FBI's Carnivore-lies may have blown bin Laden inquiry

Wednesday, 29 May 2002, 12:32 PM EST

Fundamental design flaws in the FBI's infamous Carnivore packet sniffer have led to the destruction of evidence related to a suspect possibly involved in Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network which had been obtained legally under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant, the watchdog group EPIC has learned.

The FBI has long denied that Carnivore is an indiscriminate tool which vacuums up the personal correspondence of innocent persons not targeted for surveillance. But an internal memo obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) shows that it does in fact gather the communications of innocent third parties illegally. It appears the FBI has been lying about Carnivore all along, and covering up its deficiencies even to the Justice Department.

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