Internet - Ethics of Hacking

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Privacy Risks of Internet Wiretapping Abstract: In recent months, the FBI has taken steps to implement an Internet wiretapping scheme called Carnivore. This paper discusses the possible risks of this system with respect to personal privacy, analyzes the technical flaws of the system that produce these risks, and discusses recent US Legislation to relax the statutory restrictions on its deployment and use. On September 11, 2001, a group of terrorists carried out a methodically planned and almost perfectly executed attack on major sites in the United States, toppling two of the nation's highest buildings. Two days later, on September 13, the US Senate unanimously approved legislation that may serve to topple one of its greatest freedoms: the right to privacy. This legislation, which its drafters Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) dubbed the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001," would loosen restrictions on FBI wiretaps, including its nascent "Carnivore" Internet surveillance system [1]. Carnivore is a system introduced by the FBI to provide it with "a 'surgical' ability to intercept and collect the communications which are the subject of a lawful order while ignoring those communications which [it is] not authorized to intercept" [2]. It works in a manner similar to a network packet sniffer, which intercepts and copies all bits of information that pass through a network. It differs from a normal packet sniffer, however, in that it is designed to distinguish from the noise those bits of information which apply to a specific court order [2]. There is nothing new about the FBI conducting surveillance; what disinguishes Carnivore from past methods of surveillance... ... middle of paper ... ...Answers." http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20000713.html, 13 July 2000. 4. Wingfield, Nick, et al. "Earthlink Just Says No to FBI's Carnivore." http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2603945,00.html, 14 July 2000. 5. http://www.aclu.org/action/carnivore107.html: An "Action Alert" from the American Civil Liberties Union urging people to speak out against Carnivore. 6. http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6534&cid=933650: A comment from a semi-anonymous reader of the open-source advocacy site Slashdot.org. 7. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/vote1071/vote_00279.html: An official record of the voting that took place on the "Combating Terrorism Act of 2001," legislation that was introduced into the Senate. 8. http://www.fbi.gov/hq/lab/carnivore/letter3.htm: A letter to the Los Angeles Post from John E. Collingwood, an FBI spokesman

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