Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FBI E-Mail Wiretaps - The Carnivore System

Hemos posted more than 14 years ago | from the the-man-is-listening dept.

Privacy 353

CharlieG writes "It seems the the FBI has been electronic wiretapping various e-mail accounts for a while now. First with a system called Omnivore, and now with a "More Selective" system called Carnivore. You can read about it on MSNBC.COM"

cancel ×

353 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Can I buy one of these (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#942545)

and use it to sort through my spam?

Or perhaps the FBI will offer a special spam-filtering service. FBI SpamGuard.

Re:PGP is not the answer (1)

Jonathan White (15086) | more than 14 years ago | (#942572)

A few quick points...
1. The NSA cannot crack PGP on anything near a realtime basis, the FBI probably couldn't even uudecode...

2. The NSA was 2-10 years ahead but that was decades ago. The NSA most certainly lost their "lead" due to the sheer numbers of mathematicians working in academia and the private sector. Combine this with the more talented cryptographers avoiding the NSA for moral and monetary reasons.

3. Dumpster diving / social engineering are not applicable here.

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (1)

rmrfken (19758) | more than 14 years ago | (#942581)

You really don't see whats going on do you?

This is a 'free speech' quashing technology, I know that even though I harbor no criminal intent, I'll be carefully checking everything I send out for possible misinterpretation by our Friends in Blue.

This new sniffer allows unprecedented access to all unencrypted traffic as this is a sniffer at
the backbone... What we have here is merely the FBI promising to use this technology only with a proper search warrant.

You must realize that their comments are much more worrisome than sniffer technology:

"He [Marcus Thomas, chief of the FBI's Cyber Technology Section at Quantico] also noted that criminal and civil penalties prohibit the bureau from placing unauthorized wiretaps, and any information gleaned in those types of criminal cases would be thrown out of court."

Which if you read between the lines says "Don't worry, if we tapped you illegally you can challenge us in court and we will throw it out."

See all these are steps toward a penultimate police state. Ponder this, in a few years technology will have advanced to the point where we can all have our own "police buddy robot" which follows us around making sure we're not commiting any crimes, and bill^H^H^H^Hfining us for the ones we do commit. Safety for all!

This would in fact be fine even if the laws stay static, however new laws are being added by the minute and 20 years from now, it'll be near impossible from accidentally commiting a crime.
(When was the last time you jaywalked?)

Today, with California's 3 strikes rule, if you get caught Jaywalking (Misdemeanor) 3 times, its raised to a Felony and you, my dear non-criminal citizen, are now a convicted felon who gets to go straight to jail. Of course, judges, being human, will try to throw the case out of court, but the fact remains that even if common sense prevails, its growing ever more difficult to "stay on the right side of the law" and what happens when intelligent systems are advanced to the point where a computer does sentencing (Don't say it isn't possible, Brazil is already beta testing a computerized real-time traffic judge)

This technology is even worrisome for companies and governments! Witness the France suing the US over Echelon, They caught the US passing intercepted messages to a US company, allowing it to snake a contract from a competing French company.

Re:PGP is not the answer (1)

rmrfken (19758) | more than 14 years ago | (#942582)

Actually I worked as an admin for a Mathematics Dept where most of the faculty was under contract with the NSA, They were working on exactly that.

Plus you are betting that their computers are too slow.

Yawn (1)

Kaa (21510) | more than 14 years ago | (#942583)

So the FBI can read my unencrypted emails if it gets a court order and plugs a computer into my ISP's network? Really? Who could have guessed this?! This is soooo unheard of! Soon the heroic guys in blue (or black, or whatever) will be able to tap not only the email traffic, but also IP packets. They even gave a code name to their future project -- they call it a 'sniffer'. Script kiddies everywhere were reported trembling in their sandals.

Kaa

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (1)

Kaa (21510) | more than 14 years ago | (#942584)

As much as we all love the net, I don't think that any of us can deny the fact that it does provide an easy to use and easy to conceal method for criminals and other dubious types to communicate, without regard for national laws or borders.

As opposed to, say, telephone? Or maybe paper mail?

Kaa

Oooh (1)

Colin Winters (24529) | more than 14 years ago | (#942585)

Man, I bet it's tough to figure out what the FBI is using. A packet sniffer that saves everything, and then they probably do a "grep bomb *" or something like that. I think it's time to switch away from cleartext email-everyone should start using pgp.

Colin Winters

This is not a surprise. Use PGP. (1)

Argyle (25623) | more than 14 years ago | (#942586)

Even the govt. can't crack PGP mail on a realtime basis. Encrypted email provides for secure communications. The only surprising thing is that people continue to send unencrypted emails. It's unfathomable why businesses don't use encrypted email exclusively. http://www.pgp.com/ [pgp.com]

PGP at MIT (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 14 years ago | (#942593)

This is really simple. Go get PGP from MIT:

http://web.mit.edu/network/pgp.html [mit.edu]

It's free. It's strong. It's open-source. Annoy the government. Use it.

- Rev.

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (1)

Staciebeth (40574) | more than 14 years ago | (#942596)

I refuse to accept that my 4th amendment rights protecting me from unreasonable search and seizure should be violated because there are criminals. I have done nothing wrong (and, if I have, that must be proven, innocent until proven guilty, and all that) and should not get punished, spied upon, or evesdropped upon simply because someone else has.

Re:ANother reason to use PGP (1)

British (51765) | more than 14 years ago | (#942600)

And I thought I was a bit on the weird side for having encrypted convos(that were not any threat to national secuirity) with PGP to friends and egging them on to use PGP religiously. Guess I'm not so crazy.

So when is there going to be https://slashdot.org?

Wool makes my eyelids itch (1)

The Queen (56621) | more than 14 years ago | (#942604)

Internet wiretaps are conducted only under state or federal judicial order, and occur relatively infrequently.

Oh, good! I guess that guy from alarmist.org was wrong this whole time! Phew, now I can safely go back to surfing for underage Asian girlie pron!

