NSA dubs Linux forum a home for terrorists

National-Security-Agency--008US spooks have classed an open source Linux forum alongside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban and is targeting its visitors for special treatment.

The Linux Journal is a happy place where weirdy beardy types can get together to discuss the Linux operating system and slag off Microsoft.  IT is the go-to site for headlines like “How YARN Changed Hadoop Job Scheduling” and “rc.local, Cron Style”.

It turns out that NSA has a programme called XKEYSCORE which decides which traffic to keep indefinitely. XKEYSCORE uses specific selectors to flag traffic, and the article reveals that Web searches for Tor and Tails software.

It is something that the Linux Journal has run a number of articles on because it helps to protect a user’s anonymity and privacy on the Internet.

According to DasErste.de which found the XKEYSCORE source code, and if you look closely at the rule definitions, you will see linuxjournal.com/content/linux* listed alongside Tails and Tor. This means that the NSA considers Linux Journal an “extremist forum”,

This means that merely looking for any Linux content on Linux Journal, not just content about anonymizing software or encryption, is considered suspicious and means your Internet traffic may be stored indefinitely.

Ironically it means that the best way to peruse the Linux Journal is to use Tor, which actually does look jolly suspicious and might flag a response from a curious NSA.