Justice shops for Carnivore review
- By Bryant Jordan
- Aug 28, 2000
Executive summary of the Carnivore solicitation
The Justice Department has officially begun shopping for a university to
conduct an independent technical review of Carnivore, the e-mail bugging
The request for proposals was posted on the department's World Wide
Web site Aug. 23, and Attorney General Janet Reno said proposals are due
"I plan to have a final decision on a university by Sept. 15," Reno
said during a Justice Department press conference Aug. 24. "We are committed
to having an independent technical review complete by Dec. 1."
Reno said the process will ensure a level playing field among universities
with an interest in conducting the review.
Since the public learned of Carnivore in early July, members of Congress,
privacy advocates and civil liberties organizations have expressed serious
concerns over its use and potential for abuse.
The request for proposals notes some of the concerns, including that
the system could provide investigators with more information than legally
allowed by a court order or be used for unlawful invasions of privacy.
FBI officials say the system typically is used to capture only very
specific e-mails and targets only the "to" and "from" lines of an e-mail
message. But officials say the bureau can and has used the system to capture
entire e-mail messages.