[Cryptography] Comey: targeted ads => plaintext access

Tom Mitchell mitch at niftyegg.com
Thu Sep 17 16:52:31 EDT 2015

On Sun, Sep 13, 2015 at 1:42 PM, Henry Baker <hbaker1 at pipeline.com> wrote:

> FYI -- Leaving aside Constitutional & political considerations, & focusing
> purely on technical issues, doesn't the FBI's Comey have a point?  If an
> email provider can target ads based upon keywords in the plaintext of your
> emails, why can't the FBI have access to the same plaintext?
> <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_English>

In fact he just made a point that searching for keywords and inserting ads
based on an email service is problematic
and needs to be legislated away.  Hillary's email server... does the ISP
have license to look at traffic in passing
and target content for the host.  Lots of yoga mats for sale...  snoop
email then target content for the browser.

Consider how advertisements work and how industrial and international
espionage can work.
By buying a set of words via a proxy or agency a competitor can look inside
secret or confidential communications.  No need for a wire tap or physical

All worthy marketing programs have metrics and even trackable hot links.
A marketing program that ostensibly targeted at a list of "code words" can
reach into
an organization in interesting ways.

Consider the impact of buying the words listed here:
I might be able to discover contractors and others involved in
products and programs of interest to me and others.

Consider, if Apple purchase magic word sets they use internally and then map
the pull of images to geography and companies to establish grounds for
Consider if Apple bought words they believed Samsung was using internally.
For the TLAs there is possibly enough for a FISA warrant which might be
For IBM spying on Apple not so good.
For Halliburton spying on the French company Total S.A. the answer
is troubling and has international implications.

A defense, reverse it and use a set of words that map to products.  If too
many of these
products show up then it is "proof" that a common carrier is snooping.

Here are some defensive words I might use:
gorgeous hair color with Clairol
L'Oréal, world leader in beauty: makeup, cosmetics, haircare, perfume.

  T o m    M i t c h e l l
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