The Divine Creatrix in a Mortal Shell that stays Crunchy in Milk

The big picture (1)

bguilliams (68934) | more than 14 years ago | (#942613)

If the government has a technique that can decrease crime, prevent terrorism, and save lives, how can you be opposed to it? It's not possible to analyze all the data they could potentially retrieve. They have their hands full with the data they mean to find. I see no reason for unnecesary paranoia.

nothing will stop the FBI doing this until (1)

gonar (78767) | more than 14 years ago | (#942617)

nothing will stop the FBI (or anyone else for that matter) doing this until federal legislation raises e-mail to the same privacy standard as telephones and snail-mail.

even then they won't stop, but at least they will need a warrant.

however, the likelyhood of such legislation ever being passed, especially with President V-Chip Jefferson Clipper in office is precisely zero.

Accept Your Fate (1)

lapsan (88119) | more than 14 years ago | (#942624)

What bothers me more than anything about this, as well as many other types of so-called "protective" laws, is that it feels more and more every day as though "they" are just preparing us for something.

We can feel comfortable putting chips in our pets in case we lose them... buying into a "service" that allows the car companies to unlock your doors... not minding too much that the govt. is peeking at big, bad, evil criminals email because it isn't like we should let them get away with anything.

I truly dislike it when people, even I, compare current-day laws and situations to things such as Nazi Germany.... so I won't. It is really hard not to though.

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (1)

jxxx (88447) | more than 14 years ago | (#942626)

Yup, only criminals need fear The Law.

Of course, in order to determine that your email didn't contain reference to a plot to kill a helicopter full of British agents, as well as how pretty SLC is this time of year they have to scan it.
For some reason I don't feel much better when the cops offer to rehang the door after kicking it in.
The possibility of your neighbor painting his door to look like yours, and that fooling the black helicopters doesn't help either.

Ooh! Look, your sarcasm is showing.

Re:Secure Communications (1)

yist (100285) | more than 14 years ago | (#942634)


I wonder if providing free encryption based web mail services would be something


You mean like HushMail [hushmail.com] ?

wiretapping (1)

locutus2k (103517) | more than 14 years ago | (#942638)

There should be something illegal about this. Just this morning I was talking to a friend who was telling me that AOL sent him a message regarding one that was sent to him. AOL informed him "the language contained in this message is not appropiate for viewing". What I would like to know is who the hell they think they are to decide what kind of languace is acceptable.

ummm...first? (1)

hlprmnky (107200) | more than 14 years ago | (#942647)

Is this a first post? I couldn't resist. Also, I am amazed that this type of information (FBI wiretaps of e-mail accounts) should surprise *anyone*.

Re:can and string (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 14 years ago | (#942648)

Have you never watched the Simpsons? Tapping this sort of Can & String communications protocol is far too easy, it's how Millhouse was found when he ran away from filming the Radioactive Man film. :)

Re:Time to fire up GPG... (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 14 years ago | (#942649)

No it won't. I've been following this for a while and a small group of us through the Mozilla newgroup might start working on a project to add it in through Mozilla's nsCOM interfaces (so much easier now without the explicit plugin API). There is, of course / as always, government restrictions on Americans exporting certain grades of encryption with certain ciphers (but no restrictions on them watching us!

Supposed backdoor in M$ CryptoAPI to help FBI? (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 14 years ago | (#942650)

Sometime back there was a bunch of news flying around about a supposed "backdoor" into Microsoft's CryptoAPI for use by the NSA. Now, even while I agree that PGP is the answer, I'm sure there's those who will use SSL certs through Outlook Express or something that might give way to that supposed backdoor. So now, I guess, we will find out (somehow) if that rumor was correct

If it exists and if the FBI has access to use it, someone's gotta say something eventually (the FBI can't hide the aliens or Mulder's whereabouts for ever!)

Encrypt to slow down? (1)

Trinition (114758) | more than 14 years ago | (#942651)

OK,s o we could all encrypt our e-mail, right? Sure, thney might still be able to crack it, but it would take them longer to do so. If enough people did it, it would create a traffic jam in their system.

Re:Secure Communications (1)

ChrisGB (114774) | more than 14 years ago | (#942652)

I heard about a guy who owns an Island off the coast of Britain somewhere. Because it wasn't in British waters he had it effectively setup as his own country. He had his own laws, his own money and you needed a passport to get in.

There was talk about him hosting servers there to allow people to be free from the usual laws of the UK. Of course this then threw up the argument that only porn hosters and drug barons would be interested or have reason to use this kind of protection - typical ;-)

its interesting to me... (1)

tensionboy (115662) | more than 14 years ago | (#942655)

... that this doesn't make people want to go out and bomb federal buildings. If your postal mail was being critiqued to this point, or if a private citizen (or the ISP itself) was invading your email privacy like this w/o apology, there'd be hell to pay.

or have we all become so passive as to let this slide somehow?

Lawsuits over DeCSS and Napster - i'd love to see someone take this one on.

3rd time this week (1)

datadictator (122615) | more than 14 years ago | (#942658)

we're seeing a story on privacy invasion !
And it's only Tuesday ?

Is it just me or is there a very scary pattern emerging here ?

Duck, Echelon lives !

Re:A good invention (1)

datadictator (122615) | more than 14 years ago | (#942659)

If they get the kina spam I get, knowing the IQ of the average FBI Agent I am guessing a lot of them is gonna be signing up at
teenage-bestiality.com [sucker.com]
I can just imagine the looks on those spamming bastards faces when they see a registration by agent_smith@fbi.gov :-)

Re:The big picture (1)

pallex (126468) | more than 14 years ago | (#942667)

Yeah, its just freedom of information. Ie, giving the FBI the freedom to read YOUR information.

Right. This doesn't sound like a tragedy... (1)

shren (134692) | more than 14 years ago | (#942671)

The FBI defends Carnivore as more precise than Internet wiretap methods used in the past. The bureau says the system allows investigators to tailor an intercept operation so they can pluck only the digital traffic of one person from among the stream of millions of other messages. An earlier version, aptly code-named Omnivore, could suck in as much as to six gigabytes of data every hour, but in a less discriminating fashion.

To effectively spy on a known or possible criminal, one needs in this day to watch thier electronic mail as well as thier phone. And, supposedly, they still have to get a court order to use the system.

