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FBI presses for dramatic expansion of wiretapping law; router makers targeted

[It seems unlikely the FBI can get this proposal through Congress this 
year, given the shorter session and the controversial nature. The bureau 
also might be waiting to see what happens with the court case. This is 
more likely an issue for next year, I think. --Declan]


FBI plans new Net-tapping push
By Declan McCullagh
July 7, 2006, 6:47 PM PDT

The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet 
service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and 
force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping, 
CNET News.com has learned.

FBI Agent Barry Smith distributed the proposal at a private meeting last 
Friday with industry representatives and indicated it would be 
introduced by Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, according to two 
sources familiar with the meeting.

The draft bill would place the FBI's Net-surveillance push on solid 
legal footing. At the moment, it's ensnared in a legal challenge from 
universities and some technology companies that claim the Federal 
Communications Commission's broadband surveillance directives exceed 
what Congress has authorized.

The FBI claims that expanding the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law 
Enforcement Act is necessary to thwart criminals and terrorists who have 
turned to technologies like voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

"The complexity and variety of communications technologies have 
dramatically increased in recent years, and the lawful intercept 
capabilities of the federal, state and local law enforcement community 
have been under continual stress, and in many cases have decreased or 
become impossible," according to a summary accompanying the draft bill.

[...remainder snipped...]

Posted by Declan McCullagh on Jul 10, 2006 in category privacy

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