Obama Seeks Greater Access to Online Communication

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.

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  1. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    A shame we no longer believe in guilty before innocent on wait…never mind. And due course and problem able cause backed up by a judges warrant.

    How far have we fallen, the government has to much power and is not slowly with powers invested in it by the wooly masses and the corporate herders and ra…er animal "lovers" we are headed for a full fledged authoritarian system were the worker is watched and told what to do and how to do it from the cradle to the cubicle to their apartment and not only are we supporting it we are gleefully awaiting that achievement.


    We must be wary of government and distrustful of business if not they will take advantage of us, and without us neither would exist, there is a balance to things and humanity is mostly ill prepared for them.

    I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/

  2. 0
    Sabrel says:

    And you somehow think private entities with regional monopolies have any incentive to "behave?"

    They’ve already proven they’ll throw customer rights to the wind at government request. There is nothing to stop them, short of lawsuits, and it’s already been proven the government will shield them from that too if they play ball.

    You’re placing trust in entities that have proven at least as untrustworthy as politicians, and with even less accountability.

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    You don’t really think that "voting out those who support this" is an effective deterrent against misuse, do you?

    If we give the government the ability to control the internet with a net neutrality bill, this is EXACTLY what they will do.  Don’t be so stupid as to think otherwise.

    With the first link, the chain is forged.

  4. 0
    Sabrel says:

    You forget that when the government wanted communications info with shady legal justification, all they had to do was ask (and promise to protect from lawsuits). Leaving the internet in the hands of the telecoms is no protection for freedoms or privacy. Bucking the government is rarely profitable, and profit is all they care about.

    I can vote out Obama, and any of my representatives that support this. I can’t vote out Cox. There is no other option in my area.

  5. 0
    mattchew86 says:

     And people wonder why net neutrality is a big issue? You really want THESE people having full control over your internet? It’ll start out with cell phones and websites, soon it’ll move to God knows where. Just think of what they would do if they had control over something like that. 

  6. 0
    Sabrel says:


    A digital system is either secure, totally, or it is insecure. There is no backdoor system that will ensure only the "right" people can have access. Any vulnerability in a system will be exploited by malicious individuals. Not "may be" or "could be," will be. Government agencies routinely fail cybersecurity audits. The idea that they will be able to keep the keys to my system secure when they can’t even do it with the keys to their own systems is laughable.

    What the administration is saying, really and truly, is that they want to make Americans more vulnerable all of the time to people seeking to do them harm, in the interests of protecting them some of the time. That logic doesn’t pass muster.

  7. 0
    Zerodash says:

    Had this been proposed by Bush, there would literally (and rightfully) have been protests in the streets and tons of news coverage.  Of course, responsible citizenship and journalism seems to end when the "correct" leadership is in place.  :(



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