FBI: Web-based Services Hurting Wiretapping Efforts

Web-based e-mail, social-networking and peer-to-peer services are frustrating law enforcement wiretapping efforts, a lawyer for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation told lawmakers Thursday, but she did not offer concrete ideas on how to fix the problem.

President Barack Obama’s administration is debating ways to deal with Web-based services not covered by traditional wiretap laws, including incentives for companies to build in surveillance capabilities, said Valerie Caproni, general counsel at the FBI.

Many Internet services are not covered by the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which requires traditional telecom carriers to allow law enforcement agencies real-time access to communications after a court has issued a wiretap order, she told members of a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee

But Caproni told lawmakers she was not asking for expanded CALEA powers. And she stopped short of calling for rules requiring Web-based communication providers to build in so-called back doors allowing law enforcement access to their software, although she said she’s optimistic the U.S. government can find incentives for companies to “have intercept solutions engineered into their systems.”

The FBI is concerned that law enforcement investigations are being compromised by the lack of wiretap capability on some Web-based services and encrypted mobile telephone traffic, Caproni said.

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I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

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