Thought the FBI's 'Carnivore' surveillance system was bad?

27 comments

Looks like the FBI has adopted a new invasive Internet surveillance technique (sounds painful doesn't it?) that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed.

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Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.

Isn't that what we always think Google is doing? :)

Quote:
"What they're doing is even worse than Carnivore," said Kevin Bankston, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who attended the Stanford event. "What they're doing is intercepting everyone and then choosing their targets."

Carnivore was the name of the system implemented by the FBI which was basically "Internet wiretapping" except in this case, e-mail, surfing, etc are being tapped instead of phone conversations. Supposedly Carnivore was abandoned in 2001 but it looks like this new system takes it to a new level..

ZDNet coverage

Comments

Remember the good ole days...

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Stop Jerking Your Knee

The law you quote came after years of war and a huge military death toll fighting to secure those rights for Americans in the first place.

3000+ dead in 9/11,
250 dead in the Beiruit barracks bombing, and
1000's of dead had had we not thwarted the London plane plot.

Are those the 'good ole days' you want to return to? The U.S. has been under continuous attack in one form or another by Islamic nutcases since 1979. C'mon man, there's a reason it's "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and not "the pursuit of happiness, libert and, if possible, life".

I live in the U.S. and have family here - I worry far more about a terrorist attack on Silicon Valley than I do about 'Carnivore' and evil FBI intentions.

You've read one too many conspiracy novels IMO.

Fear Vs. Freedom

Let’s see; ben Laden and al-Qaeda were the creation of the CIA to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein was placed in power by the CIA and given the gas and training by the U.S.A., Gen. Noriega and Gen. Pinochet were both graduates of the School of the Americas as were the death squads throughout Latin America, General Suharto was armed and backed by the U.S.A. in murdering a third of the population of East Timor, democracy was overthrown by the CIA in Iran for the dictator Shah of Iran, Hitler was backed by several companies of our Presidents secret society; Skull and Bones, including both of his grandfathers. I could go on and on but the point is who is it to really be afraid of? Our government and the corporate media have lost all faith with me in their ability to tell the truth.

My family has been here for over 250 years and my grand dad fought in WW1, my dad in WW2, and I am a Vietnam veteran. I fought for the freedom of the honest, hard-working folks of all races that really built this country with their blood and sweat and not for the corporate conglomerates backing spoiled little rich kids that now run our government and their fearful followers. As Mark Twain said; “Loyalty to your country always, loyalty to your government when it deserves it.”

"The right of the people to

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Quaint quote, dont it come from some old forgotten document?

as a reminder, the FBI

as a reminder, the FBI admits there is no hard evidence connecting the cave-dwelling, dialysis-machine-bound bin laden to 911. also, the alleged hijackers who flew the two planes into two buildings that caused three buildings to fall have been reported to be alive.

former uk environment minister michael meacher said it best: the war on terror is bogus.

9/11 and 7/7 truth really is the key, once we accept that the web of lies crumbles and we can fix up our society.

life over liberty, shorebreak?

"Those who would trade freedom for security deserve neither"

I live in the U.S. and have

I live in the U.S. and have family here - I worry far more about 'Carnivore' and evil FBI intentions than I do about a terrorist attack on Silicon Valley.

The law you quote came after

Quote:
The law you quote came after years of war and a huge military death toll fighting to secure those rights for Americans in the first place.

That amendment you speak of has been a staple of our country since its inception. Shall we do away with the 1st amendment too? These things are so outdated, right?

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3000+ dead in 9/11,
250 dead in the Beiruit barracks bombing, and
1000's of dead had had we not thwarted the London plane plot.

Since 9/11/2001

450,000 alcohol related deaths
2,400,000 tobacco related deaths
204,000 gun related deaths

I don't see us revoking any amendments to solve those.

Quote:
I live in the U.S. and have family here - I worry far more about a terrorist attack on Silicon Valley than I do about 'Carnivore' and evil FBI intentions.

