Wiretapped phones, now Internet?

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WASHINGTON – Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations of 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 such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct “peer-to-peer” messaging such as 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.

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Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters such as BlackBerry, social networking websites such as Facebook and software that allows direct “peer-to-peer” messaging such as 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.

Read more.



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