FBI forks over first Carnivore documents
- By Jennifer Jones
- Oct 04, 2000
A privacy group anxious to sink its teeth into the FBI's Carnivore program
was disappointed Monday after the agency withheld large portions of the
documents describing the FBI Internet monitoring program.
Large chunks of material had been blacked out, and Carnivore's source
code was missing, said officials at the Electronic Privacy Information Center
in Washington, D.C.
EPIC filed a lawsuit this summer against the FBI for not turning over
documents related to the system. Carnivore, used for counterterrorism purposes,
sniffs through e-mail flowing through Internet service providers. Consequently,
it has created a furor among privacy groups.
The documents EPIC did receive showed that the Carnivore system has
been used to intercept voice-over-IP data, according to the documents, which
also detail performance and recovery incidents.
EPIC vowed to litigate further to get the FBI to turn over missing documents
and Carnivore source code. The group claims that about 200 pages were kept
entirely out of the material and that twice that number of pages had been
EPIC receieved this first round of Carnivore material after the FBI
was forced by a federal judge to comply with the group's Freedom of Information
FBI officials told U.S. District Judge James Robertson that the agency
had 3,000 pages of material that would fall under the EPIC request, but
FBI officials provided no timeline for handing over that material, according
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