Pending Bill to Address E-Mail Surveillance

Rep. Bob Barr confirmed yesterday that Congress is preparing a bill that will place heavier burdens on the federal law enforcement agencies to justify monitoring people's e-mail messages. The bill, aimed to curb the FBI's new “Carnivore” e-mail surveillance system, would place additional restrictions on wiretaps as well.

The FBI's Carnivore software mechanism sits at the subject's ISP and scans the addressing information coming from or going to a suspect's computer, revealing far more information than a simple e-mail address. Carnivore monitors not only e-mails, but Web browsing, chat rooms and all other sorts of communications.

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