The FBI appears to have adopted an Internet surveillance technique that collects far more data on innocent Americans than previously has been disclosed, says CNET.com. Instead of recording only what a particular suspect is doing, agents appear to be assembling the activities of thousands of Internet users at a time into massive databases. That database can subsequently be queried for names, e-mail addresses or keywords.
Such a technique is broader and potentially more intrusive than the FBI’s Carnivore surveillance system, later renamed DCS1000. It raises concerns similar to those stirred by widespread Internet monitoring that the National Security Agency is said to have done. “Full-pipe” surveillance can record all Internet traffic, including Web browsing. The technique came to light at the Search & Seizure in the Digital Age symposium held at Stanford Law School last Friday. “What they’re doing is even worse than Carnivore,” said Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation who attended the Stanford event. “What they’re doing is intercepting everyone and then choosing their targets.”