I live in Chicago and worry more about a drunk driver or gun toting mugger than a terrorist attack (call it the statistical junkie in me). But I would never endorse the abolishment of alcohol or guns.

We should be fighting terrorism vigorously. But removing the freedom and rights of citizens for this fight is hypocritical to the entire cause of what we are fighting for.

I live in the U.S...

I live in the U.S. and have family here - I worry far more about 'Carnivore' and evil FBI intentions than I do about a terrorist attack on Silicon Valley.

I second that.

Meanwhile, on the jingoist flag-waving front:

The U.S. has been under continuous attack in one form or another by Islamic nutcases since 1979. C'mon man, there's a reason it's "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and not "the pursuit of happiness, libert and, if possible, life"

Ah, what spoon-fed rhetoric we Americans so easily digest in our new culture of fear. Reminds me of the following quote, by Hermann Wilhelm Göring:

Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

C'mon man, wake up and smell the profit being made via a public duped into subsidizing a continual state of military emergency.

Please check out "Why we Fight" on YouTube.

Seriously?

Who the hell fears a terrorist attack in the Silicon Valley? You should worry more about a downturn in the real estate market. It will affect your life much more directly and drastically. Voluntarily reduced freedoms aside, of course.

Retort Sport

KidMercury - you're smart, but I don't care because you're wrong. Bin Laden confessed, and either unforced confessions are just that, or law is wrong. From your blog I'd say you may well think anarchist thoughts, but cynically-bred conspiracy theories put you on the outside of rational conversation looking in, and I don't care to join you.

Andy - I'm certainly not feeling like FBI monitoring of internet activity abridges *my* freedom, are you? Should you care to either a)investigate the substantial, acknowledged limitations on the use of that data; or b)come to know first-hand the collective integrity of the FBI in protecting American citizen's interests, you'll find your quote to be as inappropriate to this topic as I did. Lastly, if business is warfare by other means, then can't legitimate link-building be seen as relatively diabolical in its unilateral assumption of control over human attention? Shouldn't there be, as Seth Goldstein suggests, in a "public open infrastructure for routing attention".

Jon - to each his own, but I'd venture to guess your imagination will fail you in devising specific, realistic scenarios in which *during your lifetime* you or any other American citizen will suffer at the hands of the Boogie Man, I mean the eeeeevil FBI intentions. I, on the otherhand, along with tens of millions of experts, academics and laypersons can imagine quite readily that if WTC was targeted in 2001, other symbolic centers of American power are likely to be in the future. After all, Bin Laden and his lieutenants have said so themselves.

The Esteemed Mr Turner - For one, American laws exist among Americans who freely or by birth enter into a social compact whose laws are the code. War, on the other hand, is a frequently necessary way to deal with those irrespectful of what we in the Western world consider the universal rights of mankind. Those rights having been stomped upon from within on 9/11 by non-citizens using our physical and virtual freedoms against us, it should neither surprise, nor concern us that the American govt is using warlike surveillance to try to detect and pre-empt further internal attacks from non-citizens. Your cynical appeal to tradition aside, I still trust our govt to do what's right, as they by and large did in all past dealings with foreign operatives on U.S. soil.

As for your second point, I gave up smoking 45 days ago and don't own a gun so I'm with you there. Joking aside, you're being careless in your relativism. I'm just as scared of drunk drivers or pedophiles running over one of my 3 boys, but outlawing alcohol or penises is not practical nor within the law. HOWEVER, I think I know how you would vote if a scientist came up with sensors on stop lights that could 'smell' alcohol and triangulate it to a passing vehicle. You would vote 'yes'... ...even if that sensor occasionally mistook your cologne for Chivas and brought 5-0 onto your tail; after all, you want to fight drunk driving vigorously, yes? Same thing here.

Reesh on High Ground - you're at sea level, dude. First, you 'ditto'd' MrTurner's argument, so kindly read my destruction of his half-baked thesis above, and ditto back at ya.

