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Date: 2001-08-12

Keystroke-Logging und das FBI

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Rund um das Thema FBI und Key-Logging ist zwischen Declan
McCullaghed [Wired] und Thomas Greene [The Register]
ausgebrochen. Der neue FBI-Direktor Robert Mueller hat vor einem
Senatsauschuss angegeben, von der erwähnten Technik zur
Überwachung von Keyboard-Eingaben keine Ahnung zu haben.
Greene wiederum hat ein Dokument des CERT zum Thema Key-
logging von 1992 ausgegraben und siehe - Robert Mueller kam
darin vor.
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by Declan McCullagh <>

I'm a big fan of Thomas' work, but I don't think his article below
makes the case that our new FBI director lied to Congress.

The 1992 CERT advisory -- Robert Mueller is listed in the
acknowledgements -- talks about keystroke logging of the form
done by system and network administrators.
( The obvious
methods at the time to do so were tools like tcpdump and even
printers hooked up in the way Cliff Stoll documents in the Cuckoo's
Egg. There's a big difference between monitoring what users are
doing on a multi-user, networked Unix system accessed entirely
remotely and recording what one person is typing locally on a
Windows PC.

Last week I posted the transcript of Mueller's comments before the
Senate Judiciary committee. In response to a question about the
Scarfo monitoring technology, which the FBi developed internally in
the last few years, he replied: >MR. MUELLER: I'm not
familiar with that new technology, have not had >occasion to use it
in our district. I read the same article that the >senator read, with
interest, because it was the first I'd ever heard if >it. Until I know
more about it, I really don't think I can commit one way >or the

Those comments seem to be truthful. I don't think the Scarfo
technology -- based on what we know of it -- is anything near what
the CERT advisory is talking about.



From: "Thomas C. Greene" <> Subject:
FBI chief Mueller lied to Senate about key-logging Date: Wed, 8
Aug 2001 15:06:07 -0700

FBI chief Mueller lied to Senate about key-logging By Thomas C
Greene in Washington

New FBI chief Robert Mueller's testimony before the US Senate
during his confirmation hearing last week, to the effect that he had
no understanding of key-logging technology, sounded very wrong to

We were hoping that he was just exhibiting naiveté when, under
questioning from US Senator Maria Cantwell (Democrat,
Washington State) about the FBI's prosecution of mobster
Nicodemo Scarfo, Jr. by means of a black-bag job involving a key
logger, Mueller claimed that he's "not familiar with that new
technology, and [had] not had occasion to use it in [his] district."

We figured that little gem had to be either a bald-faced lie, or
evidence of his technical incompetence and consequent unfitness
to lead the FBI in the 21st Century.

Naturally, we all prefer honest incompetence to active deceit, and
we were hoping that the second explanation would prove right; but
we're sorry to report that we've got evidence that actually Mueller
knows a great deal about key-logging technology.

If we consult the following advisory from the Computer
Emergency Response Team (CERT) Coordination Center at
Carnegie Mellon University, we find that Mueller contributed to a
report on the legalities of installing key-logging technology on a

The bulletin advises systems administrators that because key
logging could be controversial (as the courts had yet to rule on its
legality), it would be best to put a prominent banner warning users
and intruders alike that their comings and goings will be monitored.

The bulletin is dated December 1992, revised September 1997.
Clearly, Mueller has been well acquainted with the technology he
told Congress he knows nothing about.

Sadly, it appears he lied to Congress. And even if he was splitting
hairs, i.e., speaking of a very specific implementation of key-
logging technology which he himself hasn't yet played with, he's
still deceitful.

He might have been a man about it, and declined to answer on
grounds that the technology in question is currently being tested in
the courts -- that is, in the Scarfo case. At least he would have
shown some spine. But by fobbing off the question with a lie, or
with a split-hair statement calculated to mislead the Senate, he's
demonstrated that he's afraid of tough questions, and eager to take
the coward's path out.

It's a very sad symbol of his brand-new tenure, and a most horrible
way to start it.

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