Pistol Smith Forum banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Carnivore gets a name change

By Jennifer DiSabatino

Is Carnivore by any other name as menacing?
The FBI hopes not. The government agency has confirmed it changed the name of the controversial, e-mail sniffing software from Carnivore to DCS1000.
The name change was suggested by an independent report <http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/publications/carniv_entry.htm> last year by IIT Research Institute <http://www.iitri.org/home.html> (IITRI), a Chicago-based research group. The report also suggested some changes to the software program itself, as well as careful scrutiny of the monitoring program to prevent abuse.
"We've kind of said back in July that [a name change] was going to be inevitable because, if for nothing else, the technology is going to change. Given, No. 1, it was an unpopular name to begin with," said an FBI spokesman.
The FBI is waiting to announce further changes to the software, pending a review of the report by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The name change is part of the government's attempt to allay fears about the digital monitoring program.
"There will be some changes to Carnivore incorporating the recommendation in the IITRI report," the FBI spokesman said, "Basically, it's just an upgrade of the current version."
While some reports indicate the DCS in the new name stands for "digital collection system," the spokesman said he wasn't certain. "I'm not sure if it means anything. I don't think it stands for anything," the spokesman said, though the 1000 refers to the first version. "This name won't stick forever either," he said, and DCS2000 will probably be released in the not-too-distant future.
Carnivore works by capturing data packets that pass through an Internet service provider (ISP). A box with the Carnivore software is installed at the ISP after agents have obtained a warrant, similar to a wiretap warrant. The software is supposed to be configured to monitor all transmissions coming from and going to a specific Internet Protocol address. That data flows through the ISP in packets, with information intended for other addresses as well.
Privacy advocates have said they're worried that the software could lead to widespread and random surveillance of other e-mail messages Carnivore gets a name change

By Jennifer DiSabatino <mailto:[email protected]>
Is Carnivore by any other name as menacing?
The FBI hopes not. The government agency has confirmed it changed the name of the controversial, e-mail sniffing software from Carnivore to DCS1000.
The name change was suggested by an independent report <http://www.usdoj.gov/jmd/publications/carniv_entry.htm> last year by IIT Research Institute <http://www.iitri.org/home.html> (IITRI), a Chicago-based research group. The report also suggested some changes to the software program itself, as well as careful scrutiny of the monitoring program to prevent abuse.
"We've kind of said back in July that [a name change] was going to be inevitable because, if for nothing else, the technology is going to change. Given, No. 1, it was an unpopular name to begin with," said an FBI spokesman.
The FBI is waiting to announce further changes to the software, pending a review of the report by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The name change is part of the government's attempt to allay fears about the digital monitoring program.
"There will be some changes to Carnivore incorporating the recommendation in the IITRI report," the FBI spokesman said, "Basically, it's just an upgrade of the current version."
While some reports indicate the DCS in the new name stands for "digital collection system," the spokesman said he wasn't certain. "I'm not sure if it means anything. I don't think it stands for anything," the spokesman said, though the 1000 refers to the first version. "This name won't stick forever either," he said, and DCS2000 will probably be released in the not-too-distant future.
Carnivore works by capturing data packets that pass through an Internet service provider (ISP). A box with the Carnivore software is installed at the ISP after agents have obtained a warrant, similar to a wiretap warrant. The software is supposed to be configured to monitor all transmissions coming from and going to a specific Internet Protocol address. That data flows through the ISP in packets, with information intended for other addresses as well.
Privacy advocates have said they're worried that the software could lead to widespread and random surveillance of other e-mail messages
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
A rose by any other name...

Carnivore in theory is a travesty of justice. Carnivore in practice is even worse. We can all do our part to silence the Carnivore.

I suggest encrypting all email. Hushmail is a free, fully encrypted web-based email program. Both sender and recipient must have it for the software to work. You need absolutely no skill to use it. (hushmail.com) This works also to defeat packet-sniffing IT nerds in your office from seeing what you're doing.

If you have your own mail server, and/or some computing experience, I suggest using PGP to encrypt email. It is free and distributed via MIT.edu's web site.

Note: The FBI says they're not reading anyone's mail without permission from the courts. Take the FBI's word for what it's worth.

[email protected] if you want to test it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,420 Posts
oh well...if they "sneak" into your system and log keystrokes to get your passwords, they won't have to do much work beyond that...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Agreed,

That's why I'll never use any Microsoft OS. Too hard to do account logging, and too easy to do whatever you feel like doing to it. If I'm "important" enough for them to be looking at anyway, I'd not be using any electronic medium for commo. Also, if admins are any bit sharper than a bowling ball they'd use expiring accts, check logs, and actually read security reports generated by their systems. This is just plain impossible on any of the buggy, insecure "product" MS produces. I'll not be naive about the capabilities of the alphabet soup agencies however, see above.

I'm just trying to point out the fact that *not* encrypting emails is like opening your snail mail and then leaving it out on the sidewalk, that's all.

Would you opt not to use secure, encrypted communications (SSL) while making an on-line credit card transaction just because someone could possibly be looking? Didn't think so.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top