Archive for Going Dark

FBI wants backdoor wiretapping access to internet and your facebook accounts

Posted in Big Brother, FBI, Police State, Privacy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2012 by saynsumthn

As technologies have advanced, they have dramatically changed the way that we live and interact. We, as consumers, have become accustomed to the convenience, capabilities, and even the entertainment that they provide. But, should these same advantages be applied to other areas such as law enforcement?

This topic has recently come up for debate after the FBI indicated that it is contemplating legislation that would require Internet firms to build backdoors into their services for government surveillance. The bureau is hoping to amend the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) in order to require companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook to comply with federal wiretapping orders if the need arises.

CALEA, in its current form, applies to telecommunications companies. It was amended in 2004 to also include broadband networks, but if the FBI’s effort works, it could also force Web companies to alter their code to ensure surveillance capabilities.

“Basically, the FBI wants to amend CALEA to keep up with the changes in technology that have taken place over the last 18 years since CALEA became law,” Michael Donahue, partner at Marashlian & Donahue, LLC, tells WebProNews.

In the past, the FBI has worked to develop independent solutions for these types of companies, explained Donahue. However, due to budget cuts, the funding for them no longer exists.

These recent developments are part of the bureau’s mission to resolve, what it calls, its “Going Dark” problem. According to information released by the FBI, “Going Dark” refers to “law enforcement’s limited capability to comprehensively and lawfully collect data and information, conduct electronic surveillance and analyze the raw data due to the rapid evolution of telecommunications and data collection technology and services.”

Research shows that the “Going Dark” problem dates back several years. Under this initiative, Donahue told us that the FBI is trying to achieve the following actions:
•To commit the FCC to regulate technical standards for solutions
•To require the FCC to approve a standard in order for it to be considered a safe harbor
•To eliminate or modify the current exemption in CALEA for private networks (i.e., Universities, Colleges, etc.)
•To eliminate or modify the current exemption for information services
•To provide stronger enforcement of existing requirements that providers that enable encryption are also able to decrypt the information for law enforcement
•To require providers to certify their CALEA compliance annually

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