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Source: PBS - Posted by Dave Wreski   
Privacy Robert X. Cringely speaks about Carnivore. "Here's all the FBI will say about Carnivore. It sits on the network at the ISP, is PC-based, is "a kind of a sniffer," identifies and saves packets associated with suspected criminals, is installed . . . Robert X. Cringely speaks about Carnivore. "Here's all the FBI will say about Carnivore. It sits on the network at the ISP, is PC-based, is "a kind of a sniffer," identifies and saves packets associated with suspected criminals, is installed under a court order, and doesn't itself act as a decryption device. There are supposed to be around 20 Carnivore boxes, and they have been in use since early this year. You don't need a sealed box to do any of these tasks, most of which are already being done for completely legal reasons right inside the router at every ISP. Routers look at every packet, determine what type of packet it is, where it is coming from and where it is going to, then the router delivers the packet to its intended destination. This is what routers do. Adding the Carnivore task is a simple matter of blind copying every packet to or from a bad guy to a third address at the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building in Washington, DC. It's at most a few lines of code and requires no additional hardware."

Read this full article at PBS

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