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FBI steps up Net surveillance, following terror attack

Agents turning up with Carnivore listening boxes

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The FBI has been accused of using yesterday's disaster as a way to install more of its Carnivore listening boxes into Internet systems.

FBI agents have reportedly turned up at several Internet and network service providers with a number of boxes in tow and requesting permission to install them at the heart of people's networks. Many have said yes.

One sysadmin, insisting on anonymity, told Wired.com that agents had turned up at his work "with a couple of Carnivores, requesting permission to place them in our core, along with offers to actually pay for circuits and costs". Other sources say the FBI agents have said the boxes will only be there for the next few days.

Even though the terrorist attacks are fresh in people's minds, some observers have already raised concerns that the failure of the intelligence agencies to uncover the plots will lead them to ask for increased surveillance powers. Suggestions that the terrorists communicated through encrypted information sent over the Internet have already started emerging. ®

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