FBI Quietly Pushing Plan to Force Surveillance Backdoors on Social Networks, VoIP, & Web E-mail Providersby 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.
Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- US Schools Go Full-Bore Soviet
- Police Dept. Covers Up Its NSA-Style, Warrantless Cell Phone Tracking
- Michigan Township To Put Cameras 'In Every Neighborhood'
- Yes, There Are Paid Government Trolls On Social Media, Blogs, Forums And Websites
- Chicago PD Believes It Can See The Future, Starts Warning Citizens About Crimes They Might Commit
- Zero Tolerance Nets Two 11-Year Old Boys Juvenile Criminal Charges For Bringing A Toy Gun To School
- Meet Jack. Or, What The Government Could Do With That Location Data
- Homeland Security to Activate 'National License Plate Recognition Database'
FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.