|18 May 2012||#1|
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FBI 'looking at' law making Web sites wiretap-ready, director says
FBI director Robert Mueller confirmed that the bureau has renewed its push for a new Internet wiretapping law, which CNET reported two weeks ago.
In an appearance this week on Capitol Hill, Mueller downplayed privacy concerns, saying the FBI's wiretap proposals -- social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail are the primary targets -- would still require a court to be involved.
We want to "be able to obtain those communications," Mueller said on Wednesday. "What we're looking at is some form of legislation that will assure that when we get the appropriate court order that those individuals -- individual companies are served with that order do have the capability and the capacity to respond to that order."
FBI 'looking at' law making Web sites wiretap-ready, director says | Security & Privacy - CNET News
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|18 May 2012||#2|
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It sounds like a smoke screen to me. I will be the first to admit that I'm no expert in this area, but as far as I understand, the government already has the ability to obtain information from internet services that they have records of, such as email, etc. Even if an email is deleted from an account, the provider still has a record of it, which could be obtained by legal means that already exists. When it comes to VoIP, I do not know if records are kept, so I'm assuming what they are after is the ability to obtain live communications via a backdoor. That would only be useful if the persons being tapped always used the same identification, but if the persons in question were involved in anything so important to national security, I would imagine that they would be smart enough to have means to shuffle that around to obscure their communications.
Consider the fact that when a telephone wiretap is court ordered, it is only authorized for specific telephone numbers connected with the suspects, like their home, work, or a number specifically used by them, not the entire telephone system. Regardless of the stated purpose given, in reality they would be monitoring everyone, and the initial order would only be a "legal" justification.
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