So it doesn't sound like a tragedy or a monstrous attack on human rights. There are people that I want the government to spy on - terrorists, organized crime, and the like.

One thing that does make me happy about this, as well, is that it seems to indicate that the NSA is following it's charter of not spying on American Citizens, because the FBI has this as a seperate project from the NSA.

Email Wiretapping (1)

sxpert (139117) | more than 14 years ago | (#942679)

Seems that the cases for which the software has been used featured stupid people.
if I was to do some sort of crime, I would definitely tend to encrypt all communications...
This is similar to the echelon crap. It can go through plain text, but encrypted stuff is another matter.

Job killer (1)

fleener (140714) | more than 14 years ago | (#942680)

Just another example of computer automation stealing blue collar jobs. The boys back in Flint, Michigan were really looking forward to ritzy desk jobs reading e-mail.

Spook the Spook (1)

Lan-Z (148249) | more than 14 years ago | (#942690)

So the CIA is monitoring the FBI and the NSA is monoriting the CIA. Were does this stop you ask? It doesn't, it never will!! You have to live with the fact that everyone is spooking everyone. It just makes you wonder who is at the top.

Re:nothing will stop the FBI doing this until (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 14 years ago | (#942692)

Hmmm but if the carnivore has spotted the names of various drugs in a disproportionately large number of ur emails, isnt that grounds for a warrant?

Re:Secure Communications (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 14 years ago | (#942693)

Yes the island is Sealand and the server hosting company are HavenCo [havenco.com] . Admittedly Ryan Lackey (was that his name) dissed the idea that we could get @havenco.com addresses but I think he read into that as a problem with their own security since people could register like admin47@havenco.com and piss about like they do on hotmail.

Perhaps we could apply to their free colo department with a proposol for offering SSH and PGP based email services to the masses. Certainly not @havenco.com but something else could be sorted surely.

Re:I know what the FBI use it for (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 14 years ago | (#942694)

I dunno, i've never trusted David Duchovney very much :)

Re:Secure Communications (1)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 14 years ago | (#942695)

Well yes I mean like hushmail.

However hushmain are based in Texas, for all we know they have a carnivore in their building munching up peoples private keys.

Admittedly a sealand hosted one, well we couldn't know about that either, but at least it's significantly less likely that the sealand authorities would bother snooping on communications.

expect this from the government (1)

eufaula (163352) | more than 14 years ago | (#942710)

about par for the course from the government. First we have the telco's wiretapping phone calls and listening for keywords (rememeber that movie - bomb, president, and allah in the same call) and there you are on their list of people to watch. although they are just using it for criminal investigation. yeah right. now they are telling us that they have this technology to use "when ordered." hmm..... bet i'm already a suspect....

Re:Time to fire up GPG... (1)

SigVn (166099) | more than 14 years ago | (#942712)

But your Goverment is not going to opperess anyone. NO REALLY. Just ask them. YOU: Are you going to oppress any one? US GOVT: No. Of course not. What would make you think a thought like that. Silly boy (girl, whatever) are you paraniod or something?

As far as drug trafficing... (1)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 14 years ago | (#942714)

I hope they don't go after the average stoner, 'cause I think if you're high you might tend to just giggle at the letters "PGP" than use it...

----

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 14 years ago | (#942720)

The current Presidential administration shows the folly of saying 'I'm not a criminal, so who cares?". How would you like your every email to be archived in your FBI file and then subject to exploitation by your political opponents? "Candidate Jones once made a joke about black people being shiftless. It's here in this email he sent to his sister in 1998."

I'm continually alarmed by the people who think anything the authorities want to do is ok, because they're 'helping' us. My personal correspondence belongs to me not anyone else, and I shouldn't have to wonder about who is reading it besides those I want to. The Constitution requires warrants to be issued for very good reasons, and those reasons apply here.

Re:It's a waste of time & resources. (1)

Ian Wolf (171633) | more than 14 years ago | (#942722)

You'd probably be surprised. Most criminals can be pretty stupid. And if it has been used 100 times, than its safe to assume that those 100 were not using encryption. There are still people out there that think cell phones are completely secure.

Re:TO: myfriend@theotherispintown.com (1)

stephenbooth (172227) | more than 14 years ago | (#942723)

Why am I reminded of all those games of paranoia I played as a student?

Trust the computer. The computer is your friend.

Hey I read that mail! Report to your nearest termination centre NOW mal!

While you're at it why not drop into the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org] and pick up a blue ribbon?

I have had a deep distrust of the online activities of bodies like the FBI since reading "Crime and Puzzlement" [eff.org] by John Perry Barlow in 1990. I guess their tech has improved but I doubt their motives will have. The right to protection from crime does have some costs but I think Carnivore and Omnivore have swung a bit too far.

Alternate link. (1)

Jetifi (188285) | more than 14 years ago | (#942739)

For those of you who don't want to supply anything with "MS" in the title, look up the article on Crpytome [cryptome.org]

Open source carnivore (1)

Howl (193583) | more than 14 years ago | (#942740)

So would the open source version of 'carnivore' be called Vegan? Vegitarian?

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (1)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 14 years ago | (#942750)

So, if you're not afraid of the FBI looking at your e-mails to your sister, you're surely not afraid at letting ME look at those same e-mails, no?

Did you read my post? You didn't did you. What I said was that I'm not bothered by letting a computer read my E-mail. A computer does not make value judgements about your life. Unless you are a computer, I don't want you reading my E-mails, you sound like you'd make a value judgement.

Can't you see it's a matter of principle, or are you just dumed-down by mass-media hysteria not to realize your fundamental rights are being trampled???

It's also a matter of principle that criminals need to be stopped, and that these kinds of measures need to be taken for the betterment of society. After all its no use having free access to source code if you're barricaded in your home by armed criminals is it?



---
Jon E. Erikson

Re:The big picture (1)

guinsu (198732) | more than 14 years ago | (#942752)

Hey, I've got a great way that the government can "decrease crime, prevent terrorism, and save lives", lets allow the FBI to open up everyone's mail and read it to make sure theres nothing bad in there. And lets also let them install cameras in everyone's homes. That would go a long way towards decreacing crime and preventing terrorism, don't you think?