Next, notice that I've yet to quote big blocks of text from other sources or include links to others' content. Why? If I can't make my own rational arguments then I should stick to link building and not content creation. You should too, because that quote flies in the face of American public opinion which is divided between anti-war sentiment and reluctant pro-war sentiment. And by the way, who the f#(k are you to say Americans are easily digesting a culture of fear? Do you see people avoiding air travel today, as was the case 5 years ago? No, you don't, and the reason is we know our govt is working to keep us safe.

That's all I got,
Shorebreak

Your cynical appeal to

Quote:
Your cynical appeal to tradition aside, I still trust our govt to do what's right, as they by and large did in all past dealings with foreign operatives on U.S. soil.

Our government told us that Iraq was an imminent threat to our safety. That they had weapons of mass destruction waiting to be used. They told us that we would be treated as liberators and handed flowers in the streets. We were told that casualties would be minimal and that the insurgency was in its last throes. We were told there is no civil war. We were told that the war would pay for itself, that our presence would spread democracy and goodwill throughout the Middle East.

I'm sorry if I don't have the same trust that you do in our government after the last few years.

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HOWEVER, I think I know how you would vote if a scientist came up with sensors on stop lights that could 'smell' alcohol and triangulate it to a passing vehicle. You would vote 'yes'... ...even if that sensor occasionally mistook your cologne for Chivas and brought 5-0 onto

I wouldn't be for that. That is no different than letting any police officer walk into your home at any time and search it to see if you are doing anything illegal. That is a police state, the exact thing we are supposedly liberating other countries from.

I brought up the death numbers because your stance is hypocritical. You are willing to abolish the 4th amendment to help stop terrorism, but not the 2nd amendment which is responsible for hundreds of thousands of more deaths in our country each year. Are those lives not as valuable?

I just don't understand why you are willing to eliminate civil liberties for terrorism, but not for issues that are much more dangerous to our society.

Bin Laden confessed

ROFL

Are you referring to that video the US Military "found" where he's mumbling through his beard? You can't even see his lips moving

I mean, what do soldiers do when they ransack a flat in Kabul? Switch on the video and watch some 20 year old bootleg VHS movies, of course ;))

meanwhile

a large proportion of readers are eating popcorn and thinking how amazing it is that terrorism apparantly wasn't considered a problem in the world until 9/11.

Despite really quite a lot of people being killed and places being blown up on a fairly regular basis before then.

But now it's the greatest risk the world faces?. Wow.

Everybody Got a Retort But Me...

Shorebreak - I feel left out :(

If the USA didn't keep invading ...

... foreign countries or meddling with other countries' internal affairs then they wouldn't have a terrorist problem.

Yes Gurtie, but

>>Despite really quite a lot of people being killed and places being blown up on a fairly regular basis before then.

Yes, Gurtie, but they weren't in important countries.

Since most of you are

Since most of you are concerned about privacy I imagine you all encrypt your email, only use scp or sftp, and only connect to your email over encrypted connections. If you don't take those basic actions to protect your privacy I don't see how you can complain.

What they are doing is no different than having a cop sit a street corner and watch traffic.

Never

Never am I more uncertain about the fate of mankind, than when politics are discussed.

Let try something;
>>agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials.

Remove 'Internet users' Replace it with the country of your choice and add 'citizens'.

So we end up with;

agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of German citizens at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials.

Or;

agents conducting investigations appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Irish citizens at a time into massive databases, according to current and former officials.

Does anyone feel that the truth of either of the newly constructed paragraphs is in question? Does everyone feel that you could pretty much replace 'Internet users' with any combination of country and the word citizens and make a true statement?

Do any Americans feel the need to jump into some German forum and complain about German laws? Any British subjects feel like complaining at some Irish forum?

Anyone?

>> What they are doing is no

>> What they are doing is no different than having a cop sit a street corner and watch traffic.

