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Carnivore / DCS1000
The US is under fire to reveal the details of DCS1000 (aka Carnivore)

(Note: The FBI originally tried to push this program past the House of Representatives as a diagnostic tool) (no kidding).
Ed. Note: Well, it appears that carnivore has successfully been pushed out of the limelight by simply renaming it the DCS1000 - we've found little to track its progress, but we are following as closely as we can.

What is Carnivore?
FBI Presentation
How it works

FBI cans Carnivore
"Carnivore, the FBI's controversial surveillance program that monitors e-mail and chat rooms, has been swept aside by newer, more effective technology, leaving some privacy experts to question if congressional oversight has kept pace with software advances. In fiscal 2002 and 2003, bureau officials did not use Carnivore, according to FBI reports submitted to Congress and obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center through a Freedom of Information Act request. The bureau is increasingly going directly to Internet service providers, said Paul Bresson, an FBI spokesman. "Our preference has been for the ISPs to conduct the intercepts," Bresson said."
Full story - FCW
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Feb 7 08:40:06 EST 2005

Carnivore gone - but it's not dead
"Commentary -- Robert Corn-Revere clearly remembers the day he became the first person to tell the world about the FBI surveillance system once known as Carnivore."
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Jan 31 17:22:18 EST 2005

FBI cans controversial surveillance tool
"The FBI has all but retired its controversial e-mail wiretap system, formerly known as Carnivore, turning instead to commercially available software, according to two recently released reports to Congress. The monitoring system, which was developed to intercept e-mail and monitor other online activities of suspected criminals, was not used in fiscal years 2002 and 2003, according to reports obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center under the Freedom of Information Act."
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Jan 19 08:58:06 EST 2005

FBI Tosses Carnivore to the Dogs
"The FBI has effectively abandoned its custom-built internet surveillance technology, once known as Carnivore, designed to read e-mails and other online communications among suspected criminals, terrorists and spies, according to bureau oversight reports submitted to Congress. Instead, the FBI said it has switched to unspecified commercial software to eavesdrop on computer traffic during such investigations and has increasingly asked internet providers to conduct wiretaps on targeted customers on the government's behalf, reimbursing companies for their costs."
Full story - Wired
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Jan 19 08:12:06 EST 2005

EPIC Obtains FBI Reports to Congress on Carnivore
"Through the Freedom of Information Act, EPIC has obtained FBI reports to Congress stating that the agency did not use its DCS 1000 Internet monitoring system -- formerly known as Carnivore -- during fiscal years 2002 (pdf) and 2003 (pdf). According to the reports, the FBI used commercially available software to conduct court-ordered surveillance twelve times during the two-year period. The reports suggest that the FBI's need for Carnivore-like Internet surveillance tools is decreasing, likely because ISPs are providing Internet traffic information directly to the government."
Full story - EPIC's Carnivore Page
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Jan 14 14:13:14 EST 2005

The Technology of National Security
"... In this modern day, law enforcement and intelligence communities rely heavily on computer technology to identify, monitor and react to both known and perceived threats. This technology renders the government capable of receiving broad access to the personal information of its people. The British micro-plane concept provides only one illustration. In recent years, considerable information has surfaced regarding the development of powerful spy software by various governments. As a direct result, a growing number of individuals and advocacy groups are claiming that the use of this technology infringes on their right to privacy. Ultimately, the issue is one of competing interests in national security and privacy.... This article will identify the major spy programs that have fueled this debate in America and other countries around the globe. It will additionally highlight key events that led to the development of these programs. The following sections will set forth the particular characteristics of each program as well as the public reaction that each has garnered."
Full story - TechNewsWorld
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Apr 27 21:00:32 EDT 2004

FBI's Carnivore in action?
"A man now faces felony charges for e-mailing a threat to expose weaknesses in Best Buy's computer system unless the company paid him $2.5 million. The interesting thing, though, is a federal search warrant allowed the FBI, with Best Buy's cooperation, to use an IP address verifier that "contained a program that automatically sent back a response to Best Buy after the company sent a message to the e-mail address," says a Minnesota Star Tribune here. ... Federal investigators got into it after security officials at Best Buy contacted federal authorities about the demands, says the report. The Minnesota CyberCrime Task Force also took part in the investigation, as did America Online and Netscape, Internet service providers.... However, as a Timothy's slashdot post asks here, "Is this Carnivore in action?""
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Jan 8 13:16:57 EST 2004

Anti-virus device raises privacy fears
"A new device with potential to fight increasingly damaging computer viruses is worrying privacy advocates. The tool, developed by Washington University computer scientist John W. Lockwood, can monitor computer networks as much as 16 times faster than current scanning tools. The company marketing the machine, St. Louis-based Global Velocity, acknowledges that law enforcement and intelligence agencies are interested in the device, although it has yet to be sold. Privacy advocates say that such a device could drastically enhance the ability of government agents to spy on citizens, if misused."
Full story - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Anonymous