Tim

Why is it ISP wide? (1)

BDew (202321) | more than 14 years ago | (#942753)

ZDNet has an arti cle [zdnet.com] also.

I guess my question is why this has to be ISP wide. They claim that they only use it for specific cases, and not an "Echelon" style global system, but if that's the case why do they have to cover the whole ISP? Why can't they just get the IP given the "target" by the ISP and only read HIS mail?

Carnivor (1)

Sgnal ll (203092) | more than 14 years ago | (#942754)

An earlier version, aptly code-named Omnivore, could suck in as much as to six gigabytes of data every hour

this beast is eating too much. It will have the same destiny as the dinosaurs.

can and string (1)

Highlordexecutioner (203297) | more than 14 years ago | (#942755)

It is getting to the point where two soup cans and a length of string, is the only way of secure communication. Or you could break out the old hollow log and a couple of sticks.

Re:can and string (1)

Highlordexecutioner (203297) | more than 14 years ago | (#942756)

Ah yes I keep forgetting to lookup my TV archives for the answers of life (and no I am not being sarcastic I really mean it).

Re:nothing will stop the FBI doing this until (1)

blameless (203912) | more than 14 years ago | (#942762)

Well....

The article specifically says they need a warrant now


Re:nothing will stop the FBI doing this until (1)

blameless (203912) | more than 14 years ago | (#942764)

IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that that info, as well as any evidence resulting from its discovery, is inadmissable.

Re:Secure Communications (1)

happystink (204158) | more than 14 years ago | (#942765)

Someone asked that during the Q+A with the havenco guy and they didn't seem too interested in it. I wonder how much publicity it'd really get them among the people who are likely to use them anyway, do you think it'd get much coverage? (not rhetorical, I can't tell really. crazy internet press!) Colo a box at havenco though and you can do it!

Yawn (1)

Ketzer (207882) | more than 14 years ago | (#942774)

sigh. Another "oh no, Big Brother is listening" post.

I'm as big a proponent of privacy and anonymity on the net as the rest of you, but geez, get over this already.

Yes, the government is monitoring your email. No, you're not going to be able to prevent it. If it bothers you, use heavy encryption. And as someone else wise posted, use it casually and constantly. Put 128-bit encryption on jokes you email to your friends and text files with your grocery lists. Otherwise encryption begins to stand out an say "I'm important, crack me!" much like a guy in a black jumpsuit and ski-mask tends to draw the attention of cops in the physical world.

please... (1)

drglen (209517) | more than 14 years ago | (#942780)

anyone who is surprised by this needs their head examined, ... all your internet traffic is logged on some level either by someone watching, your isp, or by you yourself... you are never alone when you connect to the internet.. wether malicously or not

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (2)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 14 years ago | (#942797)

The idea that the FBI can scan E-mails as they enter or leave your ISP sounds scary at first, but what you have to remember is that you are not a criminal. They're hardly going to want to read your E-mail about your trip to see your sister at BJU are they? It's not like there are people reading your personal mail, it's just a machine and can't make value Judgements on what you write.

So, if you're not afraid of the FBI looking at your e-mails to your sister, you're surely not afraid at letting ME look at those same e-mails, no?

By the same token, you won't mind either me looking at those e-mails you sent to that chick you met last month at Catalina, no?

Can't you see it's a matter of principle, or are you just dumed-down by mass-media hysteria not to realize your fundamental rights are being trampled???


--
Here's my mirror [respublica.fr]

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (2)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#942802)

The idea that the FBI can scan E-mails as they enter or leave your ISP sounds scary at first, but what you have to remember is that you are not a criminal.

Sure that's how it starts, but I challange you to find a time in modern history where power DIDN'T corrupt. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when they begin to use this to go after political dissidents and anyone else they don't like.

Finkployd

Re:PGP is not the answer (2)

Disco Stu (13103) | more than 14 years ago | (#942804)

PGP is okay, but I'm moderately certain the NSA can crack it fairly quickly. Don't know about the FBI.

Really? Care to say how? Do you mean a backdoor in the program (the source is available) or a problem with the encryption algorithms? Are you a mathematician? Do you think the NSA has managed to prove that factoring isn't NP (which would be quite an accomplishment, esp. for a government organization)? Or, maybe, you mean that they've managed to prove that problems in NP can be solved more quickly (which would be the greatest mathematical achievement in decades). Truth is, if factoring cannot be solved in less than polynomial time, no organization, no matter how many mathematicians they employ, is going to be able to crack PGP fairly quickly.

You're right about the social engineering part, though.

Carnivore Jam (2)

griffjon (14945) | more than 14 years ago | (#942806)

So, if anyone finds or guesses the list of people the FBI listens for, cc: them and/or spoof them in every email you send. Add a few extra X-headers to trip it up. It'll fit nicely with the X-Jam-Echelon header, and will in fact maybe even be synergistic.

Nice choice (2)

LionMan (18384) | more than 14 years ago | (#942807)

It's always nice to know that the FBI has given up on plantae and is only going for animalia now. I mean, with all the decision involved before, they had to choose if they wanted greens or blood!
I wonder if I'm meat or celery to them . . .

Big Brother is Watching . . . (2)

LionMan (18384) | more than 14 years ago | (#942808)

Hmm, if we open up our lives and give away privacy, we can exchange it for security!
I think it was Winston Churchill who said, "He who would give up privacy for security deserves neither." How about that?

Re:PGP is not the answer (2)

handorf (29768) | more than 14 years ago | (#942815)

Just one interesting side point to #2.

IIRC, the US Government is the single biggest employer of Mathematicians worldwide.

Care to guess how many of those are doing crypto?

Re:PGP is not the answer (2)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 14 years ago | (#942819)

You have no clue. Cryptographers are quite certain that 1024-bit keys generate uncrackable crypto. 512 they're less certain about.
-russ

There's bad and good in this. (2)

Performer Guy (69820) | more than 14 years ago | (#942826)

The dire warnings seem overstated considering what is already accepted practice. They just pull the suspects emails in question prior to searching. Omnivore sounds like it was open to abuse and if that was deployed it should never have been, it's like wire tapping a small town to get evidence on one individual. Carnivore sounds like a right minded attempt to restrict scanning to the suspects account.

