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A gripe about Carnivore

A News.com reader says what's missing from the FBI's network-snooping tool is a set of checks and balances similar to those related to a voice wiretap.


A gripe about Carnivore

I am curious: Is everyone missing the obvious concern related to Carnivore? In a voice wiretap, a court order is sought. Then the authorities turn it over to the phone company, which returns the info to the authorities.

A nice series of checks and balances exists, allowing us to avoid the, "Trust me, I work for the government" issue. The telco does the work. The authorities only get the info of those targeted by the court order. We don't have to worry about trust because of the checks and balances. That is what this country is about.

With Carnivore, the machine is installed in a network and can be remotely administered from the outside. Authorities can reach in and look at anything they want. There are no checks and balances. "Trust me" is all we hear. No one is looking over their shoulder.

I do not disagree with the right of law enforcement to do their job, provided the appropriate court orders are sought, but this essentially allows them to access whatever, whenever, without anyone knowing.

Did we allow wide-open, remote access to all telephone lines in this country?

J. Mark Egermeier
Tulsa, Okla.