Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One Nation Under Surveillance, Part 10934

Via Seth Schoen of CommonDreams, we find a NYT article by Charlie Savage:

U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet

Published: September 27, 2010

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order.

The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally. 


Oh, yeah; that's gonna work. Deep in the second page of the article we find this little jewel, which I believe reflects reality:
Even with such a law, some gaps could remain. It is not clear how it could compel compliance by overseas services that do no domestic business, or from a “freeware” application developed by volunteers. 
Foreign businesses with no US interests probably operate under foreign law. And as for the rest... never, ever underestimate the ability of developers of freeware.

This law will be circumvented by criminals and terrorists before the digital ink is dry on the legal web sites. But the NSA or FBI or whatever 3-letter agency will have a peek at your letters to your paramour, or track your political activity as if it were subversive. And let's face it: that's the real reason They are pushing for this law.


  1. "This law will be circumvented by criminals"---as defined by the state of course....let's go (opps, did the NSA hear that?)

  2. mandt, the NSA doesn't have to hear anything... they simply harvest all the postings on the entire 'net, and then they... well, what they attempt to do with them is not at all clear. But nothing will be lost, and no one will be forgotten!



• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes