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Sent: Saturday, August 24, 2002 3:41 PM
Subject: [MLL] Phone Surveillance by
This is another article revealing the FBI's continued attempts to spy on its
citizen's and was drafted, once again, before 9/11.
FBI wants Carnivore powers for phone taps
By Ben Heskett
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
November 21, 2001, 7:20 a.m. PT
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked telecommunications companies to
make changes in their state-of-the-art networks to make it easier for the FBI to
conduct surveillance, according to a report.
The FBI, which hopes to gain the same access to voice communications that it
has gained with e-mail through use of its controversial Carnivore
snooping technology, made the request in a 32-page document sent to telecom
companies earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The FBI's request was in the works before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks,
according to the report, but those events have lent new
credence to the issue. Expanded law enforcement capabilities
have been a priority since the attacks, with the new Patriot Act giving law
enforcement broad powers amid criticism from civil libertarians. The request
encompasses both land-based and wireless networks, potentially including
companies such as Qwest Communications International and AT&T Wireless, for
The FBI is concerned about technological developments in networks and their
ability to keep up with accompanying surveillance techniques, the report said.
In recent years, a new wave of communications based on "packet"
technologies has changed the way telecom companies transmit phone calls,
allowing a voice call to be broken down into numerous bits and reassembled at
its destination. That makes surveillance and tapping of such transmissions more
The FBI's request was made under the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law
Enforcement legislation, which requires phone companies to tweak their networks
so authorities can conduct surveillance.
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