Privacy SOS

Spies, cops, and corporate ‘security’ profiteers to gather in Washington

On September 11, the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, thousands of spies, police officers, prosecutors, and surveillance profiteers will gather in Washington D.C. for a spying technology extravaganza known as ISS World Americas. On its website, the event organizers describe ISS World Americas as 

the world’s largest gathering of Americas Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, Defense, Public Safety and other members of the Government Intelligence Community as well as Telecom Operators responsible for cyber threat intelligence gathering, DarkNet monitoring, lawful interception and cybercrime investigations.

ISS World Programs present the methodologies and tools for Law Enforcement, Public Safety and Government Intelligence Communities in the fight against drug trafficking, cyber money laundering, human trafficking, terrorism and other criminal activities conducted over today’s Telecommunications networks, the Internet and Social Networks.

In other words, ISS World Americas is where US and Latin American cops and spies go to exchange tips and learn new tricks about how to conduct electronic surveillance. It’s also where corporations go to hawk their wares to an industry worth billions of dollars a year, and growing.

While the conference claims to instruct in “lawful interception” techniques, the conference’s agenda at a glance includes a number of sessions about mass surveillance. Among them:

  • “Recognizing Traffic Data and digital profiling”
  • “Understanding ISS Product Deployments in Telecommunication Networks for Lawful Interception and Mass Surveillance”
  • “Introduction to Wirelines and IP Infrastructure and Related ISS Products for Lawful Interception and Mass Surveillance”
  • “Understanding Mobile Wireless Infrastructure, and Related ISS Products for Lawful Interception and Mass Surveillance”
  • “Understanding the Internet Over-the-Top (OTT) Services and Related ISS Products for Lawful Interception and Mass Surveillance”
  • “Demystifying the Dark Web through Automated Data Monitoring, Collection, and Intelligence Production”
  • “Delivering a National Scale Data Intelligence Capability”

The conference also features a number of sessions on law enforcement hacking:

  • “Defeating Network Encryption: What Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Community Needs [sic] to Understand,” in which agents will learn how to counter the widespread use of encrypted messaging systems like WhatsApp and “defeat network encryption including cellular, Wi-Fi, MITM attacks, IT intrusion and more.”
  • “IP Address Resolution—Breaking the Anonymity of Network Address Translation”

Other sessions cover topics like undercover online investigations, cell phone surveillance and data exfiltration, cryptocurrencies, the surveillance implications of 4G/5G signaling replacing SS7, and the anonymizing web browser Tor. Former Tor executive director Andrew Lewman is set to deliver a talk on Tor, in which he’ll discuss, among other things, what law enforcement can do to “counter TOR 2.0.”

Law enforcement, military, and intelligence officials can attend the conference for $1,295. 

© 2017 ACLU of Massachusetts.