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Article posted May 04 2012, 6:57 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: CNET News Print

FBI Quietly Pushing Plan to Force Surveillance Backdoors on Social Networks, VoIP, & Web E-mail Providers

by Declan McCullagh

CNET learns the FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.

The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.

In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.

The FBI general counsel's office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.

"If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding," an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI's draft legislation told CNET. The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second industry representative briefed on it.

The FBI's proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, that currently applies only to telecommunications providers, not Web companies. The Federal Communications Commission extended CALEA in 2004 to apply to broadband networks.

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Comments 1 - 3 of 3 Add Comment Page 1 of 1
L.S.

Posted: May 04 2012, 9:59 PM

Link
"illegal activities?" they can have all my e-mails and instant messages, i don't care.

it's been unseasonably cold here in california, perhaps, it has something to do with the solar storm?

oh, and running variables won't help them....they can't account for what they don't believe in.
Anonymous

Posted: May 05 2012, 2:17 PM

Link
65110 "Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him."
Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642),
French statesman and the world's first Prime Minister.
Anonymous

Posted: May 05 2012, 2:18 PM

Link
65110 For whoever does not get it:

Everything can and will be made illegal at some point.


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