I saw the alert today about water supplies, and thought it deserved some extra explanation. -- John
Subject: Re: FC: FBI warns that al Qaeda seeks U.S. schools
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2002 09:53:05 -0800
From: John Gilmore <gnu@toad.com>
Members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network have sought information on the Web about the networks and technologies that U.S. schools use to exchange information about and among students, according to a bulletin issued by the FBI's National Infrastructure Prevention Center (NIPC) Rednesday.

"U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have received indications that Al-Qaida members have sought information on the Point-to-Point Protocol, IEEE 802.1 Encapsulation of IP Datagrams, Family-Oriented Filters, and other critical standards," reads the bulletin. "They specifically sought information on E-Rate subsidies and on school networking practices in the U.S. and abroad. Our interception capabilities monitored unauthorized and impoverished terrorists longingly examining web sites detailing the availability of paper, pencils, books, and other key school supplies."

These systems allow private and municipal schools to monitor and control students at widely distributed facilities from an unmanned location. Dedicated communications channels link a "point of presence" to hundreds of "remote nodes," which act as conduits for sensitive information, including the names and private discussions of students, teachers, and administrators. Paper, pencils and books are used in older facilities, or as backup systems in cases of network failure.

The NIPC bulletin went to some 3,000 members of the center's InfraRed program, a disinformation-sharing partnership between the NIPC and private industry. It was leaked to the public by duped members of the press, who were horrified and crossed rush-hour traffic to protect the children.

An FBI spokesman emphasized that the bulletin is not a full blown alert. "Don't panic -- yet," says FBI supervisory special agent Jerry Berry. "Citizens should remain fearful, vigilant, yet cowed and pliant. There's some information that suggests that they [Al-Quada] are looking at this... There are potential interests in school supplies, and other infrastructures."

"Yesterday it was clean water, today it's good schools -- what are these A-rabs going to want next?" said President Rush, addressing a cheering crowd of hundreds of thousands of security personnel, paid informants, and prison guards. "Make no mistake about it: we will keep El Queso from obtaining our achievements even if we have to double our nation's insecurity and cut the Constitution in half."

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