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Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82173 06/05/04 07:37 PM
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From today's edition of the NY Times

Page1

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Page 2

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Quote:
The Internet's Wilder Side
By SETH SCHIESEL

Published: May 6, 2004

"Mr. Bierman and other I.R.C. developers and administrators said that they were contacted by federal law enforcement officials fairly often. Mr. Bierman said that he sometimes cooperated in helping the government track down specific people using I.R.C. to wage major attacks. He added, however, that he had refused government officials' requests to build a back door into his I.R.C. software that would allow agents to monitor I.R.C. more easily.

"Basically the F.B.I. is interested in the best way to monitor the traffic,'' Mr. Bierman said.

Mr. Kulstad of the Justice Department declined to comment on its specific contacts with the I.R.C. community."


While this article in question does not specifically make any mention of Khalid being contacted or therefore actively participating with law enforcement authorities I think given the article and the mention of the FBI requesting IRC authors to build backdoors into their clients, that it should be discussed as to whether or not Khalid has been contacted and/or if he is participating with law enforcement when it comes to coding updates to mIRC... Again this isn't an allegation, however, given the article I think there is a valid concern for an official answer..

Note from moderator: I fixed your links so they wouldn't widen the page.

Last edited by d00dman; 07/05/04 02:27 PM.
Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82174 06/05/04 08:18 PM
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First, to make it absolutely clear, this is not an official answer of any description merely what I think....

I highly doubt that Khaled would ever put such a thing in mIRC. I also highly doubt that if he ever did, it would remain undiscovered - with the millions of people that use mIRC I find it hard to believe that none of them would have discovered some sort of odd behaviour in mIRC and not informed the whole world of it. Look at the "Exploit" in 6.14 smile

I'm sure Khaled would co-operate if necessary if such an organisation contacted him to certain limits. In myself (perhaps I'm too trusting?) I am 100% sure that Khaled has not done this to mIRC, and does not intend to - ever. Everyone knows he's a peace lovin' veggie (and I've spoken to people online who've met him IRL and they confirm this grin) - doesn't sound like someone who'd do such a thing. mIRC is way too publiscised and popular to get away with such a "scam".

Whilst I'm sure the NYTimes themselves are a trustworthy source, I have no idea who "Mr. Bierman" is and from the description of "server software" it sounds more like he's an IRCd developer and not an IRC client developer. It would be easier (and probably more legal) to keep track of things that go through the server (such as private message queries, channel messages etc.) than it would be to get away with backdooring an IRC client.

I also believe it is illegal to infect an IRC client (or any program) with something which would break privacy laws, although I hope that doesn't spark some law debate whereby people quote the jurisdiction of all these different countries and the "Rights of privacy" on the Internet etc. etc. etc....and despite the media hype which has made the FBI out to be some sort of top secret terrible organisation that are all cloak and dagger (re: X-Files) I'm sure a lot of the departments are very average and have very few resources to cover any sort of crime up and many, many restraints. Not saying such organisations don't hold any secrets, we all know they do (i.e. CIA, KGB, MI5/6 etc.) but I highly doubt it relates to this wink

So, as the FBI are there to uphold the law, they probably wouldn't break it to do so - as if it was ever uncovered (and with such reports as this it would be/has been) it couldn't go to court in most countries. Speaking of, you have the whole debate abour IRC being a global activity and different countries having different laws, and the FBI having absolutely no jurisdiction over what goes on in them....the whole discussion could go on and on like an energizer bunny (and probably will do) but it's all been said before. </rant>

My 2 cents.

P.S. As I doubt you typo'd 3 times, you might like to know his name is Khaled :tongue:

Regards,


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82175 06/05/04 08:46 PM
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Appreciate the correction in regards to the spelling of Khaled's name. grin

I understand your point, in that it would be much easier to view traffic from a network standpoint rather than a client standpoint however, from experience in life one might say it's always better to be safe rather than sorry. wink

Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82176 06/05/04 08:50 PM
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Well mIRC is developed in Britain so the FBI have no authority over it whatsoever. Even if any kind of 'chat tracking' was put into a client as high profile as mIRC without being explicitly stated that it contained such 'features' I'm almost certain beyond any doubt that it would breach some form of law and would leave mIRC Co. Ltd. wide open for lawsuits. Fortunately in Britain the government isn't quite so far ahead in it's ability to circumvent all basic privacy rights in the War Against Terror™.

In short: I'd bet £10,000 that there's nothing remotely like that in mIRC (if I had £10,000 that is), and even if it ever were it would no doubt be discovered within hours of being released, you simply can't hide that kind of tracking.

'IRC developers and administrators' is far more likely to mean the developers and administrators of the IRC daemons and IRC networks themselves. From the server side you could monitor all IRC traffic over that server without any indication whatsoever to the users so it's from there that any government agency would do it's tracking.


Spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and stupid comments are intentional.
Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82177 07/05/04 08:36 AM
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By Starbucks Mafia: Well mIRC is developed in Britain so the FBI have no authority over it whatsoever.

