FBI internet surveillance: Is oversight possible?Tweet
January 19, 2005
Wait a second. In this AP article on how the FBI's Carnivore's internet wiretap software has been replaced by "superior" commercial wiretap software, it says:
Henry H. Perritt Jr., who led an oversight study of Carnivore in 2000 for the Justice Department, said the FBI originally built its own surveillance system because commercial tools were inadequate. Perritt, a professor at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, said he was unaware of any commercial wiretap software that includes audit features robust enough to convince a federal judge that e-mails from innocent Internet users weren't captured by mistake.
"You'd like to have a package that supervisors within a field office and in Washington could do an audit and make sure they're using the tools compliant with the court order," Perritt said.
Does this new commercial software that the FBI now uses have audit features necessary for judges (and others) to see how it is used? POGO would like to know. With such a potential for wide-ranging abuse you'd think that there should be the tools for proper oversight. After all it was former FBI director Louis Freeh who said, "[The FBI is] potentially the most dangerous agency in the country if [it] is not scrutinized carefully."