(network)technologies used by NSA for data collection

Martin T m4rtntns at gmail.com
Sun Mar 22 02:05:35 UTC 2015


Hi,

I watched "Citizenfour"(imdb.com/title/tt4044364/) documentary and at
41:12 Edward Snowden gives a brief overview of some of the leaked
documents to journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill. At 42:57
Snowden mentions devices which are able to collect data at rate of
1Tbps. This was in 2011. Screen-shots from the movie can be seen here:
https://nsa.gov1.info/dni/2014/tumult.jpg Third slide looks like some
sort of vendor product roadmap :)
Just out of curiosity, what kind of equipment those might be? Is it
realistic that NSA/DoD are able to produce their own hardware? Let
alone custom silicon like Cisco or Juniper are. Or do they use off the
self hardware.. In addition, it's relatively easy to install a passive
fiber optical tap for a submarine cable, but how do you get
information out of it? I mean all the different wavelengths(CWDM/DWDM)
within the same cable, line rates(up to 100GigE), circuit switched and
packet switched technologies which those devices should support.. In
addition, how(bandwidth and network wise) to transport this data to
data analysis and storage equipment if it collected far away from
USA..
Some of those questions or thoughts might be naive and stupid, but
that's what crossed my mind when I watched the documentary. Maybe
somebody, who has done more research in this field, could clarify.



thanks,
Martin


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