FBI may expand use of controversial surveillance system

Federal law enforcement authorities may expand the use of a controversial FBI surveillance system to capture e-mail and other text messages sent through wireless telephone carriers, according to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA). The Washington Post reports that the FBI has been using the system, formerly known as Carnivore, for two years to tap into Internet communications, identify e-mail writers online or record the contents of messages. The CTIA warned that authorities could use Carnivore as soon as October to examine messages such as those sent by cellular phones and other handheld devices. Civil liberties advocates and some lawmakers have expressed concern because the system could scan private communication about legal activities of others besides those under investigation. The Justice Department is reviewing the system's impact on privacy.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec