Carnivore (software)

Carnivore, later renamed DCS1000, was a system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications. It used a customizable packet sniffer that can monitor all of a target user's Internet traffic. Carnivore was implemented in October 1997. By 2005 it had been replaced with improved commercial software.[1]


Carnivore grew out of an earlier FBI project called "Omnivore", which itself replaced an older surveillance tool migrated from the US Navy by FBI Director of Integrity and Compliance,[2] Patrick W. Kelley, which had a still undisclosed name. In September 1998, the FBI's Data Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) in Quantico, Virginia, launched a project to migrate Omnivore from Sun's Solaris operating system to a Windows NT platform. This was done to facilitate the miniaturization of the system and support a wider range of personal computer (PC) equipment. The migration project was called "Phiple Troenix" and the resulting system was named "Carnivore."[3]

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