In a New York Times piece* this morning, Charlie Savage has this to say…
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.
Wire tapping someone online is vastly different then wire tapping a telephone or cell phone. I believe that this type of thing will open the door to more far reaching internet regulation which will be bad for everyone in the long run.
Of course, hackers will probably answer the call and write routines that will scramble our Skype chats among other things.
The argument will be made that if you are not doing anything wrong, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
The problem is not whether YOU are doing anything wrong but rather whether or not the GOVERNMENT is doing something wrong.
Politically speaking, even bringing this subject up before the November elections is a death sentence for the party in power.
Rather than standing on the train tracks waving my arms trying to stop this run away train from hitting the big fat 18 wheeler sitting on the tracks ahead, I’m going to simply stand aside and let these “brilliant” folk hit the truck.
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