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Uh oh. Here it comes again (only worse)

According to the New York Times (boldface and sarcastic remarks mine):

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. …

James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had “huge implications” and challenged “fundamental elements of the Internet revolution” — including its decentralized design. …

But law enforcement officials contend that imposing such a mandate is reasonable and necessary to prevent the erosion of their investigative powers.

“We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts,” said Valerie E. Caproni, general counsel for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “We’re not talking expanding authority. [Oh, no, we never talk about expanding our authority. We just do it.] We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.” …

But they want it to apply broadly, including to companies that operate from servers abroad, like Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of BlackBerry devices. In recent months, that company has come into conflict with the governments of Dubai and India over their inability to conduct surveillance of messages sent via its encrypted service. [And the U.S. should never take a backseat to Dubai in its pursuit of “lawfully authorized intercepts,” now should it?]

Going to be real interesting to see how the U.S. fedgov forces “compliance” on servers in Iceland or Sweden. And no mention yet of what to do about encryption not done by the communications company, but by thee and me. Ah, but they tried that one once before …


  1. Noah Vaile
    Noah Vaile September 27, 2010 10:06 am

    And where is the national Privacy Rights lobby? They reared up and squealed like piglets at a BBQ everytime that the Bush administration suggested doing anything other than rolling over.

  2. Ellendra
    Ellendra September 27, 2010 7:27 pm

    It’s interesting that I’ve been hearing for years that Clinton and Bush had ALREADY passed a law that OK’ed internet wiretapping, usually from people who were just narcissistic enough to believe the president had nothing better to do than to sniff through their file of bread recipes (and the bread wasn’t that good anyway).

    I guess I’ve reached Warning Overload, I’ve been seeing economic collapse warnings, government takeover warnings, food safety warnings, EMP warnings, apocalypse warnings, etc, so often over the last few years that I’m finding it very hard to care right now. So they want to snoop through my top-secret online communications? Go for it, my involvement in the otherkin community will make them doubt their own sanity.

    Or mine.

    Or both!

    They can go F themselves.

  3. cctyker
    cctyker September 27, 2010 10:26 pm

    It’s so depressing, I did not read all of Claire’s blog today. The citizens are the dupes; they will believe anything the government says, and it is not really their fault.

    The internet providers are willing to sell their soul for a buck, and for regulations that harm their competitors and prevents start up competition. They don’t know what freedom is. How can they protect it?

    But where can we learn what freedom is? Where can we learn self-responsibility? Where are examples? Where are people who live such a life?

    If you want to know what life is like as a Nun, you can visit with a Nun and learn. She can give you a good feel of what it is like being a Nun. Then you can go into that lifestyle with some confidence you know what you are getting into.

    Where in the US can we find a Free person we can visit and learn? Yes, there are a million ways to be free, but just to know what one such lifestyle feels like would help any of us learn the core tenets of the lifestyle of the free.

    No one is free. No one even knows what it is anymore. What a daily life of freedom feels like is a big unknown. So people fear it.

    And those of us struggling to be free must watch our backs for the blue suited thug with a gun and the law on his side.

    That is not the life of freedom.

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