The Null Device

The information panopticon

A Californian reader of the subversive/paranoiac news site Unknown News recently noticed that his expensive broadband connection was unusually slow; he did a traceroute to another Californian site, and found that his traffic was routed through a US Government machine in Virginia. More experiments revealed that this was the case for all of his traffic.

The questions this raises are: (a) would there be an innocent explanation not involving surveillance (such as network balkanisation and/or everything going through a central interchange; isn't MAE East in Virginia, for example?), (b) if it is a surveillance operation, how plausible is it that the author's subversive and potentially un-American reading habits contributed to the rerouting? If he has a fixed IP address, they could filter packets by it, of course; if not, it may be the result of a Middle Eastern-looking flight student, or a Green Party activist, using his ISP?

There are 1 comments on "The information panopticon":

Posted by: mike farahbakhshian Mon Jan 27 17:34:45 2003

MAE east is in virginia, and I live within walking distance of it. But govenrment machines shouldnt be routing. However Herndon is an area of big backbones/colos, and "government systems division" doesnt necessarily mean a fed.

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