Thursday, August 02, 2007

FBI Spyware: Is It In You?

A ruling this month by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is allowing the FBI to search your computer-without any type of warrant. And it goes beyond free music downloads or porn. It goes through everything.
In an affidavit seeking a search warrant to use the software FBI agent Norman Sanders describes the software as a "computer and internet protocol address verifier," or CIPAV.

Oh yes. The FBI is now able to (and has been for some time) enter your virtual property, and physical property at the same time, with or without warrants! And what does this CIPAV do? It hides in your computer, like a trojan virus and records everything. Sanders wrote that the spyware program gathers a wide range of information, including the computer's IP address; MAC address; open ports; a list of running programs; the operating system type, version and serial number; preferred internet browser and version; the computer's registered owner and registered company name; the current logged-in user name and the last-visited URL.


And what are they looking for? The source of e-mailed bomb threats against a Washington high school which took place last month. Kevin Poulsen, of Wired reports that "the code [virus] led the FBI to 15-year-old Josh Glazebrook, a student at the school, who on Monday pleaded guilty to making bomb threats, identity theft and felony harassment".

This technology has been in use by the FBI since 1999, and has only improved since then. when will they start putting cameras in the monitors to watch what you are doing? Or turn on your webcams or microphones and listen to you and watch you without your knowing? Where should we draw the line? I say, draw it at the front door.