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Internet and Technology - Carnivore and the Public's Privacy Essay

Project id 1015644
Subject area Arts Entertainment
Document type Essay
Words 1050
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Net and Tech - Carnivore and the Public's Privacy Abstract: This paper discusses the potential for widespread intrusion of the general public's privacy on the Internet from the United States government. Specifically, the paper will address the Carnivore system employed by the FBI. It will show the privacy issues that are raised by the FBI's effort to make an online wiretap system. In the present world, in which the world wide web has pervaded so many aspects of our everyday lives, it is important to consider the safety of the information one transmits digitally within a network. Ideally, any transmitted data would reach its intended destination without ever being visible to anyone else. Regrettably, the very nature of computer networks makes this impossible. Carnivore attempts to benefit from this in order to create the equivalent of an online wiretap. However, the present implementation raises certain privacy problems. Carnivore is the FBI's attempt to make the digital equivalent of an analog wiretap. Carnivore functions like many other packet sniffers (network programs that capture all data that they see) that have been available for years; it enters a promiscuous mode where it collects every packet available on the network, whether the packet is designed for that machine. Carnivore is then able to piece the packets together in order to reconstruct the original data. The intent is to capture email content without needing to experience the procedure for obtaining legal access to the files on the mail server of the Internet Service Provider (ISP). However, there's absolutely no reason why the exact same process couldn't be used to reconstruct other user transactions like instant messages, chat...

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