Quite correct, and something that newpapers and some websites need to learn. The FBI is like any national crime authority in that they only have jurisdiction in their home nation, despite the fantasy world some journalists live in where the FBI seem to be able to do whatever they like.

That said, I am with all sentiment here and believe that mIRC doesn't and won't ever contain backdoors or spyware or any other weird things that the end user won't know about until it's too late. If it ever did I would be the first such user to delete it and get something else or if that idea was fruitless I'd go without the power of scripting and just write a simple client myself.


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82178 07/05/04 04:39 PM
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Nothing like a bit of FBI-nudging towards another country to get their law enforcements to do something. Saying they have no power is well.. a bit absurd.


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82179 07/05/04 05:15 PM
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In my opinion, that is as absurd as the RIAA forcing Internet Service Providers to hand over a list of users downloading pirated material. Regardless of a persons geographical location.

The FBI just likes to flex their muscles at other countries to get them to do something. I say the FBI should stick to their own internal problems rather than external...but that's just how I think. As long as the internet exists, so will the few problems that come along with it...

FBI is short for "Fools Bulls****ing Idiots" case in point...look whos in the white house....

Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82180 07/05/04 06:14 PM
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Yep, exactly. Sadly one persons absurdity is another's profit-making-idea.


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82181 07/05/04 08:27 PM
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Bingo!

Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82182 08/05/04 12:32 AM
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I like your latest signature.


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82183 08/05/04 03:29 AM
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Thanks! smile It's getting a bit difficult to think up a witty line LOL. Plus I tried to make it sound better but I only have 200 characters to work withl smile

Last edited by The_Game; 08/05/04 03:30 AM.
Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82184 08/05/04 05:43 AM
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Personally I think the people involved in making mIRC and IRC happen did a great job. There are some people who may commit bad deeds however I think in this case the good deeds outweight the bad. I don't believe it was the mIRC was made under the intention of being a tool for illegal file sharing.

Either way mIRC/IRC has given me much fun over the past few years.

Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82185 13/05/04 12:25 AM
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CIA?


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82186 13/05/04 08:12 PM
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I look at it like this if he is working along with the FBI and there was a back door into the program I really think in matter of hrs some one will find it.Also I dont have anything to hide other than I download stuff so its not worry for me at all



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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82187 13/05/04 08:34 PM
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"Also I dont have anything to hide other than I download stuff so its not worry for me at all"

What do you mean by you "download stuff"? If you're downloading mp3s/movies/software/etc, then you would have something to worry about, as downloading such material is illegal. It's also not what mIRC is meant for, aswell as a good way to get a virus.

On the other hand, if you're just getting picture/text files from a friend, then you wouldn't have much to worry about.

Regards,


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82188 13/05/04 09:01 PM
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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82189 14/05/04 04:27 AM
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The thing that bothers me is that this is true.

The FBI is actively approaching writers of IRC and Email and HTTP and FTP clients and servers, offering them tax incentives if they add "compliance" to their software. This includes breakable encryption and access point weaknesses.

The FBI isn't as stupid as it was in '97-'99; trying to pass bills mandating this into law. Instead, they are going directly to software authors with cash money (in the form of tax breaks), using hacker technique and deniability (oh, that was just a bug).

Just look at any public records from the 90's and you will see how urgantly concerned they were about their technological capability to spy on people. Don't think for a minute that they've just given up and decided to do something else. This is what they DO.

Know that the FBI doesn't inform you that you are being monitored. If you are being monitored and engague in questionable activities without caution, expect something to become of it. Don't expect that Carnivore ended with SMTP... the laws which enable Carnivore to exist also permit the FBI to monitor all TCP communication for red-flag words and phrases. Warrants are not required now to investigate someone.

This post has been read by an FBI agent.


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Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82190 14/05/04 08:05 PM
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Take off your tinfoil hat. The FBI can't be arsed to wade through every single internet post ever made in search of suspicious or "red-flag" words. I'm sure that because this board is so popular that there is an agent assigned to look through it occasionally, but I wouldn't worry too much about it.

Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82191 14/05/04 10:25 PM
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If you're worried about the FBI putting backdoors into your IRC client, you've got bigger problems on your hands.

Unless you're using the (rarely used) SSL feature in mIRC, everything you say is sent clear-text. You'd better worry about the people running the 30 routers between you and the other person monitoring your communication.

This is why everyone says 'don't give out personal info'- because it goes through about 100 people to get to its destination.

If you're so paranoid that you're worried about backdoors, perhaps you shouldn't be on the internet. smile

Re: Khalid working with FBI on mIRC? #82192 14/05/04 11:55 PM
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Guess what... people dont wad-through internet traffic.. COMPUTERS DO! And they don't complain much either. Just as routers have to read and process the headers of every packet that passes through, the FBI's machines simply read and process the bodies of every packet that passes through.

Don't let people who wear tin-foil hats, stand in the way of your vigilance for freedom. We're not talking about aliens here... we're talking about a corporate for-profit entity who earns an income by arresting and charging people for copyright violation and conspericy, among other things. We're talking about people who electronically monitor all modes of communication in the name of Homeland Security. So don't go alien bashing privacy concious individuals.

If only the FBI would IPO and allow us buy stock.


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