So what's new?
They still need a court order and they could always tap the suspects phone any time as things stand. This just let's them tap an account than might be moving on a dial in from different locations. The whole system has always been build on trust and controlled by the fact that any abuse of the system won't pass muster as evidence in court anyway.

So, if a Judge let them deploy Omnivore it sounds like there's a need for some legislation to prevent this sort of dragnet approach in future but the Carnivore system is exactly the kind of thing I'd expect the FBI to be getting up to, why is everyone so surprised? The intention of developing Carnivore as a discriminating filter seems to be a move in the right direction IF it only traps and searches the email of the suspect, and that's the whole point of the newer system.

Move along folks, there's nothing to see here.

Just Read the ZDNet Story (2)

VB (82433) | more than 14 years ago | (#942827)

This is outrageous. The FBI admits this is nothing more than a glorified sniffer. And, we all know a sniffer grabs plaintext passwords which many systems/services use. Looks like it's time to start watching my login records a little more closely.

The analogy used was "It's the electronic equivalent of listening to everybody's phone calls to see if it's the phone call you should be monitoring." Actually, I'd say it's more analogous to having a bug in every home that uses that network. Considering that e-mail communications originating from one private residence destined for another private residence would qualify for some privacy protection, I would offer that placement of the "Carnivore" on a public wire steps way over the bounds of legitimate surveillance jurisdiction.

I guess what shocks me the most is that they actually demonstrated this technology. They expect buy-in?

Of course, there's always encryption....


Linux rocks!!! www.dedserius.com [dedserius.com]

Read the article... (2)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 14 years ago | (#942830)

"Internet wiretaps are conducted only under state or federal judicial order, and occur relatively infrequently."

"The FBI defends Carnivore as more precise than Internet wiretap methods used in the past. The bureau says the system allows investigators to tailor an intercept operation so they can pluck only the digital traffic of one person from among the stream of millions of other messages. An earlier version, aptly code-named Omnivore, could suck in as much as to six gigabytes of data every hour, but in a less discriminating fashion."

This sounds like it is indeed meant for targeting specific suspects, after having obtained the legal permission to do so. Is it open to potential abuse? Certainly - but aren't unencrypted internet data transmissions open to snooping anyway? This just sounds like a high-powered info-sifter...

Same rules as non-Internet should apply. (2)

meckardt (113120) | more than 14 years ago | (#942838)

If they have a warrant to collect emails to/from a specific person, fine. If they don't have a warrant, any evidence collected is inadmissible in court.


Gonzo

Finally! Wiretapping for the 'net (2)

J. Chrysostom (125843) | more than 14 years ago | (#942848)

The article says:

Marcus Thomas, chief of the FBI's Cyber Technology Section at Quantico, said Carnivore represents the bureau's effort to keep abreast of rapid changes in Internet communications while still meeting the rigid demands of federal wiretapping statutes. "This is just a very specialized sniffer," he said.

He also noted that criminal and civil penalties prohibit the bureau from placing unauthorized wiretaps, and any information gleaned in those types of criminal cases would be thrown out of court. Typical Internet wiretaps last around 45 days, after which the FBI removes the equipment. Mr. Thomas said the bureau usually has as many as 20 Carnivore systems on hand, "just in case."

Mr. Thomas is entirely correct --- Carnivore is just a very complicated sniffer. And while privacy advocates are correct --- the government COULD sniff anyone. But the government COULD also wiretap anyone. The rule of law is what prevents that. The FBI can pay through the nose if they get caught making illegal wiretaps.

The Carnivore system is perfectly consistant with the current laws and norms on government surveilence. To question Carnivore but allow for regular wiretaps, is in my opinion, an indefensible view point.

I'm sure they filter... (2)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 14 years ago | (#942851)

After all they search for words like "assasinate", "bomb", and "president"...

They don't actually look for words like "make", "money" and "fast" or even "buy", "cheap" and "toner"...

...and they certainly wouldn't be looking for words like "XXX", "asian", and "sluts"... or would they? ;)

PGP (2)

LazyGun (138083) | more than 14 years ago | (#942852)

PGP is the answer

Government Promotion of PGP (2)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 14 years ago | (#942855)

Personally I think systems like this do nothing but promote the use of PGP.

At the end of the day we all know that they almost certainly cant crack PGP encrypted stuff... except that I only started using PGP for vaguely sensitive mail when i first heard about the echelon system.

I was always aware that my comms could be intercepted and certainly running a packet sniffer on a network brings in some interesting stuff, but I never really considered it was practical to filter all online traffic in that manner.

The govt have coming forward and said "Guess what? We're already doing it!!" probably does about the same good for PGP usage as handing out $10 bills with every download.

It really is a shame that the bulk of the public dont understand the reasons why encryption is a good thing. Sadly the conventional press tend to see it more as a system for protecting criminals rather than free speech, and popularist public opinion is against PGP.

4th Amendment anyone? (2)

toph42 (160730) | more than 14 years ago | (#942856)

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It does not matter what the FBI says, they may not do this and be in compliance with our Constitution.

Let your representatives know that you don't want the Constitution ignored, or vote for a candidate that will demand that the government complies.

Look for a candidate at the Libertarian Party home page [lp.org] .

Topher
Got Freedom? [lp.org]

Unnecesary Paranoia? (2)

SigVn (166099) | more than 14 years ago | (#942858)

What is unnecesary Paranioa?

When I was a kid, I hung with a lot of skins and punks. The Cops would shake us down every time they saw us.

It wasn't that they knew we were up to something. (although yea sometimes we were... but no more then anyone else). I personaly have never had a record, but the cops knew we were trouble, mostly because we were skins & punks. (And no I was not a bigot)

It is not a question of being a crook, it is a question of being percived as a "unwanted element". We were an unwanted element.

I do not feel comfertable with the FBI (or anybody) with this kind of power. How long to they start shaking you down.

What about Echelon? (2)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 14 years ago | (#942859)

Maybe the FBI's just trying to figure out if Echelon exists or not.

----

What Is The Real Purpose? (2)

Alarmist (180744) | more than 14 years ago | (#942862)

The article says that less than one hundred cases have involved evidence gathered from Internet wiretapping.