I don't think that's quite true. It looks like a better analogy would be having the cops come and take fingerprints and DNA, just in case they ever want to use them.

Also, a big part of peoples problem with that kind of data collection is not to do with what the current administration might do with it, but what a future set of whack-jobs might do. Imagine what Hoover would have done with that kind of database...

>>Imagine what Hoover would

>>Imagine what Hoover would have done with that kind of database...

Exactly. There WERE destroyed inocent lives because of him. It was absolute rule without enough oversight by the same reasons given now. Sweeping generalization was foolish then and now.

Institutionalized

I guess that's why Stanford named the Hoover Institution after him. That's probably also why the Reagan and Bush Sr foreign policies were drawn directly from Hoover Institution founding principles. And we know how unsuccessful Reagan was in helping bring about the demise of Communism, the single deadliest idea in the history of mankind.

If you want to deny that the Cold War occurred, or that Communist rule would have been better for Europe, go ahead, and you should visit Candyland, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy while you're at it.

Otherwise accept and learn to live with the fact that internet data collection is a necessary evil, ***necessary because of a war others have brought to our shores***.

That all you Threadsters lean so far to the left doesn't suprise me. That you can't come down off your lofty perches and taste reality is what upsets me; it also goes to show you who really controls the media and your minds = the Left.

Threadwatch is a cabal that

<sarcasm>
Threadwatch is a cabal that runs the media ? I thought it was the Jews that did that.
</sarcasm>

>>That all you Threadsters

That all you Threadsters lean so far to the left doesn't suprise me

Not all of us shorebreak... I just spend my political time on the Belmont Club or LittleGreenFootballs.

And we know how unsuccessful

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And we know how unsuccessful Reagan was in helping bring about the demise of Communism, the single deadliest idea in the history of mankind.

Are you forgetting religion? More people have killed or been killed in the name of God(s) than any political idea could possibly comprehend.

Quote:
That all you Threadsters lean so far to the left doesn't suprise me. That you can't come down off your lofty perches and taste reality is what upsets me; it also goes to show you who really controls the media and your minds = the Left.

I don't think disagreeing with the government makes you lean left. I'm a Libertarian if anything and probably would lean right if it weren't for the Republicans backwards ideas on social issues. Bush is only conservative on social issues, everything else he's about as liberal as any Democrat you have in office.

Quote:
Otherwise accept and learn to live with the fact that internet data collection is a necessary evil

You do realize that the concept of eliminating civil liberties for the "common good" is inherently a communist idea.

> That all you Threadsters lean so far to the left doesn't supri

I actually lean right. Right as in, small government, low taxes, love the USA and our consitution. Remember that right?

The Political Spectrum

Political jargon gets thrown around here accusing people of being left or right with very little understanding of what that means. There is only one political spectrum which lies between two extremes. On the left is Anarchy which represents no government control of the people and total power of the people. On the right is totalitarianism which is centralized power with no control or voice of the people.

Movements toward the right include dictatorships of individuals or political groups or party’s and may be called state communism (which was really state capitalism in Russia), state socialism (what Hitler created) or corporatism (how Mussolini described fascism).

Movements to the left include communist anarchy (decentralization down to the community) anarcho-syndicalism (workers governing the workplace and community through industrial unionism rather than trade-unionism) and anarchy (the people working together through mutual cooperation for their common good without force or coercion).

Liberalism lies in the middle of the political spectrum. (As Phil Ochs said; “Liberals are someone 10 degrees to the left of center in good times and 10 degrees to the right of center when it affects them personally.) So anyone claiming to be to the right of center is really saying they are closer to fascism and other totalitarian forms of government. And anyone claiming to be to the left of center is saying they are in favor of the people having the power over governments.

That is the reality of the political spectrum and the neurosis in our society is the hypocrisy created by the denial of these facts. We spout one thing but support another. I might add that only free people can create a free society and fear is the anti-thesis of freedom.

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