NEWS: FBI 'Carnivore' glitch hurt al Qaeda probe
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Thread: NEWS: FBI 'Carnivore' glitch hurt al Qaeda probe

  1. #1
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    Cool NEWS: FBI 'Carnivore' glitch hurt al Qaeda probe

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Glitches in a controversial FBI system to monitor the e-mail of suspected criminals likely hampered an investigation of al Qaeda two years ago, according to internal FBI documents released Tuesday.

    According to memos obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, FBI investigators threw out the results of an e-mail wiretap in March 2000 because the system, commonly known as "Carnivore," collected electronic messages of regular Internet users as well as the target of the probe.

    While the target was blacked out in the memo, the FBI unit in question was charged with monitoring Osama bin Laden, said David Sobel, the EPIC lawyer who obtained the documents under the Freedom of Information Act. Washington blames bin Laden and his al Qaeda network for the September 11 attacks that killed about 3,000 people.

    "The FBI software not only picked up the e-mails under the electronic surveillance of the FBI's target ... but also picked up e-mails on non- covered targets.

    The FBI technical person was apparently so upset that he destroyed all the e-mail take," said an unidentified supervisor in an April 5, 2000, memo to M.E. "Spike" Bowman, the FBI's associate general counsel for national security issues.

    The documents do not imply the FBI could have prevented the September 11 attacks, but they do highlight problems with the implementation of Carnivore, Sobel said.

    "This shows that the FBI has been misleading Congress and the public about the extent to which Carnivore is capable of collecting only authorized information," he said.

    An FBI official declined to comment.

    Developed to intercept the e-mail and other online activities of suspected criminals, Carnivore has come under fire from lawmakers and civil liberties groups who say it is too invasive.

    FBI officials have told Congress the system captures only a narrow field of information for which interception is authorized by a court order.

    The documents showed Carnivore had occasionally grabbed the e-mail messages of other Internet users, especially when set up to work on unusual e-mail systems.

    "Encountering nonstandard implementation has led to inadvertently capturing and processing data outside the Order of Consent," says one memo from an FBI field officer.

    Source: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/05/28/att...eut/index.html

  2. #2
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    Perhaps I misunderstand how the thing works, but how hard can it be to check the to and from fields in an e-mail and filter accordingly?

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    lol.. probably some programming error occured.. hmm sometimes i get the feeling that MS made this software.. LMAO..

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    i don't believe it.

    i think our reaction to this is supposed to be:

    "what they had info on obl and let it go because innocent email was captured, well lets just make it ok for them to capture anyones email"
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    Originally posted here by Tedob1
    i don't believe it.

    i think our reaction to this is supposed to be:

    "what they had info on obl and let it go because innocent email was captured, well lets just make it ok for them to capture anyones email"
    That could make an argument, yes. But, I don't think that the general public, would allow that to happen IF they knew that they where considering it. But who knows, people are stupid.
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    yep we may get some "patriots" or "anti-terrorism" fanatics that would say "its ok! you can capture our e-mail so we can help to stop terrorism!" and if this was done thru a vote.. i won't be surprised if someone voted for "yes! probe us!"

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