FBI Web Monitoring Debated

FBI Web Monitoring Debated
Posted by FoM on July 21, 2000 at 17:31:59 PT
By John Schwartz, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post
Federal Bureau of Investigation officials today gave the news media a look at "Carnivore," the controversial new system it uses to wiretap the Internet. Carnivore looks like just about any system that Internet Service Providers use to monitor activity of their networks. The modified "packet sniffer" program sifts through the stream of data from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to find the senders and recipients of the suspect's e-mail.
FBI officials will testify Monday about Carnivore at a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution chaired by Rep. Charles Canady (R-Fla.).The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, argued that the recent controversy surrounding the technology focuses on a misunderstanding about how it is used. Although the rack-mounted computer that runs the Carnivore program can sample the data stream running through an ISP, it only records those "packets" – the bundles of information that computers break communications into for shuttling around the Internet – that are identified as e-mail to and from the suspect.The fruits of conventional surveillance have to undergo "minimization," so that investigators do not receive information that they are not entitled to. "We believe this is better minimization than we do with headphones on a telephone tap," one official said, because so much of the extra information is excluded before human eyes get to see it.The technology has become necessary, the officials said, because some smaller ISP's do not have the capability to provide the data that law enforcement needs quickly. And even though grabbing standard electronic mail is relatively simple, newer methods of sending and receiving messages, including Web-based mail services like Hotmail and Yahoo mail, present challenges that Carnivore can meet.The system has come under heated attack from Republican leadership in Congress. "Nobody can dispute the fact that this is not legal . . . within the context of any current wiretap law," said House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.).Civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have attacked Carnivore on many grounds. In a July 11 letter to Canady, ACLU officials wrote that "the Carnivore system gives law enforcement e-mail interception capabilities that were never contemplated" in the key e-mail wiretap statute, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Carnivore, the ACLU wrote, "raises new legal issues that cry out for congressional attention if we are to preserve Fourth Amendment rights in the digital age."Carnivore's opponents have argued that the technology, once it is attached to the an ISP's network, could tap all messages – from the suspect and anyone else in the data stream. The ACLU called for the FBI to do away with much of the secrecy that shrouds the program and how it works by releasing the "source code," or original software, that runs it; the groups say that only then can the groups feel that the software does what the FBI says it does. One of the FBI officials said that wouldn't happen, in part because some of the software used is owned by private companies, and also because "people might go to work on how to beat the system – we're not interested in getting into that race."The officials stressed that full wiretaps can only be used after a valid court order, and that even the limited amount of data that the FBI seeks with Carnivore requires a degree of judicial review and a statment by law enforcement that the information is relevant to an ongoing investigation. Abuse of wiretap authority, the official noted, is subject to criminal and civil penalties, and "none of us wants to be part of a conpiracy to misuse these capabilities – this is our job, and not the way we want to leave the FBI."The officials did say, however, that they planned to present the software for examination by a third party, perhaps academic computer science experts, who could judge the system independently.Special Report:Privacy Industry:Internet letterstoed Feedback: John SchwartzWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, July 21, 2000; 1:02 PM© 2000 The Washington Post Company Applause for IE's Cookie Catcher,1367,37703,00.htmlCannabisNews Articles On Carnivore:
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Comment #11 posted by Ross Regnart on December 15, 2000 at 07:48:03 PT:
FBI Target Activists...Again  FREE SPEECH ?