To read one person's e-mail, the FBI requires a separate machine in a locked cage co-located at the ISP. Why?

The FBI came forward asking for assistance in developing eavesdropping standards, when they have technical people in house who can do this sort of thing. Why broadcast the existence of this system?

Perhaps we are witnessing a schism between the FBI and other agencies. Imagine this:

You're an ISP. One day, you get a call from someone claiming to be a FBI agent and saying that they need to install a machine and eavesdropping equipment at your ISP to gather evidence for prosecution. Now, being a technically savvy person, you realize that most criminals that the FBI would be interested in don't write each other e-mail detailing their crimes. The few that do are mostly white-collar types who are involved in insider trading or some other form of high-dollar business crime. Reluctantly, you agree.

Agents with FBI credentials show up and install the machine. You have no way of knowing what it's grabbing, but you bite the bullet and hope for the best. Here's the kicker: the agents were installed by someone else--CIA, perhaps, or NSA--an agency whose charters explicitly forbid spying on US citizens inside US borders. They want the ability to spy on domestic citizens, so they set this up and pretend to be the FBI, hoping that ISPs will be so cowed by government agents that they won't follow up the matter.

The FBI gets wind of this somehow and spills the beans in an "accidentally-on-purpose" sort of way. The competing agency, whoever it is, is incensed by this and the FBI gets to reclaim its turf. Then, because the FBI is so clearly and visibly involved in this, they get to keep the machines, figure out how to get the data from them, and use them as if nothing were wrong. They have denied another agency a means of control.

Far-fetched, admittedly, but it is a possibility.

Still, I must say that I am saddened by the further erosion of our rights. What next? Radio collars?

Re:The big picture (2)

Alarmist (180744) | more than 14 years ago | (#942863)

If the government has a technique that can decrease crime, prevent terrorism, and save lives, how can you be opposed to it?

I like my privacy, and I want my government to respect it. I don't care for being watched all the time. I don't like being treated as a potential suspect. I don't like the entire "guilty until proven innocent" air that this entire mess has.

Does this decrease crime? Perhaps--only government officials will be authorized to harass and kill innocent people now. Does it save lives? Sure--if people are afraid to kill other people because the men with guns will kill anyone at the drop of a hat, it certainly will. Aren't a few lives lost to clerical errors worth that? Does it prevent terrorism? Absolutely not! It gives our government free license to act like armed hoodlums. Bullies with guns who can destroy lives on a whim.

Is your safety and that of your family worth so little?

I see no reason for unnecesary paranoia.

Nor do I. This isn't paranoia: it's a genuine, well-founded fear. There's nothing irrational about being afraid and distrustful of people who will pry into your private life just because it suits their fancy.

Fight the Power.

The FBI is looking out for you (2)

Jon Erikson (198204) | more than 14 years ago | (#942864)

In this brave new world of information, traditional agencies such as the FBI have to have some way of maintaining their ability to protect the people that they serve, that is you. And they can't do this by ignoring such a major new technology such as the Internet.

As much as we all love the net, I don't think that any of us can deny the fact that it does provide an easy to use and easy to conceal method for criminals and other dubious types to communicate, without regard for national laws or borders. As more and more people move online, the criminals will follow, and for the FBI to ignore this would be failing us in their duty.

The idea that the FBI can scan E-mails as they enter or leave your ISP sounds scary at first, but what you have to remember is that you are not a criminal. They're hardly going to want to read your E-mail about your trip to see your sister at BJU are they? It's not like there are people reading your personal mail, it's just a machine and can't make value judgements on what you write.

Unfortunately the massive growth of the net has meant that this sort of thing was inevitable and indeed neccessary thanks to the kind of large-scale, global operations that the FBI is involved with. For them to not do this would be the wrong thing in this case, and it is a blow for criminals everywhere.



---
Jon E. Erikson

It's a waste of time & resources. (2)

blameless (203912) | more than 14 years ago | (#942865)

The article says the technology has only been used 100 times, which leads me to believe it's reserved for big-time criminals.

If someone is a big enough fish to warrant [no pun intended] this, they're probably going to be using encryption anyway.


If they're investigating pot trafficking (2)

blameless (203912) | more than 14 years ago | (#942866)

Do they use Herbivore?

Sorry...I couldn't resist.


PGP is not the answer (2)

Tomin8tor (207798) | more than 14 years ago | (#942867)

PGP is okay, but I'm moderately certain the NSA can crack it fairly quickly. Don't know about the FBI.

Keep in mind, the largest employer of mathematicians in the world is the NSA and that they are one of the largest computer buyers.

They have sealed documents written by Alan Turing was back around WWII and the suspicion is they are 2-10 years ahead of anyone in the "normal world" of encryption/decryption.

And as far as crypto goes, strong crypto is nice. But if you've ever read books on information security that covered the whole field, you'd realize a very small chapter would be devoted to crypto, and a very large chapter to organizational security because social engineering and dumpster diving are both far easier than cracking crypto in most cases. It's easier to pay a secretary $10K than to spend $100K cracking some crypto. And probably more effective to boot.

Frankly, I don't really care if CSE, CSIS, FBI, NSA, CIA, KKK, FSB, - whoever - reads my mail. They'll find the effort not worthwhile. That's the ultimate secret - just be slightly odd and mostly boring... ;)

Tomb

Re:Secure Communications (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#942868)

Such a thing already exists.

HushMail [hushmail.com]

Re:The FBI is looking out for you (3)

griffjon (14945) | more than 14 years ago | (#942870)

Further, damnit, I'm NOT a criminal, so I shouldn't be treated as one. This is a classic case of guilty until proven innocent.
Just because I'm not a criminal doesn't mean I want the gov't, or my next door neighbor, to be able to read my email. Of course, that's why I have a huge PGP key (check my userpage)...

I am a private citizen, and my personal life is no business of the government.

Heading for Braindead . . . (3)

Badgerman (19207) | more than 14 years ago | (#942871)

Paraphrasing Robert Anton Wilson:

Imagine an authoritarian system as a pyramid with an eye on top (look at a dollar bill). Now, the guy at the top wants to control the people down below, but he has to rely on them for information. So he uses coercion to control them and extract information, but since fear of punishment, hate, and paranoia are driving the people below, they only say what will prevent punishment. The system reflects itself down the pyramid, and due to increasing ignorance, becomes brain dead over time.

