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[] Carnivore am Ende? -

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Sowohl Kongress als auch der konservative Justizminister sind inzwischen aus
Gründen des Datenschutzes gegen das Internet-Überwachungstool. Bemerkenswert,
dass hier bei uns eine mitte-links-Koalition dennoch die TKÜV durchsetzen will,
mit der ähnliches möglich wird - ganz zu schweigen von den Europarats- und
EU-Plänen zur Internetüberwachung.

Grüsse, Ralf

MSNBC, Technology: Policy and Law, 4.6.2001

U.S. House leader presses Ashcroft on FBI surveillance
Armey may seek Justice Department budget cuts

WASHINGTON, June 14 ? House Majority leader
Dick Armey may seek U.S. Justice Department
budget cuts to curb the use of the FBI e-mail
surveillance tool formerly known as Carnivore, a
spokesman said on Thursday.?If necessary he
would consider using Congress?s power of the
purse to pull the plug on Carnivore,? said the
aide, Richard Diamond.
AT ISSUE IS SPECIALIZED software used by the
FBI for court-authorized tracking of a criminal suspect?s
online communications with the cooperation of an Internet
service provider.
Unlike other court-ordered electronic surveillance
tools, Carnivore, as it is still widely known, gives law
enforcers access to the communications of all the service
provider?s customers, critics have charged.
In a letter earlier in the day, Armey, a Texas
Republican, urged Attorney General John Ashcroft to
rethink the program, which he inherited from the Clinton
?I respectfully ask that you consider the serious
constitutional questions Carnivore has raised and respond
with how you intend to address them,? Armey wrote. 
He cited a decision on Monday by the Supreme Court
restricting drug-hunting police officers? use of
thermal-imaging technology to peer inside a suspect?s home
unless they first obtain a warrant.
The court?s 5-4 ruling was a setback for the Justice
Department, which had argued the use of a thermal imager
to scan a home?s heat patterns was not covered by Fourth
Amendment guarantees against unreasonable search and
As a result, Armey said it was reasonable to ask
whether Carnivore ?similarly undermines the minimum
expectation that individuals have that their personal
communications will not be examined by law enforcement
devices unless a specific court warrant has been issued.? 
Chris Watney, a Justice Department
spokeswoman, said Ashcroft was ?very concerned about this
issue and is reviewing it.? She said he would respond 
directly to Armey.
Ashcroft, like Armey, is widely
regarded as a strong advocate of privacy
rights. He has been studying a Justice Department task 
force?s report on possible changes to the system which 
the FBI has renamed DCS-1000, a name spokesman Paul Bresson 
said did not signify anything in particular.
Watney said she had no indication when Ashcroft
would decide what, if anything, to do about the system. The
in-house task force was assembled by Ashcroft?s
predecessor, Janet Reno, under pressure from Armey and
other lawmakers.

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