Forwarded from: bob <bobat_private> http://www.newsfactor.com/perl/printer/17009/ Whatever Happened to Carnivore? By Jay Lyman NewsFactor Network April 1, 2002 Sobel said EPIC and other organizations are keeping pressure on the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI to disclose exactly what law enforcement officials are doing with Carnivore. Its name may have changed from Carnivore to DCS-1000, but the controversial cybersnooping software used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still on the hunt for information, and likely is scouring vast amounts of Internet communication. In fact, Carnivore probably is chomping on more data than ever as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the United States. Following those events, it was widely reported that the FBI installed its e-mail snooping program on several Internet service provider (ISP) networks around the nation. But a recent court order may mean that more information will be revealed about how Carnivore works and what it is being used for, according to privacy advocates. After all, while a majority of people may now be more willing to come under government scrutiny in the name of security, civil libertarians say their concerns that the snooping software threatens privacy have actually heightened since September 11th. Guarded by Government Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) general counsel David Sobel told NewsFactor that acquiring information about the e-mail sifting software has been a long struggle. On March 25th, Washington D.C.-based EPIC won a round in that battle when U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson approved a further search of FBI records on Carnivore. "It looked like something was imminent, then again nothing happened," Sobel said in reference to last year's review of the snooping software by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Sobel added that despite a law passed last year requiring the FBI to report on Carnivore's use, Ashcroft's dismissal of disclosures and discussions was still another letdown in privacy groups' continuing efforts to learn about the software program. Digging Deeper However, Sobel said, EPIC and other organizations are keeping pressure on the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI to disclose exactly what law enforcement officials are doing with Carnivore and how the software, which is reportedly capable of "filtering" e-mail, works. "We're still criticizing, and we're still pursuing our Freedom of Information Act request," Sobel said. "The judge agreed the initial search was not complete, and the FBI has been sent back to do more searching. Now there's a likelihood that our lawsuit will generate more disclosure. I'm hopeful we'll learn more." The FBI has until May 24th to conduct deeper information searches on Carnivore data, including searches in the bureau's offices of General Counsel and Congressional and Public Affairs, Judge Robertson ordered. Willing To Be Watched Still, SecurityFocus incident analyst Ryan Russell said the events of September 11th changed many citizens' minds. "I think there is a lot less concern from the majority of people that they're going to be monitored," Russell told NewsFactor. Sobel argued, conversely, that people know the FBI already had significant abilities -- both legal and technical -- to monitor communication before the attacks. "As time goes on, people are going to realize these agencies had significant powers before September 11th, and it didn't prevent what happened," he said. Let Off Leash? Regardless of whether people approved of its decision, the FBI deployed Carnivore on ISPs across the country after September 11th, according to numerous reports. While EarthLink had resisted Carnivore deployment on its network prior to the attacks, an EarthLink spokesperson told NewsFactor shortly afterward that he assumed every large ISP in the country had been contacted by the FBI and that all of them were cooperating. More recently, however, EarthLink spokesperson Carla Shaw told NewsFactor that the company's cooperation with law enforcement does not mean that Carnivore is scanning the EarthLink network. "Carnivore is not deployed on our network," Shaw said. "We certainly do comply with law enforcement, but we do so in a way that does not compromise our users' privacy." - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
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