Steven Den Beste has a very interesting article on the possibility that Raed Rokan Al-Anbuge, arrested on March 25 in New York City, might have been the author of Where’s Raed, last updated on March 24. I have to admit that I have always been sceptical about the Where’s Raed blog. A gay man in Iraq? I bet that it would be much safer for an Iraqi to be gay and living in New York. Another point that no one has picked up on is that the fact that Raed Rokan Al-Anbuge was the son of an Iraqi Diplomat probably gave him access to the Internet connection at the embassy, that was probably linked back to the Uruklink network.
Considering that network and security engineering is my day job, and I regularly design systems like this I will offer some conjecture here:
1) If Raed Rokan Al-Anbuge was the son of a member of the Iraqi diplomatic mission at the U.N. he may have had access to a dialup network to the mission office in New York.
2) If I ran the office in New York and was as paranoid as the Iraqi leadership appears to have been, then I would not let my people get AOL, MSN or Earthlink accounts, which could be easily monitored by the CIA, NSA, or FBI.
3) I would install a dedicated modem bank for private dialup networking to the New York office, but all of the Internet access would go through a central location in Iraq.
4) My office network in New York would be connected to Iraq (for this example I will assume that Uruklink is the sole Internet provider in Iraq) via dedicated link. If a dedicated link was not possible I would have a point to point hardware based VPN tunnel with encryption between the New York office and Iraq. I would also probably require all of the New York users (LAN or dialup) use a CheckPoint SecureRemote VPN connection.
In the example above a dialup user would get an IP address out of the Uruklink space regardless of location. If a private network addressing scheme was used then everyone would appear to the Internet to be coming from one Uruklink address.