WASHINGTON (08/11/2000) - University computer experts may get a chance later this month to review Carnivore, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's controversial e-mail snoop, Attorney General Janet Reno announced Thursday.
Justice officials have contacted three universities that it will consider for the review, and they may look at as many as nine before deciding which institution will do the work.
Members of Congress, privacy advocates and civil liberties organizations have criticized the system, which makes copies of e-mail messages targeted by FBI agents.
In most cases, bureau officials have said, Carnivore traps only the "to" and "from" lines of an e-mail message and does not even include the subject line.
But officials acknowledged that the bureau can and has intercepted entire e-mail messages.
Reno said Thursday that critics of Carnivore, along with FBI and other law enforcement officials, will be consulted on the selection of a university to review the program. They also will be consulted about any recommendations coming out of the review, she said.
"I will approve the final selection of the university after consulting with the privacy and law enforcement community," she said. "The university review team will have total access to any information they need to conduct their review."