FBI's upgrade of Carnivore includes a new name

FBI's upgrade of Carnivore includes a new name

By Matt McLaughlin

GCN Staff

FEB. 12—One thing the FBI's controversial Internet wiretapping program won't have going against it in the future is its name. The agency changed the name of its Carnivore application to DCS1000—for digital collection system—a spokesman said.

The filtering program, which can collect and examine e-mail messages of subjects under investigation, has been the subject of criticism from privacy advocates who have expressed concern about its potential for intrusiveness. The name Carnivore contributed to some perceptions that the application was a predatory program that could invade citizens' privacy.

'A lot of people are of the opinion that had it not been for the name, it wouldn't have received nearly the same amount of controversy,' FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said.

The name change comes along with several upgrades made to the program following recommendations from a review panel at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Research Institute at Chicago-Kent College of Law. Among the panel's suggestions was that the FBI change the program's name.

'It was no secret that the name was an unpopular one. There was going to be a change anyway,' Bresson said. 'This is what it probably should have been called in the first place.'

Bresson declined to specify what kind of upgrades had been made to the system, saying they would be spelled out in a report that the Justice Department will release shortly.

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