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ATS: FBI abandons Carnivore

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posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 11:31 AM
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The FBI is abandonning the use of proprietary software used to spy on internet usage and emails, instead choosing to switch commercial software. Carnivore (now called DCS-1000) reportedly cost $6 - 15 million dollars, although the FBI has refused to give exact figures. The FBI initially said that no commercial software was available when they were beginning this initiative in 2000, thus they were required to develop Carnivore in house. The FBI is now also requesting help from internet service providers to supply them with audits on users when requested.
 



edition.cnn.com
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.

The FBI performed only eight Internet wiretaps in fiscal 2003 and five in fiscal 2002; none used the software initially called Carnivore and later renamed the DCS-1000, according to FBI documents submitted to Senate and House oversight committees. The FBI, which once said Carnivore was "far better" than commercial products, said previously it had used the technology about 25 times between 1998 and 2000.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Another waste of money by the FBI and Bush administration. If commercial software wasn't out there in the beginning, then of course they would have had to either build it in house, or contract out for a product. However, that much money for a glorified sniffer? It seems a little pricey to me. I'd sure like to see a breakdown as to what money was spent for what in developing this software.


[edit on 19-1-2005 by Banshee]




posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 12:37 PM
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I'm actually suprised it didn't cost more considering the govenment made it. I couldn't find any links, but Im fairly sure that most commercial computer games would cost somewhere around $1 million (can anyone verify?)



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 12:54 PM
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Carnivore was actually retired about two years ago. Here's some info on why it was created.


The FBI created the Carnivore tool around 1999 to create a more privacy-protecting way to conduct Internet surveillance. At that time, commercial surveillance tools were not very protective of privacy; private sector companies have broader surveillance rights than the government, which meant that there was no incentive for private companies to use privacy-sensitive tools when they needed to moinitor their network. The FBI was finding that in rare cases, ISPs could not execute court orders on their own and insisted that the FBI itself had to conduct court-ordered surveillance itself; when it did, FBI agents found that no commercially-available real-time surveillance tools (known as "sniffers") were sufficiently privacy-protective for the FBI to be comfortable using it given the legal constraints it faced. The FBI's response was to order its tech people to try to improve the filtering technology of commercial tools. The FBI came up with better filter technologies that could ensure that no over-collection would occur.


Fake Carnivore Debate

Thus, the need for Carnivore. It actually protects privacy better than other tools. And how is the Bush administration involved in wasting money? Carnivore was developed under the previous administration. Most likely, terminating the Carnivore program was an internal FBI decision, so any blame rests solely on the agency.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 01:15 PM
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Originally posted by ColonelForbin
I'm actually suprised it didn't cost more considering the govenment made it. I couldn't find any links, but Im fairly sure that most commercial computer games would cost somewhere around $1 million (can anyone verify?)


Most new games have the same budget as a hollywood movie. Much higher than just 1 mill.



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by Kidfinger

Originally posted by ColonelForbin
I'm actually suprised it didn't cost more considering the govenment made it. I couldn't find any links, but Im fairly sure that most commercial computer games would cost somewhere around $1 million (can anyone verify?)


Most new games have the same budget as a hollywood movie. Much higher than just 1 mill.


Yeah too true. Remember Enter the Matrix? 60 Million dollars sunk into that horrible game... makes me wanna



posted on Jan, 19 2005 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by eaglewingz
Carnivore was actually retired about two years ago.



Makes sense - that's about when "Red Sheriff" trackers started popping up everywhere I went. ....Red Sheriff grew huge inside of a year on US government contracts.




Here's some info on why it was created.


The FBI created the Carnivore tool around 1999 to create a more privacy-protecting way to conduct Internet surveillance. At that time, commercial surveillance tools were not very protective of privacy; private sector companies have broader surveillance rights than the government,



Ahhhh. Clinton created Carnivore for the exact same reason Bush dropped it -
Carnivore actually protects privacy...

Well. You learn something every day, dontcha?



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posted on Nov, 23 2005 @ 05:51 AM
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Here's an old link from 2000 for a video recording of the FBI explaining Carnivore at a NANOG meeting.

videolab.uoregon.edu... (file is 382MB, not safe for 56K.)

That software is well done, so scary how easy it is nowadays to do the same with free software, but I'm not suggesting you doing it because I care about my privacy.

[Edit: Oops, I realized the mpg file is gone. I still have the file on disk, if you know where I could upload 382MB, I would be glad to share the goods.]


[edit on 23-11-2005 by ufia]



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