You might have read reports in the past weeks that the FBI has shelved its Big Brother-style application Carnivore. The application was designed to listen in to internet communications around the world.
But don't bother bringing out the party balloons. The American intelligence community isn't even close to stop eavesdropping on consumers and businesses around the world.
"Instead, [the FBI] is simply buying its surveillance tools from private companies," says CNet's Washington, D.C. correspondent Declan McCullagh. Carnivore was developed internally by the FBI.
This gives rise to the question what is more scary: the fact that the FBI is eavesdropping on communications outside of the legal boundaries of the United States, or that commercial for profit organisations are creating the tools that do so – and therefore can sell them to anyone who has an appetite for that software. Just think what that will mean for the future of anything ranging from e-commerce to e-mail communications.
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