Re: FBI Target Oregon ActivistsI thought you would find interesting this 12/6/2000 UNDERNEWS ARTICLE.It affects law-abiding citizens. AnyoneUNDERNEWSDec 6, 2000THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEWWashington's most unofficial sourceEditor: Sam Smith1312 18th St. NW #502, Washington DC 20036202-835-0770 Fax: 835-0779E-MAIL: news prorev.comWEB SITE: http://prorev.comREADERS FORUM: RIGHT AND LEFTTARGETED FOR PROSECUTIONBY FBI AND POLICE[A remarkable memorandum of understanding between the FBI and the Portland OR police states that the Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force will "identify and target for prosecution those individuals or groups who are responsible for Right Wing and/or Left Wing movements, as well as acts of theanti-abortion movement and the Animal Liberation Front/Earth LiberationFront."]OREGONIAN: A coalition of community activists urged the Portland CityCouncil to rescind its recent support for a joint Portland police and FBItask force on domestic terrorism. The Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force,made up of eight Portland criminal intelligence officers, 12 federal agentsand three other state law enforcement officers, was formed in September toinvestigate "criminal extremist activity." But some community members areconcerned the task force will inappropriately target special-interestgroups. Members of the League of Women Voters, the American Civil LibertiesUnion of Oregon, the Portland chapter of the National Association for theAdvancement of Colored People, Portland Copwatch, the National Lawyers Guild and the Portland Accountability Campaign stood together outside City Hall to call for its demise. They criticized Mayor Vera Katz, who serves as policecommissioner, and the City Council for issuing support for the task forcelast week without public input and wondered why the task force was formedthis fall.The FBI has similar task forces set up in 30 of its 56 divisions nationwide,said Gordon Compton, FBI spokesman in Portland . . . "We want to beproactive and keep these things from happening," Compton said. Much of the community concerns arose from the initial wording of the City Council ordinance. It said the group's mission was to "identify and target for prosecution those individuals or groups who are responsible for Right Wing and/or Left Wing movements, as well as acts of the anti-abortion movement and the Animal Liberation Front/Earth Liberation Front." . . . CommissionerCharlie Hales called the wording "something out of the Nixonadministration." In the adopted ordinance, unanimously approved Nov. 22, thewording was altered to restrict task force activity to the investigation of"criminal terrorism.". . . But those speaking out said the task force's mission is too broad.They are concerned law enforcement will investigate anyone who engages inpolitical activity or associates with an activist group . . . The taskforce's mission statement, signed in late September by David Szady, specialagent in charge of Oregon's FBI, and Portland Chief Mark Kroeker, stillholds that it will identify and target individuals or groups who areresponsible for acts of "criminal terrorism within the traditional criteriaof the Right Wing or Left Wing movements, as well as acts of criminalterrorism committed by special interest groups, such as the anti-abortionmovement and the Animal Liberation Front/Earth Liberation Front."______________________________________________________________________________When Do Demonstrators Become--Terrorists?by, Ross RegnartThe Anti--Terrorist Act of 1996 appears aimed at public dissent: The ACT contains language which can charge law--abiding citizens of being agents or affording support to terrorist organizations: Broadly written--intent to commit terrorist acts is defined: (Appeared To Be Intended Toward Violence or Activities Which Could Intimidate or Coerce a Civilian Population; or To Influence the Policy of a Government). (18USC Sec. 2331): Any picket line or demonstration, alleged by police to have blocked or obstructed public access, could qualify as “Terrorist Activities” to intimidate or coerce a civilian population: Terrorist charges make it possible for police to forfeit attending demonstrators’ homes used for meetings and the vehicles they used for transportation to the event. Concern: Police agencies may selectively charge a person or organization with either a low level offense, or terrorist offense, for the same illegal act: Example: A fist fight between union demonstrators and persons crossing a picket line, can be upgraded by police to charge union members with (Terrorist Activity). The 1996 Anti-Terrorist Act, broadly—redefined “Terrorist Acts as involving any violent act or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state.” The violent or physical act need not cause bodily harm: The Act can be used by police to target any group of persons that would dare demonstrate for or against any issue.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 22, 2000 at 17:28:06 PT
Giving Carnivore a Proper Diet 
Hi Everyone! Here's another article on Carnivore! What a name!Giving Carnivore a Proper Diet By Declan McCullagh 3:00 a.m. Jul. 22, 2000 PDT WASHINGTON -- A pair of prominent cryptographers has some advice for the FBI: Make the Carnivore surveillance system open-source. AT&T Research's Steve Bellovin and Matt Blaze write in a short essay that revealing the innards of the spyware is the only way to make sure Carnivore isn't snacking on more information than it should.,1283,37728,00.html
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Comment #9 posted by fivepounder on July 22, 2000 at 07:48:02 PT
the movement
I agree with Dan. This and all the other drug related sites are having an effect and they are beginning to freak. It seems over the last few years we have quickly made marijuana prohibition as big an issue as it got to be in the late 70's, the last time there was such an opportunity as there seems to be developing now. I would also like to thank those people who make this and the other sites available to disseminate the truth. IT IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE.
