March 2006

Talk: Matt Blaze on “Signaling Vulnerabilities in Law-Enforcement Wiretap Systems”

For folks local to the Bay Area, Prof. Matt Blaze is speaking next week at Stanford on vulnerabilities in the systems currently being used by law enforcement for wiretapping. The talk is at 4:15PM next Wednesday, 3/8/06 at Stanford University’s HP Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B01.

Signaling Vulnerabilities in Law-Enforcement Wiretap Systems
Matt Blaze, University of Pennsylvania

Telephone wiretap and dialed number recording systems are used by law enforcement and national security agencies to collect investigative intelligence and legal evidence. This talk will show how many of these systems are vulnerable to simple, unilateral countermeasures that allow wiretap targets to prevent their call audio from being recorded and/or cause false or inaccurate dialed digits and call activity to be logged. The countermeasures exploit the unprotected in-band signals passed between the telephone network and the collection system and are effective against many of the wiretapping technologies currently used by US law enforcement, including at least some “CALEA” systems. Possible remedies and workarounds will be proposed, and the broader implications of the security properties of these systems will be discussed.

A recent paper, as well as audio examples of several wiretapping countermeasures, can be found at

This is joint work with Micah Sherr, Eric Cronin, and Sandy Clark.

(Thanks to Mort for the link!)

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We have to protect our content…

DocBug exclusive: Anheuser-Busch, the owner of the popular American beer brands Budweiser and Bud Light, is suing the Disney-owned ABC television network for copyright violation after ABC’s broadcast of ads for the two beers during this year’s Superbowl. In a statement, Anheuser-Busch lawyers said the fact that the disputed segments were ads for their own products did not excuse ABC’s behavior, nor did fact that Anheuser-Busch had paid $26 million to have them aired. “We have to protect our content,” explained one executive.

ABC executives said they could not comment on ongoing litigation, but that they were considering filing a similar suit against themselves for the broadcasts of ads for Desperate Housewives and Lost during the game.

(Thanks to Wendy Seltzer for something resembling the link.)

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