Papers Contradict FBI on Carnivore

From Agent Smiley <>
Date 30 Nov 2000 00:57:46 -0000

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Subject: [CTRL] AP: Papers Contradict FBI on Carnivore
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 20:19:57 -0700

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Papers Contradict FBI on Carnivore

.c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI says its e-mail surveillance tool known
as Carnivore is used only for narrow purposes, but recent tests
show it could capture all communications that go through an
Internet service, according to bureau documents.

The documents also reveal the price of Carnivore's precursor,
called Omnivore. A 1997 FBI memo states that the bureau requested
more than $2.3 million to develop Omnivore.

Privacy experts worried Friday about the breadth of Carnivore's
capability and questioned why the FBI conducted such a test five
months ago if it does not intend to use the tool in that fashion.

``That really contradicts the explanation that the FBI has
provided as to the purpose of the system and how it works,'' said
David Sobel, general counsel for the Washington-based Electronic
Privacy Information Center.

``We've been led to believe that the purpose of Carnivore is to
filter and pinpoint the particular communications that the FBI is
authorized to obtain.  If that's true, then why are they testing
the system's ability to store and archive everything?''

Sobel's group recently obtained the FBI documents as part of
litigation it brought under the Freedom of Information Act.

In the lab report, FBI officials said Carnivore ``could reliably
capture and archive all unfiltered traffic to the internal hard
drive'' and could save the information on removable high-capacity
disks as well.

Marcus Thomas, head of the FBI's cybertechnology section, told
The Associated Press the test was done only to check Carnivore's
``breaking point.'' He said the tool would not be used to capture
broad swaths of Internet communications in a real-world

Thomas was among FBI agents who approved the lab report.

``Certainly, in operation, you could set the filters up to do
nothing'' and allow everything into the tool, Thomas said. ``But
our procedures are very detailed. We'll only do what we're
allowed to in a court order.''

The difference of opinion is the latest in what has become a
debate about Carnivore's capabilities and its use.

While law enforcers admit Carnivore can capture much more than
e-mail, including Internet chats and Web browsing, FBI officials
insist it is used only for copying e-mail to or from a criminal
suspect in accordance with a court order.

Opponents say the ``black box'' nature of the system keeps the
public from knowing what it can really do, and its installation
at an Internet provider may cause network problems.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center started receiving
batches of Carnivore-related material in October, after a court
ordered the FBI to release the information.

EPIC representatives said they have received about 550 pages so
far, and expect to get only about 30 percent of the 3,000
documents related to Carnivore. Most of the release documents
have large portions blacked out.

The documents also include a question-and-answer section about
``Enhanced Carnivore,'' the next generation of the tool. But it
is censored so heavily that no useful information can be gleaned
from it.

FBI officials say Carnivore has been used in about 25 cases, most
involving national security.

Congress considered several measures this year to rein in
Carnivore, but none survived. Lawmakers have said that they may
consider action again next year.

An independent review of Carnivore was ordered by Attorney
General Janet Reno, and the report was due to be received Friday
by the Justice Department, Justice spokeswoman Chris Watney said.

Watney said the report is expected to be released to the public
early next week, after it is edited to eliminate references to
Carnivore's internal blueprints and other sensitive material.

On the Net: Electronic Privacy Information Center:

Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Department of Justice:

AP-NY-11-18-00 0101EST

Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.

              Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh, YHVH, TZEVAOT

                      *Michael Spitzer*  <>
   The Best Way To Destroy Enemies Is To Change Them To Friends

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Any election in which only two individuals are allowed exposure is, by
definition, a fraud.  We are an occupied nation.

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