FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

Summary: The FBI is expected to reveal that it's "increasingly unable" to conduct certain types of surveillance that would be possible on cellular and traditional telephones.


FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni will outline what the bureau is calling the "Going Dark" problem, meaning that police can be thwarted when conducting court-authorized eavesdropping because Internet companies aren't required to build in backdoors in advance, or because technology doesn't permit it.

Any solution, according to a copy of Caproni's prepared comments obtained by CNET News, should include a way for police armed with wiretap orders to conduct surveillance of "Web-based e-mail, social networking sites, and peer-to-peer communications technology."

The last example, which was floated last fall, is likely to be the most contentious. When an encrypted voice application like Phil Zimmermann's Zfone is used, the entire conversation is scrambled from end to end. It's like handing a letter directly to its recipient--bypassing workers at the neighborhood post office, who could be required to forward a copy to the FBI. Forcing companies like Zfone and Skype, which also uses encryption for peer-to-peer calls, to build in backdoors for police access was rejected in the 1990s and would mark a dramatic departure from current practice.

For more on this story, read FBI to announce new Net-wiretapping push on CNET News.

Topics: Government US, Browser, Government

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  • Warrantless wiretapping

    They're pushing for everything to be recorded for everyone WHEN THERE IS NO WARRANT TO DO SO as if everyone is just a criminal under suspicion.<br><br>The warrant is then used to backdate that suspicion and grab the logs.<br><br>As for encrypted comms the mouth-to-device connection continues to remain unencrypted. If they want to monitor conversations, they can, as they do now, simply bug the person, or turn on OnStar microphone in the car remotely, or send updated firmware to a phone (as FBI docs reveal they've done before).<br><br>So please, lets not pretend the world is somehow working against law enforcement, it isn't. Technology is threatening freedom now. The balance is way way against the individual.
    • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

      @guihombre Amen! It's just one more step toward a full-on police state.
    • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

      The FBI is brazen in both their claims and their tactics, but in reality, there are no protections left to the American people. Executive branch (FBI) is in bed with Legislative branch (Congress) and Judicial branch (Judges) so there is no balance of power.

      @repeal - a quote

      "The entire point of having an open and independent judiciary is so that abuses of power can be quickly identified by the public and corrected. The very structure of this law prevents that from occurring"

      There is no independent judiciary left. Over 90 percent of federal judges are former prosecutors or law enforcement agents. Their active cooperation to circumvent Constitutional protections are well-documented. Now we even have secret courts (like FISA). In a survey covering a six-month period in 2009, a Cornell study found that just 1 percent of FBI warrant requests were rejected by Federal judges, and most of those were attributed to clerical errors such as leaving out the name of the requesting agency!
      terry flores
    • They've got the inch, now they want the whole mile

      Did it occur to the President that those messages were encrypted my American Citizens and the CUSTOMERS of said network providers? Probably, but it doesn't really matter, when we allowed them the power of the Patriot Act, it only whetted their appetite and they want MORE!
      What a surprise, right?


  • only Obama can come up with this ideeas

    the constitution is under threat by the liberal goons that want to spy on us and impose an immoral socialist regime.
    We need a conservative that would uphold the constitution in the white house!
    Linux Geek
    • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

      @Linux Geek
      I stated elsewhere how I believed George Bush was a pawn of the liberal establishment meant to damage the GOP beyond repair. The now victorious and emboldened liberal establishment makes Bush's Patriot Act look very weak by comparison to what they accomplish by taking over every single form of media known by man, raising the deficit to greater than any president in history while making artificial promises to gullible, needy, self entitled, self serving undeservedly arrogant people who vote party before country.
      True conservatism has been weak to non existent in this country for a very long time, and everybody is paying for it.
      • The media has been under liberal control since the 60s,

        and it's only recently, after the advent of the internet and talk radio, that the liberals have lost control of some of that media.

        But, they continue trying to come up with some methods to get government to control the internet, and to get the "fairness doctrine" passed to, basically, cripple the "right-wing" talk radio personalities.
      • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

        And it should die the slow death that you envisioned!!!
    • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

      @Linux Geek We need someone who is outside of the republican party and the democratic party. Bush shredded the constitution in unprecidented ways as well, Obama has continued to do so with the tacit support of a democratic congress.

      I hate to say this, but I was duped into believing that Obama wasn't a part of that establishment. But he's just as bad as a neocon.
      • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

        Agreed! We need third parties (and honesty).
      • Some people are easily and/or willingly duped.

      • BTW, which rights and/or freedoms did Bush take away from you?

        Even under the Patriot Act.
    • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

      @Linux Geek
      News to me! First time to my knowledge someone called George Bush a liberal??? But, you are consistent, I'll say!
  • Bye Bye Freedom and Civil Rights

  • There is a gaping hole in the law

    Individuals can meet in person and whisper sweet nothings in to one anothers ears. This creates an interception problem for the federal government.

    The obvious solution is the SNALE law: the Sweet Nothings Assistance to Law Enforcement act. It would require all persons to engineer law enforcement interception technology directly in to their own ears, so that anything they hear could be copied and forwarded to the FBI.

    It wouldn't have any danger of misuse because information collected could only be used in criminal proceedings pursuant to a lawful warrant.

    Pass SNALE now, before Washington goes dark.
  • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

    sounds like INDIA
    • Hummm

      Most of world learns and copies ideas from FBI and CIA (in general from US government), Including India. So you are right they all sound familiar.
      • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

        @p.vinnie@... Perhaps India was being so tough on encripted devices because they are having a problem with Marxists in portions of their country.

        Does the American government have the same worry or are the 9/11 style guys enough to worry about ?
  • So, should we be calling it &quot;Obama's fault!&quot;?

    If it was called "Bush's fault!" back when Bush was in office, shouldn't we be doing the same with Obama anytime some ugly government intrusion into our lives comes up?<br><br>Or, is the blame game only good when Bush or republicans are in office?
    • RE: FBI steps up push for Net wiretapping

      @adornoe@... Personally, I voted for Obama. I'm really disappointed in him for what he's done. I don't think McCain would have been any better either. I've written about how pissed I am at him and how let down I feel...

      I think it's important for people on both "sides" who hate the surveillance state to get together on those issues. The republicans who were recently elected, however, seem to be in favor of being complicit in denying us freedoms for the sake of national security.