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Comment #8 posted by dddd on July 22, 2000 at 02:25:30 PT
I disagree
 Finally,Dan has said something I can disagree with;"This is a bit off track,".I must adamantly,yet respectfully disagree.You are right on track.Were it not for the freedom of expression on the internet,and the work of the people you mentioned,,,things would not be the same. Obviously,those in power have found that,"the free exchange of ideas on theInternet,,," ,quite disturbing,and they will contrinue to gain control over it,until they succeed.They have tried to sneak legistlation through already,and once they do,,nasty little items like this Carnivore,and other such intrusive snooping software/devices,will become vital to their enforcing these laws. I am convinced that there is a campaign to groom the general public acceptance of a government controlled and monitored internet,,by smearing the media with "bug",and "virus" terrorist hacker type stories. You are right on Dan....Dont stop..........dddd 
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Comment #7 posted by Dan B on July 21, 2000 at 22:26:20 PT:
The Importance of What We Are Doing
This is a bit off track, but still related. I have begun to take notice recently of the many major stories that have slowly filtered into the mainstream media as a direct result of groups like Map Inc., MarijuanaNews, DRCNet, NarcoNews, and of course CannabisNews. It used to be that a story related to the drug war was printed--perhaps in a small circulation newspaper, or perhaps in the back pages of major newspapers or magazines--but the stories were quickly forgotten, and the majority of America never heard about them. Thanks to the efforts of the aforementioned organizations and websites, these stories are becoming much more visible and, as a result, the mainstream media can no longer afford to neglect them. I am referring to stories like those about the Methamphetamine Anti-Proliferation Bill and others with similar provisons against our 1st and 4th Amendment rights; those about the anti-drug clause in the latest version of the Higher Education Act; stories about Echelon and Carnivore, systems that seriously undermine our rights to privacy. Would the pro-medical marijuana laws have been passed were it not for the efforts of these organizations and websites? I think not. Would the number of Americans now in favor of legalizing marijuana outright be shifting as dramatically as it is now without these efforts of these groups (the latest data I have seen puts the number slightly above 40% of the population)? I think not. Much has been said about the dramatic changes that are unfolding as a result of the free exchange of ideas on the Internet, particularly with regard to the crumbling of the war on drugs. I wanted to take this opportunity to specifically express my sincere gratitude and respect for the people whose work keeps these websites and organizations afloat. Because of you, we are winning. Thank you.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 21, 2000 at 19:53:58 PT
Got It!
Thanks kapt! I'm watching the page closely because of the new upgrade. So far so good. Upgrades are wonderful but I always keep my eyes watching for any minor problems so I can report them. That's what I was asked to do, so I am! You are a good typer! You must have just had a hiccup or something! LOL!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on July 21, 2000 at 19:32:08 PT:
The fault was mine, FoM
Contrary to what you might think, I am no typist. Thumb-fingered as all h***. So I hit the wrong button. Sorry.
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Comment #4 posted by ComputerScienceGrad on July 21, 2000 at 19:28:06 PT
Spy Vs. Spy
They're peeking into the email protocol, it's almost as if they're using a protocol analyzer or network sniffer, trapping certain information as it comes through, this is old technology, may I recommend using differents email addresses, it's that simple. Remember the internet is state-less, unless they're tracking the IP addresses or certain tags used by your ISP, then try a different ISP or floating IP addresses.These guys appear smart on the surface, they make me laugh when they threaten our freedom, by the way, I was a big smoker in the College days, dean's list. These guys might worry how I did it, they're funny. A bowl a day keeps the cold war freaks away.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 21, 2000 at 18:36:18 PT
What Happened?
kaptinemo,What do you mean you got cut off? If there is something wrong let me know and I'll report it. I'll check back in a little while. Peace, FoM!
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Comment #2 posted by kaptinemo on July 21, 2000 at 18:20:30 PT:
got cut off
When pigs can fly... unassisted, that is.
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on July 21, 2000 at 18:18:28 PT:
I feel so safe and secure...NOT!
The FBI has a long history of trampling on the civil rights of citizens, breaking and entering, illegal wiretapping, etc.See: COINTELPRO'The officials stressed that full wiretaps can only be used after a *valid court order* (emphasis mine), and that even the limited amount of data that the FBI seeks with Carnivore requires a degree of judicial review and a statment by law enforcement that the information is relevant to an ongoing investigation. Abuse of wiretap authority, the official noted, is subject to criminal and civil penalties, and "none of us wants to be part of a conpiracy to misuse these capabilities – this is our job, and not the way we want to leave the FBI."Oh, yes, those pesky little court orders. Did you know tnat there is a secret Federal court which practically rubberstamps(!) such warrants?See: SECRET WIRETAP COURTS, we can *trust* the FBI not to abuse it's powers. They don't have goons trained to kill women holding babies; Ruby Ridge was just a figment of the public's imagination. So was Waco. They don't gas little kids, noooooo! They aren't supporting the nasty little bit of surreptitious domestic invasion called the 'Bankruptcy Bill. Nope, the FBI is above all that.In a bleedin' pig's eye, it is.I'll trust the FBI again when pigs can 
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