Big brother is watching
"The government increased online surveillance as it implemented technologies such as Carnivore and Echelon. Carnivore was responsible for tracking down terrorist activities and detaining 400-500 suspects immediately following the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Despite the programs' occasional flaws in mistaking implicating an innocent person, it is still better to exhaust all possibilities than to miss one. The writers of the Constitution probably did not foresee a land full of machines that can send messages from coast to coast in seconds. Nor did the idea of foreign terrorists wreaking havoc on the soon-to-be-built cities and civilizations ever cross Ben Franklin's mind. Post-9-11 America is a whole new scenario."
Full Story -
Submitted by Oakie

Feds raid orchid-grower's home
"He is still recovering from the encounter. Norris, 65, and his wife, Kathy, who live at 24407 Pine Canyon Drive, own Spring Orchid Specialties. "I import orchids from all around the world and have been doing it more than 25 years," he said... At 10 a.m. Oct. 28, he said, three pickup trucks pulled into his driveway, and six people, five men and one woman, got out. All of the men were wearing body armor and carrying sidearms. Four of them came to the front door and two went to the back. When Norris answered the front door, one of the men identified himself as a special agent with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior. "They serve me with a search warrant, they sit me in a chair in my kitchen, tell me not to move out of the chair," Norris said. "They read me my Miranda rights, then tell me I'm not under arrest, but I can't leave that chair.... Norris said he believes his troubles may stem from FWS's use of CARNIVORE, a government system that can tap into computer e-mails. "They showed me page three of a five-page e-mail from several years ago where I was being offered smuggled plants," he said. "They did not show me pages four and five, which were my answer to this fellow, telling him we would not buy any such plants that were undocumented. This was so old that I don't even remember this e-mail. "Well, they went down and convinced the judge to give them a search warrant.... ""
Full story - The Courier
Submitted by Oakie

Anti-Attack Feds Push Carnivore
"Federal police are reportedly increasing Internet surveillance after Tuesday's deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Just hours after three airplanes smashed into the buildings in what some U.S. legislators have dubbed a second Pearl Harbor, FBI agents began to visit Web-based, e-mail firms and network providers, according to engineers at those companies who spoke on condition of anonymity. An administrator at one major network service provider said that FBI agents showed up at his workplace on Tuesday "with a couple of Carnivores, requesting permission to place them in our core, along with offers to actually pay for circuits and costs.""
Full story - Wired

Bush to propose requiring ISPs to monitor Net
"The official compared the system to Carnivore, the Internet wiretap system used by the FBI, saying: ``Am I analogizing this to Carnivore? Absolutely. But in fact, it's 10 times worse. Carnivore was working on much smaller feeds and could not scale. This is looking at the whole Internet.''"
Full story - SiliconValley

FBI's Carnivore-lies may have blown bin Laden inquiry
"Fundamental design flaws in the FBI's infamous Carnivore packet sniffer have led to the destruction of evidence related to a suspect possibly involved in Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network which had been obtained legally under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, the watchdog group EPIC has learned."
Full story - The Register

Confounding Carnivore: How to Protect Your Online Privacy
"Ever since the FBI confirmed the existence of their Internet wiretapping device - a device which they named Carnivore - cyberprivacy activists have been up in arms. Carnivore promised to be their worst nightmare: a technology that could track and record every email sent, every Web page browsed, every chat room visited."
Full story - Alternet

FBI Seeking to Wiretap Internet
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking to broaden considerably its ability to tap into Internet traffic in its quest to root out terrorists, going beyond even the new measures afforded in anti-terror legislation signed by President Bush Friday, according to lawyers familiar with the FBI's plans."
Full story - Fox News

FBI takes the teeth out of Carnivore's name
"Carnivore now goes by the less beastly moniker of DCS1000, drawn from the work it does as a "digital collection system." The investigative agency built the tool to monitor the Internet communications of suspects under its surveillance, but the system, housed on computers at Internet service providers, also can collect e-mail messages from people who are not part of an FBI probe."
Full story -

"Carnivore, Altivore, Echelon - Three big names in the world of network monitoring.
Carnivore does not work like a single-phone line wiretap; it must be installed on the public Internet where it filters through many otherwise uninvolved people's data to get to the subject(s) of interest. Inevitably, the best location in the USA for a system like Carnivore is inside the data center of a large Internet Service Provider (ISP). Not all ISPs are thrilled with this arrangment, however."
Full story - Computer Networking

FBI Testimony to the U.S. Senate concerning the Carnivore "Diagnostic" Tool
"By now, it has become common knowledge that terrorists, spies, hackers, and dangerous criminals are increasingly using computers and computer networks, including the Internet, to carry out their heinous acts. In response to their serious threats to our Nation, to the safety of the American people, to the security of our communications infrastructure, and to the important commercial and private potentialities of a safe, secure, and vibrant Internet, the FBI has responded by concentrating its efforts, including its technological efforts and resources, to fight a broad array of Cyber-crimes."
Full text - FBI

FBI's Carnivore hunts in a pack
"Carnivore, the FBI's controversial e-mail snooping program, is part of covert surveillance triad known inside the bureau as the "DragonWare Suite," according to recently declassified documents. The documents also outline how the DragonWare Suite is more than simply an e-mail snooping program: It's capable of reconstructing the Web surfing trail of someone under investigation."
Full story - ZDNet

Other resources on Carnivore:
  • First Year Statistics under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act
  • Google this site
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