FBI developing 'Enhanced Carnivore'

The FBI is still developing its Carnivore Internet surveillance tool, according

to FBI documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center through

a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The FBI is creating "Enhanced Carnivore" under a contract that runs

through 01/that calls for the development of two new versions of the

system, David Sobel, general counsel at EPIC, said Oct. 19.

The documents, released to EPIC on Oct. 2, are the first of several

installments that EPIC expects to receive as a result of its FOIA lawsuit

over the controversial Carnivore system, whose legality is being investigated

by the Congress and questioned by privacy advocates.

The documents show that a possible feature of future versions will be

interception of voice-over-IP communications, a technology commonly used

to make phone calls using the Internet. However, much of the details about

the new features were redacted, Sobel said.

The documents also clarify Carnivore's capabilities beyond e-mail surveillance,

such as the system's ability to extract packets that contain information

about the Web sites an individual views and "presumably anything that is

being communicated," Sobel said.

Carnivore has been used by the FBI in at least 25 criminal and national

security investigations, according to the FBI, which maintains that the

system is legal.

EPIC filed the FOIA lawsuit after the FBI earlier this year revealed

the existence of Carnivore. The lawsuit seeks the public release of all

FBI records concerning Carnivore, including the source code, other technical

details and legal analyses addressing the potential privacy implications

of the technology. The source code of the Carnivore system was withheld

in the first batch of documents.

The FBI has said it has 3,000 pages of material related to Carnivore

in its files. It has agreed to disclose records to EPIC every 45 days. The

next installment is expected in the middle of next month.

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