In order to combat the decreasing use of archaic telephones, the Obama administration is preparing a bill that would allow law enforcement and national security officials greater access to online communications.
As reported by the New York Times, such a bill would require online services such as Blackberry’s encrypted email system, or social sites like Facebook, to be “technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order.”
Some, like Columbia University’s Steven Bellovin, a Computer Science Professor, see a problem with the mandate, because hackers could figure out how to gain access through the new backdoors. Bellovin called it, “… a disaster waiting to happen.”
Meanwhile, The FBI’s General Counsel Valerie Caproni defended the fledgling bill, stating, “We’re not talking expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”
Center for Democracy and Technology Vice President James Dempsey was against the proposed measure as well, saying, “They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.”
The current plan is to submit the bill to lawmakers next year.