US government seeks easier Internet wiretapping

President Barack Obama’s administration wants to create new legislation that will give federal authorities easier access to online content after they secure a warrant (yeah right, like they actually use warrants).

Federal officials have found criminals leaving landlines and mobile phones behind in favor of communicating via Web-based services.  President Obama’s administration, federal officials and lawmakers have collectively tried to find resolutions to better assist the government in its attempt to transition to new communication choices.

US government seeks easier Internet wiretapping

As part of the new bill, ISPs would need to be able to intercept and crack into encrypted messages whenever the government shows up with a warrant.  This includes communications through Internet social media websites, Skype, and other direct Internet communication services.

Access to the Research In Motion BlackBerry content would also be available to government viewing with a warrant, which is something other nations want access to as well.  The main difference, however, is the US government claims it will only request information on a case-to-case basis and with a warrant — other governments simply want free access to information being shared through the BlackBerry network.

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The FBI said this effort isn’t an attempt to expand the federal government’s authority to monitor new communications, instead it’s an effort to gain the ability to lawfully collect evidence.  However, there are numerous critics to this new legislation, saying this will give the government the chance to snoop whenever it so pleases, just like the NSA did on a massive scale by wiretapping telephone conversations without warrants.

President Bush was heavily criticized as the Patriot Act and other laws were put into place that opened the door to wiretaps and other possible privacy issues in the guise of national security.  There is a concern that President Obama’s new legislation could be exploited in similar ways as the Patriot Act, even though safeguards are reportedly going to be included.

I find it disturbing that the US Government wishes to be able to intercept and and read “all encrypted” communications if a warrant is obtained. Isn’t the sole purpose of using encryption to avoid any and all snooping eyes gaining access to data? If it can be easily cracked by service providers or the Government, what’s the point of using it at all?

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