Date Sat, 15 Jul 2000 07:59:26 +0800

[: hacktivism :]

apologies for fwding to those who may already know of this, but i thought
it interesting given the JEDII discussion of late.

>Big Brother Is Reading Your E-Mail
>Tuesday, July 11, 2000
>By Patrick Riley
>You're not paranoid. Big Brother really can read your e-mail.
>For a little more than a year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been
>using a computer system code-named Carnivore to read the e-mails of
>suspected criminals, the FBI said Tuesday.
>Carnivore can scan millions of e-mails a second, and FBI agents have
>praised its crime-fighting power, but privacy advocates say the machine
>scares them because it could let the government spy on all online
>activities, from e-mail to banking and shopping.
>The FBI revealed the system two weeks ago to "a roomful of astonished
>industry specialists," the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The FBI
>says it has used the new snooping device in 45 to 50 criminal cases, mostly
>to track hackers, but also in counter-terrorism and drug-trafficking cases.
>Carnivore, an off-the-shelf PC, is so named because it is designed to get
>at "the meat" of sought-after information. Agents take the machine directly
>to the offices of an Internet service provider (ISP). There they leave it
>in a locked cage, typically for about 45 days, making daily visits to
>retrieve captured data  e-mail sent to or from a suspect.
>Like the more common phone tap, Internet taps must be authorized by court
>Is Carnivore Too Hungry?
>Critics say Carnivore gives the Feds too much access to private information.
>"This is more of a vacuum-cleaner type approach  it apparently rifles
>through everything," David Sobel, general counsel for the Electronic
>Privacy Information Center, told "It's potentially much more
>invasive than telephone surveillance."
>Carnivore in theory could process all the e-mail that passes through the
>ISP  not just messages sent to or from the suspect. Critics say that's
>like snooping on all the phones in a neighborhood to zero in on one phone.
>One unidentified ISP put up a legal fight against Carnivore early this year
>but lost, according to the Journal.
>The FBI says Carnivore is used much more surgically than that and only
>reads the e-mail of the target  and that messages belonging to those not
>being probed, even if criminal, would not be admissible in court.
>"The volume of e-mail in a location is generally fairly small, and being
>managed by a small number of e-mail servers on a fairly low-speed network,"
>said Marcus Thomas, chief of the FBI's cyber technology section. "The
>system is not unlike "sniffers" used within the networks every day."
>But Sobel likened Carnivore to Russia's surveillance system, called "SORM,"
>which all Russian ISPs are required to install in order to facilitate
>government snooping.
>He also compared it to Echelon, the U.S. National Security Administration's
>system, which intercepts telecommunications transmissions from around the
>world and sifts through them for keywords that could describe illegal
>The American Civil Liberties Union was drafting a letter to Congress
>Tuesday demanding an investigation, an ACLU spokeswoman said. Sobel agreed
>that Congress should hold hearings on Carnivore to "ask some questions and
>get some answers," he said.
>"Carnivore is really the latest indication of a very aggressive stance that
>the Bureau is taking in collecting as much information as technically
>possible," he said.
>FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said law-abiding citizens would be protected,
>not violated by Carnivore. "Anytime we develop a system, we're basically
>balancing the interests of national security against that of the privacy of
>the public," he said. "This issue's always gonna come up, we're always
>gonna get questions, we understand that."
>Bill D'Arcy
"Can't drink the water in Sydney, can't eat the food in Japan, can't
breathe the air in Los Angeles, but a million people think they can!"
 -- Frenzal Rhomb
icq me!  1628014

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