“Carnivore” is a Microsoft-based system with a packet-sniffing software and a removable disk drive that was previously used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during the time of US President Clinton to tap into the Internet traffic of suspected criminals, terrorist, and spies. Although it is quite similar to wiretapping by means of being able to “eavesdrop” certain modes of communication, it is also quite different. When using the Carnivore, email is primarily the type of communication that is being intercepted as compared to the conversations being tapped into by wiretapping surveillances.
But according to Poulsen (2000), the Carnivore – as a surveillance tool – can also reconstruct web pages while the target is surfing the web, capture packet header information, and zero in on email addresses or FTP login data. He said that it is “remarkably tolerant of network aberration, such a speed change, data corruption, and targeted ‘smurf-type’ attacks. ” (Poulsen, 2000) This, somehow makes it more powerful as more information is likely to be intercepted and more accurately at that mode.
As such, the FBI was bound by US law, specifically the Fourth Amendment, to not be able to intercept everything that the target accesses. The Fourth Amendment ensures Americans the right to be secure with their possessions against any unreasonable search or seizure, making it also applicable to government-regulated monitoring of internet activities. Because of that, freedom of speech and civil rights advocates have scored the Carnivore system after realizing its potential for misuse, thereby violating a person’s right to privacy.
In the end, the FBI decided to abandon the technology and switched to an unspecified commercial software that could eavesdrop on computer traffic during investigations and was less expensive to use and develop than the Carnivore. (2) Information or computer security is a branch of technology that is widely explored today, with its scope stemming from the protection of information from theft or corruption up to the preservation of its availability. This, in turn, makes computer security more technical and mathematical than many computer science fields.
In addition, as the amount of commerce operated on the Internet grew, so did the number of “malicious attacks” on many computer systems. The FBI Computer Emergency Response Team said that hacking in the United States increased by 79 percent in 2000 – prompting many to blame the growth of these incidents to the assumption, or even carelessness, of some sites that nobody will hack them because they are just online shopping firms and educational institutions. For example, a 16-year old Canadian boy operating under the name “Mafiaboy” was arrested for hacking websites like Yahoo!
, America Online, eBay, Amazon. com and even the computer networks of Harvard and Yale Universities. “Mafiaboy” was then prohibited from using the Internet or shopping at stores that sold computers – suggesting that access to important computer systems must be limited only to those who will not compromise security. Another flaw on computer systems is man’s dependency on them. In 1989, a United States Air Force F-16 jet accidentally dropped a 230-kg bomb in West Georgia after unspecified electromagnetic interference caused the jet’s computer to release it.
In 1994, two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters were destroyed by an F-15 aircraft in Iraq because the IFF system’s encryption malfunctioned. As such, computer handlers must always have first-hand control over the systems to avoid any catastrophe from unidentified glitches. As for the flaw on the technology itself, almost any system is vulnerable to being hacked. Whatever is done, modern operating systems are too complex to be completely secure in every respect – even prompting some users to use open source systems like Open Office because systems like Microsoft and Mac are not that reliable anyway – or at least not yet.
(3) The difference between broadcast, online, and print media is practically the medium by which the message is carried. However, the effect inflicted upon the sender and the receiver is more often than not, very different. According to the Newspaper National Network 2005 Media Engagement Study, respondents give credit to the Internet for providing immediate information but still rank newspapers first on key engagement measures like the “deals with issues (I) care about, the most comprehensive source of news, and makes (me) feel mentally stimulated.
” Moreover, respondents ranked newspapers number one in terms of “trustworthiness. ” Therefore, it concluded that online information has only become vital to users because of its speed, vastness, and availability – not because of its reliability. This, in turn, usually puts into question the online information that is retrieved from the Internet. For example, websites like Wikipedia have had a strong following among students and even professionals in terms of getting the information they need.
However, as many experts have asserted, not all online sources should be trusted because some can be edited by anyone while some were not even legally published. In addition, the question of copyright is also often brought up. As there are only a few laws on online information, many online users end up violating intellectual property rights – although they may not be aware of it. This is unlike how the print and broadcast media operate – always under the radar and control of the law – although all seem to be protected by the freedom of speech clause. References
“Air Force Bombs Georgia” (1989, May 18). The Risk Digest. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://catless. ncl. ac. uk/Risks/8. 72. html Christen, C. T. & Huberty, K. L. (2004, May 27) “i-Reach, i-Influence? The Effects of Internet and Print News on Public Opinion Inferences. ” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, New Orleans Sheraton, New Orleans, LA Online. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://www. allacademic. com/meta/p113243_index. html “FBI Dicthes Carnivore Surveillance System” (2005, January 18).
Fox News. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://www. foxnews. com/story/0,2933,144809,00. html “Internet Chnaged Media Landscape: Newspapers Still Vital. ” (2005) Network News. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from www. nnnlp. com/PDFsForDownload/NNNAds/Newspapers-Vital. pdf Poulsen, K. (2000, October 4). “Carnivore Details Emerge. ” Security Focus. Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://www. securityfocus. com/news/97 Standler, R. (2002, September 4). “Computer Crime. ” Retrieved March 18, 2009 from http://www. rbs2. com/ccrime. htm