FBI Using Net-Snooping Systems Against Criminals

FBI Using Net-Snooping Systems Against Criminals
Posted by FoM on May 05, 2001 at 17:13:37 PT
By D. Ian Hopper, Associated Press 
Source: Union Tribune 
The FBI has used Internet eavesdropping tools to track fugitives, drug dealers, extortionists, computer hackers and suspected foreign intelligence agents, documents show.The documents, obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act, also detail how the FBI scurried last year to prove it wasn't "randomly looking at everyone's e-mail" once its Web surveillance practices came under attack.
The FBI records show the agency used its controversial Carnivore system 13 times between October 1999 and August 2000 to monitor Internet communications, and a similar device, Etherpeek, 11 times.Carnivore is a set of software programs for monitoring Internet traffic -- e-mails, Web pages, chat-room conversations and other signals -- going to or from a suspect under investigation. Etherpeek is a commercially available network-monitoring program that is far less precise in filtering the information collected.Civil liberties groups contend that Carnivore can collect too much information and put ordinary citizens at risk. Some Internet service providers have raised concerns that since Carnivore's inner workings are secret, it may damage or slow their networks while it's capturing e-mails.While large portions of the FBI documents are blacked out to protect national security and investigative secrets, they reveal new details about the agency's Internet surveillance program.In January 2000, for example, FBI agents got a wide-ranging order to use a computer wiretap in a gambling and money-laundering investigation. The wiretap was successful, according to an e-mail to Marcus Thomas, head of the FBI's cybertechnology lab."We got bank accounts, where money was hidden and other information," reads the e-mail from an unknown agent. "Some of the data sent . . . was instrumental in tying several of the conspirators to the crime. One of the conspirators is offering to pay . . . as part of a plea bargain."The following month, FBI investigators used Carnivore to catch a fugitive for the U.S. Marshals Service. The Internet provider involved protested in court, but was ordered to cooperate.The 24 instances of Internet surveillance also included four investigations of computer hacking, three drug probes, one extortion investigation and an intellectual-property case. The nature of the other cases was not disclosed. The FBI has said that Carnivore has been used in investigations involving national security and attempted domestic terrorism.E-mails between FBI agents show how determined the bureau was to justify Carnivore's existence.In July, the Tampa, Fla., field office sent an e-mail to other agents, including Thomas at the FBI lab, offering a slide show explaining how a militia group used the Internet to communicate.The group's leader pleaded guilty and was sentenced last year for planning to break into military facilities to steal explosives and blow up energy facilities in Southeastern states."This might be used to show why Carnivore is necessary and essential for law enforcement to combat terrorism," reads the e-mail from an unspecified Tampa agent.Complete Title: FBI Using Net-Snooping Systems Against Wide Variety of CriminalsSource: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author: D. Ian Hopper Published: May 5, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. Contact: letters Website: Articles:FBI's Carnivore Gets a Thumbs Up Papers, Please... Carnivore Under Seige CannabisNews Search - Carnivore: 
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Comment #3 posted by Rambler on May 06, 2001 at 20:35:20 PT
try it is one of the sites that seems to behave ina peculiar way.It takes a long time to load,and if you try to stoploading,it is ignored.Perhaps it is just due to alot of content,orthe server.I still think web surveilance is very widespread.Just think about how fast they can trace hackers.Obviously theyknow alot more than anyone thinks they know.The public is notallowed to know how much they know for reasons of "nationalsecurity".Most of the carnivore type programs are confidential,and considered top secret.The people who supply the governmentwith these program are not allowed to disclose them to the public.Paranoia is not necessarily a bad thing,in fact,if you find out youwere right,it's a wonderful thing.
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Comment #2 posted by Dopestar on May 06, 2001 at 17:11:46 PT
You aren't totally paranoid
In general, many of those signs 'might' indicate that some sort of filter is being used, but it also depends on how much content is on a given webpage, your hard drive might be spinning because your computer has to store alot of information, and it's retrieving it, but any website can gather details from your computer as long as they have the correct software/scripting for the job.
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Comment #1 posted by Rambler on May 06, 2001 at 04:51:41 PT
Is it just me?
Has anyone else noticed,or am I an alarmist paranoic?My theory is that carnavore type programs are WAY morewidely used by well obscured divisions of,cia,fbi,nsa..I thinkthat there are certain sites,that seem to take an unusually longtime to load,and your hard drive starts spinning,and your computerignores a "stop loading" command. I think that there are numerousprogram out there,that can suck most the entire contents,or info on your hardrive,while you are sitting there thinking that this page istaking a long time to load.Perhaps I'm losing it.
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