Friday, September 23, 2005

NSA Patent Can Locate Internet Users

Computers & Earth
World Peace Herald

     WASHINGTON -- Internet users thinking they can hide anonymously may soon get an awakening.

      On Sept. 20 the United States awarded patent 6,974,978. The patent was filed on December 29, 2000 by Stephen Mark Huffman and Michael Henry Reifer, with the assignee being United States of America as represented by the director of the National Security Agency.

     According to the patent's abstract, the invention is a "Method for geolocating logical network addresses on electronically switched dynamic communications networks, such as the Internet, using the time latency of communications to and from the logical network address to determine its location.

      "Minimum round-trip communications latency is measured between numerous stations on the network and known network addressed equipment to form a network latency topology map. Minimum round-trip communications latency is also measured between the stations and the logical network address to be geolocated. The resulting set of minimum round-trip communications latencies is then correlated with the network latency topology map to determine the location of the network address to be geolocated."

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