It seems this is the way we're heading with cybersleuthing, techno-eavesdropping, lawyers throwing lawsuits round, etc. We're all paranoid as hell, everyone doesn't trust anyone, and there are more and more threats each day.

It appears the FBI is making yet another contribution to this. I wonder how this will be abused (and thus increase mistrust), how errors will be made (and thus increase mistrust), and how many bad precidents and angry reactions this will produce. I wonder how many lawsuits and court cases will result from their snooping.

In their quest to enforce laws, the FBI makes themselves that much harder to trust by being more invasive. Ironic that.

I know what the FBI use it for (3)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 14 years ago | (#942873)

They have the carnivore sniff out any mime encoded JPGs containing an above average level of flesh tones.

These are then filtered out and despatched to agents personal computers, saving them several hours a day in hunting for pr0n.

These extra hours are what will really give them the advantage combatting cyber-terrorism.

they DO require a warrant (3)

djrogers (153854) | more than 14 years ago | (#942874)

I wouldn't much mind if this sort of thing required a warrant and if they were required to toss any data without a specific person's (or IP, at the outside) name/id on it.


Sigh, the FBI does rquire a warrant to use Carnivore, and to top it off, it's _really_ hard to get. As for tossing extraneous data, it's the software that analyzes all the traffic, not humans. IANAFBIA, but from my experience, c-vore only _collects_ data on the target, agents don't even see the rest of the cruft.

Let's get off of our parannoid horses for a minute, and think about this rationally. Do you _really_ think that the FBI would waste the thousands of hours of manpower it would require to manually analyze just one hour's worth of unfiltered data? Even if they did see that metallica.MP3 file you e-mailed to your aunt, would they really care enough to note who you are? Of course not, they're after the sick-ass guy who brags about whipping pre-pubescent girls and rubbing salt in their wounds (trust me, I'm _not_ overstating this).

Besides, if you really need to overthrow the gov't (of course one day we will, history teaches us that) you'll just have to use encryption...

A good invention (3)

tssm0n0 (200200) | more than 14 years ago | (#942875)

Now the FBI can read all my spam... god knows I don't wanna read that crap.

Re:Selective filtering (3)

corniche (207397) | more than 14 years ago | (#942876)

in the UK, there is a bill being passed that if the police etc. wants to look at your encrypted data, you are required to supply the key. faliure to comply results in a jail sentence
(up to 10 years i think)
also, never be 100% sure that your encryption is safe, you never know quite what technology they've got....

{shhhhh... the froggies are asleep.}
spam-proofing?

Re:This would be a surprise? (3)

Ketzer (207882) | more than 14 years ago | (#942877)

I've wondered about this one for a while.
In the MS v. DOJ thing, apparently they used a bunch of emails from Billy G. as evidence.

Admittedly, I didn't follow it all that closely, (by them time I had first heard about it, I was sick of hearing about it) but why didn't he just say "I didn't write that."

It should be virtually impossible to prove that email was written by any particular person. I could set my "Real Name" to Bill Gates and send out an email, or if I really wanted to put effort into it I could even make it look like it really came from bgates@microsoft.com. It's not that hard to create a file with a certain set of text in it, so an email header that says "this is from person X" doesn't at all guarantee that it actually is.

I know what many of you will say: "But you can track it's path through the mail servers, and if you're really thorough, you can pin it to an internal IP and MAC address and time of origin." Even that doesn't prove who was using that machine.

Steganography. (4)

Poe (12710) | more than 14 years ago | (#942878)

Rather than using PGP, which is likely to get the undevided attention of any government agency, use steganography [outguess.org] .
Take your plaintext, encrypt it, hide it in some of the least signifigant bits in an image, attach the image to an ordinary email, and off it goes!

This would be a surprise? (4)

waldeaux (109942) | more than 14 years ago | (#942880)

... I'm not surprised. We've already given away so many rights "for the baaaaaiiiiiiiiiibiiiees", the whole 1984 blew past us a long time ago.

The scariest part of this is that people can, and frequently DO send e-mail from different places. Also, multiple people frequently use the same phone line. So consider these two situations:

  1. Someone who sends e-mail at home and at work.
  2. Two roommates who send e-mail from the same computer.

It is very easy to forge e-mail. What's to stop someone from forging e-mail in the name of someone in two places? Nothing of course. What guarantee is there that the FBI will understand that they could easy get false data? None of course. Since we're already setting up classes of crimes for which "innocent until proven guilty" is no longer upheld (in practice), it won't be long until someone is convicted of a crime based upon what is fraudulent electronic evidence.

Of course it has probably happened already.

Secure Communications (4)

grahamsz (150076) | more than 14 years ago | (#942881)

Personally I would like to see an offshore provider giving https based webmail. This would probably be a lot more accesible to end users then PGP currently is and would surely start to cause problems for the US & UK governments and their dodgy schemes for monitoring access.

In the UK i believe the police can now demand ISPs route certain customers traffic through them and whilst I dont do anything that i'm particularly worried about online it's still not a very comforting thought.

I wonder if providing free encryption based web mail services would be something that havenco would be prepared to provide as a publicity stunt?

ANother reason to use PGP (4)

DevTopics (150455) | more than 14 years ago | (#942882)

To me, this is just another reason to use PGP for my email. Let's face it, email is insecure in every way you look at it: it can be wiretapped, it can be faked, it can be changed on the way, and so on.

So I think that stories like this should be brought to a greater attention (read: Joe User should notice that). And we should get used to "sealing" our email with PGP like we're used to seal our envelopes.

One other nice thing about encrypted email is: your ISP couldn't be held responsible for anything you say. I'm responsible for what I say, and you are responsible for what you say, and not vice versa. And this should be true for everyone.

As long as PGP can't be decrypted, we can shrug our shoulders at stories like this.

Re:The big picture (5)

arivanov (12034) | more than 14 years ago | (#942884)

If the government has a technique that can decrease crime, prevent terrorism, and save lives, how can you be opposed to it?

