||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity
Government Tools to Reveal Personal Details
The government has tools of its own that are
extremely effective in gathering information. The threat of
terrorism has added significant weight to the arguments of those who
lobby for more powerful means to gather information. The fear of
some is that once the data is accumulated, no matter how legitimate
the reason, it might be misused.
The government’s tool of choice is a collection
of three programs known as the DragonWare Suite. The programs that
comprise the DragonWare Suite are known as Carnivore, Packeteer and
Coolminer. No information on these programs has been officially
released; however, it is believed that together, these applications
allow the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to collect packets
of data from the Internet, assemble them to recreate copies of the
original e-mail messages or files being transferred, and analyze the
recreated items to identify specific patterns of behavior.
While a collection of utilities like DragonWare
could be used to identify terrorists planning an attack, it could
also be used to identify citizens legally expressing a point of view
that is contrary to a given group such as a political organization.
It is also important to realize that the collected data could be
vulnerable to hackers and others who might desire to use this
information for criminal purposes.
Another government tool called MOSAIC Threat
Assessment Systems is a product that screens threats against public
figures. Instead of using the resource-exhausting method of chasing
down every threat, this system helps officials to evaluate the
seriousness of a given threat.
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