Judge Sets Hearing for FBI’s Carnivore

The FBI’s e-mail surveillance tool, Carnivore, was dragged into the legal arena yesterday when a federal judge ordered an emergency hearing after a privacy rights group requested the immediate release of details about the system.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center accused both the FBI and U.S. Justice Department this week of breaching the law by not acting on a request for fast-track processing of a Freedom of Information Act query about Carnivore.

The FBI has said the system is designed to intercept data from e-mail or criminal suspects by monitoring traffic at an Internet service provider, but EPIC has asked for more details as to how the system works.

U.S. District Judge James Robinson set the hearing for late yesterday afternoon.

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