANOG list
>> Subject: Re: New Zealand Spy Agency To Vet Network Builds, Provider Staff
>> I didn't see the NSA telling us what we had to buy are demanding advance
>> approval rights on our maintenance procedures.
> Try to get approval to land a submarine cable onto US soil using Huawei DWDM
> kit and then come back to us.
Hey, now, that's not fair. The NSA is just doing what any large player who dominates their space does - try to block out the competition!
Copy/pasting from a friend of mine (he can out himself if he likes):
- But while American companies were being warned away from supposedly
untrustworthy Chinese routers, foreign organisations would have been
well advised to beware of American-made ones. A June 2010 report from
the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is
shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives or intercepts routers,
servers, and other computer network devices being exported from the US
before they are delivered to the international customers.
- The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the
devices with a factory seal, and sends them on. The NSA thus gains
access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully
observes that some "SIGINT tradecraft is very hands-on (literally!)".
- Eventually, the implanted device connects back to the NSA. The report
continues: "In one recent case, after several months a beacon
implanted through supply-chain interdiction called back to the NSA
covert infrastructure. This call back provided us access to further
exploit the device and survey the network."
- It is quite possible that Chinese firms are implanting surveillance
mechanisms in their network devices. But the US is certainly doing the
- Warning the world about Chinese surveillance could have been one of
the motives behind the US government's claims that Chinese devices
cannot be trusted. But an equally important motive seems to have been
preventing Chinese devices from supplanting American-made ones, which
would have limited the NSA's own reach. In other words, Chinese
routers and servers represent not only economic competition but also
Makes you proud to be an UH-mer-e-kan, dunnit?
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