FBI dumps Carnivore - but in name only

    Date12 Feb 2001
    CategoryGovernment
    2613
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    The FBI has dressed its online wolf in sheep's clothing, changing the name of its controversial email surveillance system -- known up until now as Carnivore. Carnivore now goes by the less beastly moniker of DCS1000, drawn from the . . . The FBI has dressed its online wolf in sheep's clothing, changing the name of its controversial email surveillance system -- known up until now as Carnivore. Carnivore now goes by the less beastly moniker of DCS1000, drawn from the work it does as a "digital collection system." The investigative agency built the tool to monitor the Internet communications of suspects under its surveillance, but the system, housed on computers at Internet service providers, also can collect email messages from people who are not part of an FBI probe.

    A spokesman for the FBI denied that the name change stemmed from worries that the name Carnivore made the system sound like a predatory device made to invade people's privacy. But the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), which last autumn issued an analysis of the system at the request of the Justice Department, recommended that the name be changed for just that reason, according to an IIT analyst. "We had a concern that it wasn't a good name for the system," said the IIT's Larry Reynolds. The group thought the name should be dumped, he said, "because of the very definition of the word."

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