Pol Pot and Yeng Sari had such highly successful techniques. Cambodja virtually had no crime. It also did not have any literate cittizens left and had 25% of the population killed.

Hitler also had such technique. The crime level in Nazi germany was very low. There were almost no pedofils left in Germany for example. So if broght now Hitler Germany would not have had any "child p0rn" problems as there were no consumers for "chid p0rn" left. He simply treated them like the jews. Actually jews had higher survival rates than pedos and gay in Nazi Germany and Stalin USSR.

Stalin and his followers also had such technique. The crime level in the ex-eastern block was never asv low as in nazi germany but it was mostly petty crime. Not shooting in the streets like now.

Are all these compelling reasons for us to restore anyone of these? Clone them maybe?

Re:PGP (5)

jilles (20976) | more than 14 years ago | (#942886)

Nah, too cumbersom. I think the whole problem is that TCP connections are not private. With SSH you can scramble any connection. So, why not scramble the traffic between mailservers? While we're at it, why not compress the data as well. I think encryption has to be built in to the network and not just added on to it. Basically any trafic to and from a PC can be read right now, unless you specifically choose to encrypt it. I would like to have it the other way around. Anything from chat sessions to ftp to X sessions I want encrypted.

Difference between FBI and Congress (5)

/ (33804) | more than 14 years ago | (#942887)

When Congress enacts this sort of program, they always give it a name like "The Freedom of Infants and Children Act" or the "Prevention of Violence to Puppies Act" with a rider that slips in the big-brother grants of power.

The FBI, on the other hand, gives it a name that can't help but encourage visions of a government run-amok eating its citizens. Which, come to think of it, is not too far from the truth.

No wiretapping without a specific warrant (5)

Zulfiya (44302) | more than 14 years ago | (#942888)

"It's the electronic equivalent of listening to everybody's phone calls to see if it's the phone call you should be monitoring," Mr. Rasch said. "You develop a tremendous amount of information."

This guy is right on the money. This isn't about targeting a suspect and confirming other evidence (as wiretapping is meant to be), but about trolling for suspects. Why should electronic communication be legally less protected than telephone communication?

I wouldn't much mind if this sort of thing required a warrant and if they were required to toss any data without a specific person's (or IP, at the outside) name/id on it. There's no need for this level of invasion. I also suspect, rather like the cybersensor filters, they're going to pick up more false hits than real crime, and wind up investigating and harassing uninvolved people.

Now here's an argument for better encryption.

TO: myfriend@theotherispintown.com (5)

AntiPasto (168263) | more than 14 years ago | (#942889)

SUBJ: Hello friend! MSG: Ahhh I love living in the United States, I love the government and its astoundingly perfect mindset that guards my every right and freedom. I am glad that you, my friend, my comrade, are living in this land that beats all others.

It's so double plus good to be alive and protected by the Ministry of the FBI!

----

Automated Search Warrant Request Software (5)

Your Robotic Pal (191610) | more than 14 years ago | (#942891)

I also thought that requiring a search
warrant would reasonably limit privacy
invasions by any agency.

Until I found a website for an automated
search warrant request software package.

Like most of you, I don't do anything that anyone would be concerned about. I don't even keep copies of DeCss around, nor do I download metallica songs. And after seeing the anonymous family photo with the cucumber, the dog and what appears to be a small cheerleading squad, I haven't much interest in downloading Pr0n. With caffeine as my only drug, I'm not exactly worried...

I even pay my parking tickets and cable bill.

What is scary is the website I found (there are at least three packages for this)detailing software designed for automating search warrant requests (probable cause, non?) and capable of processing over 1100 search warrant requests per hour!

I found these sites by accident while looking for information on search engine technology in 1996. I won't list the URLS, but you can find them. One site talked about how much faster it would be when electronic authorization (EDI) interaction became available.

Imagine how low the threshold of probable cause will slip once some eager programmer decides that online email profiling data can go immediately into the search warrant request software, returning approval in under thirty seconds.

There are no laws saying that e-mail, packet scans and IP traffic logs cannot be held indefinately, or archived for the last 120 days. This didn't apply to telephone calls - while call logs could be accessed, recording the actual conversations required a warrant - so speech that occured before the warrant was safe, or left as hearsay evidence. With digital archiving of all traffic, the landscape has changed.

In the future, search warrants will effectively be *retroactive* - and can contain complete records of what you've done for months.

For most people, privacy is seen as a way to hide indiscretions from general knowledge, or as a way to "get away" with crime. It isn't - that's a small quirk that can be handled through our current legal system.

Privacy is really the way that we guarantee our right to stay at arm's length from our government (well, at least the individuals in it) and our ability to disagree and express that disagreement (without fear of punitive retaliation)to those in power, be they government officials, Microsoft or the MPAA.

As long as we have that, everything else in a democracy can work. We don't really want a truly libertarian state (Been to Moscow lately?), but a democracy that embraces responsibility and liberty like RSM embraces pizza and ego.

So Get off your dead asses
and write those letters now!
snicker.

Selective filtering (5)

11223 (201561) | more than 14 years ago | (#942892)

One problem with the Carnivore system is that we can't trust the FBI to only do selective filtering - they need to intercept all messages and then sort out the ones that apply - except we can't trust them not to take my messages with them! The solution is to have your email users use an encrypted mail transport system so that when the FBI requests a wiretap, they are only given the key to decrypt the messages of the account they're looking for. There are a few (but not widely deployed) systems that do this already, but a better one could be possible now that RSA will be expiring soon.

BTW, how does wiretapping interact with encrypted data? What if they tap the email and discover that it's all PGP'ed? Can they brute-force it?

the part MSNBC didn't print (5)

happystink (204158) | more than 14 years ago | (#942893)

FBI sources were quoted as saying that among the first people targeted would be the people who put random Echelon keywords in their .sigs. "They all thought they were clever" Michaels said, "but it was just lame and annoying, and only a few hundred people ever did it, so it wasn't even effective. We were sitting around drinking one night and were like 'What the shit, let's test this on those guys!' and we've been following them ever since. Mostly it's just a bunch of guys talking about beard trimmers and PGP, it's kind of depressing."
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>