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Date: 2001-08-07

US: Keystroke Logging als Geheimnis

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Wie das Logging von Tastaturanschlägen funktioniert, mag das US-
Ministerium für Justiz nicht verraten: wieder einmal steht hier die
nationale Sicherheit auf dem Spiel.

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By Declan McCullagh ( 2:00 a.m. Aug. 7, 2001

The U.S. government has invoked national security to argue that
details of a new electronic surveillance technique must remain

Justice Department attorneys told a federal judge overseeing the
prosecution of an alleged mobster that public disclosure of a
classified keystroke logger would imperil ongoing investigations of
"foreign intelligence agents" and endanger the lives of U.S. agents.

In court documents (PDF) filed Friday, the Justice Department
claims that such stringent secrecy is necessary to prevent "hostile
intelligence officers" from employing "counter-surveillance tactics to
thwart law enforcement."


Donald Kerr, the director of the FBI's lab, said in an affidavit filed
Friday that "there are only a limited number of effective techniques
available to the FBI to cope with encrypted data, one of which is
the 'key logger system.'" He said that if criminals find out how the
logger works, they can readily circumvent it.

The feds believe so strongly in keeping this information secret that
they've said they may invoke the Classified Information Procedures
Act if necessary. The 1980 law says that the government may say
that evidence requires "protection against unauthorized disclosure
for reasons of national security."

If that happens, not only are observers barred from the courtroom,
but the trial could move to a classified location. Federal regulations
say that if a courtroom is not sufficiently secure, "the court shall
designate the facilities of another United States Government
agency" as the location for the trial.

But the FBI's Kerr said that CIPA's extreme procedures aren't good
enough. Says Kerr: "Even disclosure under the protection of the
court ... cannot guarantee that the technique will not be
compromised.... To assume otherwise may well lead to the
compromise of criminal and national security investigations, and, in
some cases, threaten the lives of FBI or other government agency


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edited by Harkank
published on: 2001-08-07
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