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Re: heise online: McAfee will FBI-Schnueffeltool ignorieren
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- Subject: Re: heise online: McAfee will FBI-Schnueffeltool ignorieren
- From: Joerg-Olaf Schaefers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 19:53:25 +0100
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Sunday, November 25, 2001, 5:17:16 PM, schrieb ich:
> Diese Meldung aus dem heise online Newsticker wurde Ihnen
> von Joerg-Olaf Schaefers <firstname.lastname@example.org> gesandt.
> Die Quelle dieser Nachricht wuerde mich dann doch interessieren.
Inzwischen hat mir ein freundlicher Netznutzer den passenden Link
FBI Develops Eavesdropping Tools
By Ted Bridis
Associated Press Writer
Thursday, November 22, 2001; 2:34 AM
WASHINGTON –– The FBI is going to new lengths to be sure it can
eavesdrop on high-tech communications, secretly building "Magic
Lantern" software to monitor computer use.
Separately, the agency is urging phone companies to change their
networks for more reliable wiretaps in the digital age.
At a conference Nov. 6 in Tucson, Ariz. – and in a 32-page follow-up
letter sent about two weeks ago – the FBI told leading
telecommunications officials that increasing use of Internet-style
data technology to transmit voice calls is frustrating FBI wiretap
The FBI told companies that it will need access to voice calls sent
over data networks within a few hours in some emergency situations,
and that any interference caused by a wiretap should be imperceptible
to avoid tipping off a person that his calls might be monitored.
The Magic Lantern technology, part of a broad FBI project called
"Cyber Knight," would allow investigators to secretly install over the
Internet powerful eavesdropping software that records every keystroke
on a person's computer, according to people familiar with the effort.
The software is somewhat similar to so-called trojan software already
used illegally by some hackers and corporate spies. The FBI envisions
one day using Magic Lantern to record the secret unlocking key a
person might use to scramble messages or computer files with
The bureau has been largely frustrated in efforts to break open such
messages by trying different unlocking combinations randomly, and
officials are increasingly concerned about their ability to read
encrypted messages in criminal or terrorist investigations.
The FBI said in a statement Wednesday that it can not discuss details
of its technical surveillance efforts, though it noted that
"encryption can pose potentially insurmountable challenges to law
enforcement when used in conjunction with communication or plans for
executing serious terrorist and criminal acts."
The FBI added that its research is "always mindful of constitutional,
privacy and commercial equities," and that its use of new technology
can be challenged in court and in Congress.
Magic Lantern would largely resolve an important problem with the
FBI's existing monitoring technology, the "Key Logger System," which
in the past has required investigators to sneak into a target's home
or business with a so-called sneak-and-peak warrant and secretly
attach the device to a computer.
In contrast, Magic Lantern could be installed over the Internet by
tricking a person into double-clicking an e-mail attachment or by
exploiting some of the same weaknesses in popular commercial software
that allow hackers to break into computers. It's unclear whether Magic
Lantern would transmit keystrokes it records back to the FBI over the
Internet or store the information to be seized later in a raid. The
existence of Magic Lantern was first disclosed by MSNBC.
"If they are using this kind of program, it would be a highly
effective way to bypass any encryption problems," said James E.
Gordon, who heads the information technology practice for Pinkerton
Consulting and Investigations Inc. "Once they have the keys to the
kingdom, they have complete access to anything that individual is
At least one antivirus software company, McAfee Corp., contacted the
FBI on Wednesday to ensure its software wouldn't inadvertently detect
the bureau's snooping software and alert a criminal suspect.
Experts said the FBI software could be used with a court order against
criminals, terrorists or foreign spies. People familiar with the
project, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the package is
being developed at the FBI's electronic tools laboratory, the same
outfit that built the bureau's "Carnivore" Internet surveillance
Some experts said Magic Lantern raises important legal questions, such
as whether the FBI would need a wiretap order from a U.S. judge to use
the technology. The government has previously argued that the FBI can
capture a person's computer keystrokes under the authority of a
traditional search warrant, which involves less oversight by the
"It's an open question whether the covert installation of something on
a computer without a physical entry requires a search warrant," said
David Sobel, a lawyer with the Washington-based Electronic Privacy
Information Center, a civil liberties group.
© 2001 The Associated Press
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