Is the NSA Reading Your E-Mail? (Schneier on Security)

Richard M Smith has some interesting ideas on how to test if the NSA is eavesdropping on your e-mail.

With all of the controversy about the news that the NSA has been monitoring, since 9/11, telephone calls and email messages of Americans, some folks might now be wondering if they are being snooped on. Here’s a quick and easy method to see if one’s email messages are being read by someone else.

The steps are:

1. Set up a Hotmail account.
2. Set up a second email account with a non-U.S. provider. (eg.
3. Send messages between the two accounts which might be interesting to the NSA.
4. In each message, include a unique URL to a Web server that you have access to its server logs. This URL should only be known by you and not linked to from any other Web page. The text of the message should encourage an NSA monitor to visit the URL.
5. If the server log file ever shows this URL being accessed, then you know that you are being snooped on. The IP address of the access can also provide clues about who is doing the snooping.


Thanks, Juey!