Quantcast
Connect with us

FBI using surveillance software to track suspects online

Published

on

Documents recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal detailed information about the FBI’s electronic surveillance capabilities. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed the FOIA request in 2007 after it was reported that the agency was using “secret spyware.”

The documents show that software called the Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier (CIPAV) was used by the FBI since at least 2001. The software allows the FBI to collect a variety of information from a computer every time it connects to the Internet, including the IP address, Media Access Control (MAC) address, open communication ports, list of the programs running, URLs visited, and more.

ADVERTISEMENT

It is unclear how the FBI installs the software on a computer, but it is suspected that the spyware exploits a vulnerability in the user’s browser, like other common Internet viruses.

The documents also suggest the FBI frequently uses the software during investigations, including domestic criminal cases and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) cases.

The the U.S. Air Force, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, as well as foreign governments, have expressed interest in obtaining the software for their own use.

In February, the FBI urged members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security to update the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and make it easier for authorities to eavesdrop on Internet.

The act was passed in 1994 and requires telecommunication companies to design their equipment and services to ensure that law enforcement and national security officials can monitor telephone and other communications whenever necessary.

ADVERTISEMENT

The proposal to expand CALEA would require companies involved in online communications to re-engineer their software so that law enforcement could easily access it.

“These documents show the FBI already has numerous tools available to surveil suspects directly, rather than through each of their communications service providers,” Jennifer Lynch of the EFF said.

“A device that remains ‘persistent’ on a ‘compromised computer’ is certainly concerning,” she added. “However, if the FBI obtains a probable cause-based court order before installing tools like CIPAV, complies with the minimization requirements in federal wiretapping law by limiting the time and scope of surveillance, and removes the device once surveillance concludes, the use of these types of targeted tools for Internet surveillance would be a much more narrowly tailored solution to the FBI’s purported problems than the proposal to undermine every Internet user’s privacy and security by expanding CALEA.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Internet stunned as pro-Trump reporter uses White House briefing to suggest the president depose Joe Scarborough

Published

on

At Thursday's White House briefing, OANN reporter Chanel Rion suggested to White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany that President Donald Trump should welcome a defamation suit from MSNBC host and former congressman Joe Scarborough — so that Trump can depose him and further investigate the conspiracy theory that he murdered staffer Lori Klausutis.

Even McEnany herself seemed taken aback by the suggestion, saying "I have no further comments."

Holy Shit!

Here's OAN's Chanel Rion asking Kayleigh McEnany about the possibility of Trump deposing Joe Scarborough in a lawsuit to find out if the MSNBC host actually killed Lori Klausutis. pic.twitter.com/rDyQlpMnov

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump claims he had to vote by mail because he was busy at the White House — he was actually golfing in Florida

Published

on

While pushing false conspiracy theories about mail voting, President Donald Trump has argued that he was allowed to vote by mail in Florida, because he was unable to vote in person. Like thousands of other claims made by the president, this one is simply not true.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Kayleigh McEnany suggests Trump has never lied as she clashes with CNN’s Jim Acosta over Twitter’s fact-checking

Published

on

During an exchange with CNN's Jim Acosta this Thursday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany suggested that Donald Trump has never intentionally lied during his tenure as president.

After discussing Trump's recent attacks on social media platforms for allegedly being biased against conservatives, McEnany called on Acosta, who asked her if she thinks Trump should be fact checked on Twitter.

"...especially this president, who has made so many false and misleading statements that has put fact checkers to work across the world," Acosta said, adding that the Trump administration is "trying to silence fact checking."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image