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[ISN] Privacy group picks at Carnivore claims / NANOG Carnivore Video
From: William Knowles (wkC4I.ORG)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 01:22:07 CST
BY Bryant Jordan
An FBI memo reveals that Carnivore, the FBIs e-mail bugging system, is
able to intercept far more information than FBI officials testified to
Congress, a privacy advocacy organization claims.
Carnivore can intercept so-called unfiltered e-mail traffic which is
not covered by court orders according to Wayne Madsen of the
Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.
But thats not what FBI officials told Congress in September, Madsen
"They were quite clear that anything not involved in a court order
would be instantly vaporized. You cant get more specific than that,"
Madsen said. The document cited by Madsen is a June 5, 2000, memo
drafted by the FBI labs data intercept technology unit.
Steven Berry, an FBI spokesman, said he has not seen the document
cited by EPIC, but he believes it references "an in-lab controlled
experiment that served to stress the full capabilities of the system."
"During this test, they ran the system without the filter to determine
[performance]," he said. "How fast, how much information, and other
parameters they ran it flat out, basically, like a car, to see at what
point the engine breaks."
Madsen rejected the explanation, noting that the document states the
system was used "in a real-world deployment."
If they tested it in the lab, "then why didnt they refer to it as an
in-house test, instead of a real-world test?" he said.
"I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and say that the people
who testified were not that familiar with the system," Madsen said.
FBI Assistant Director Donald Kerr, testifying before the Senate
Judiciary Committee Sept. 9, said only those packets subject to the
court order allowing the Carnivore interception are detected by the
systems filter and captured.
"Other communications are instantaneously vaporized after that one
second. They are totally destroyed. They are not collected, saved or
stored," Kerr said.
But the June 5 memo cited by EPIC noted that Carnivore, during a
real-world deployment connected to a personal computer "could reliably
capture and archive all unfiltered traffic to the [PCs] internal hard
NANOG 20 - Carnivore Update (Marcus Thomas, FBI)
The Carnivore update presented by the FBI's Marcus Thomas at the 20th
NANOG meeting held in Washington DC October 22-24 in Washington DC, is
arguably the most complete and detailed briefing yet on the
functionality, use and legal implications of Carnivore. This talk was
meant for a technical audience, and the dicussion and questions from
the audience are very enlightening. Major thanks should go to the
folks from Merit/NANOG for managing to schedule this talk, to Marcus
Thomas and the FBI for their candor, and the NANOG crowd for asking
the important questions.
This and other sessions and tutorials were streamed live via
real-player (by MERIT networking), and multicast live in h.261, mpeg-1
and mpeg-2 (by the University of Oregon Videolab. In the future we
would encourge remote users to take advantage of the live sessions
during the conference. more NANOG info can be found on the web at
http://www.nanog.org, including past meetings, slides for talks, and
archived real-player streams.
In order to facilitate additional understanding and discussion of
Carnivore we're immediatly making the video from the session
VIA FTP, you can retrieve the file from:
A mirror, provided by sol.net a Milwaukee based service provider
(thanks Joe Greco) is at:
A mirror provided by oven digital (thanks Adam Rothschild) to the
nanog list is at:
Runtime is 54 minutes, Bitrate is 1000Kb/s, Filesize total is 382MB
You can also watch the session via a multicast mpeg-1 client, such as
IPTV (windows), MACTV (macintosh with qt 5.0 beta), or XMIM (linux
"Communications without intelligence is noise; Intelligence
without communications is irrelevant." Gen Alfred. M. Gray, USMC
C4I.org - Computer Security, & Intelligence - http://www.c4i.org
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