The Varsity

The University of Toronto's
Student Newspaper Since 1880

New software helps FBI keep track of data

By Karolina Walczak
Published: 9:00 am, 14 January 2002
Modified: 4 pm, 11 January 2012

Thanks to Magic Lantern, software that supposedly tracks every keystroke made on a computer, the FBI can access any bit of information they wish and have it sent to them over the Internet

Magic Lantern can easily install itself on any computer.

The FBI can e-mail this tiny program, disguised as a message from friends or family, to a suspect. The recipient wouldn’t even have to open the e-mail—if it lands in their mailbox, it is capable of sending data logs periodically back to the FBI.

If the FBI holds this kind of technology, how safe is our information? Eric Chan, chief researcher at Symantec’s anti-virus research lab, says his company would be unable to detect Magic Lantern if the FBI has sole access to the program.

With this technology nothing on the Internet is safe, nothing is private and since the Internet can connect to faxes and cell phones, who knows how much information the FBI has access to?