EFF sues over FBI technology

EFF sues Justice Dept. for information on two secret surveillance technologies.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's FLAG project filed a lawsuit (PDF) against the Department of Justice over the department's failure to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request for records concerning two FBI electronic surveillance projects - DCS-3000 and RedHook.

According to a March 2006 inspector general's report on the technologies:

The FBI has spent nearly $10 million on DCS-3000. The FBI developed the system as an interim solution to intercept personal communications services delivered via emerging digital technologies used by wireless carriers in advance of any CALEA solutions being deployed. Law enforcement continues to utilize this technology as carriers continue to introduce new features and services.

The FBI has spent over $1.5 million to develop a the Red Hook system to collect voice and data calls and then process and display the intercepted information in the absence of a CALEA solution.

CALEA is the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act.

According to EFF, the FLAG Project first filed its FOIA request for information about the surveillance systems on August 11, 2006. The FBI acknowledged receipt of the request, but the agency has not responded.

"Recent allegations of domestic spying by the U.S. government already have both lawmakers and the general public up in arms. Americans have a right to know whether the FBI is using new technology to further violate their privacy," said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. "The Department of Justice needs to abide by the law and publicly release information about these surveillance tools."
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