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FBI Asks Google, Facebook, To Aid Wiretapping

 
 
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 Now that most Americans rarely ever use landlines but are instead occupied on the web and with their smartphones, the FBI is trying to step up its surveillance game to keep up with the times--to the detriment of our civil liberties.

Last week, agency director Robert Mueller went to Sillicon Valley (much like Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network") with a somewhat frightening proposal: Facebook and Google should build "back doors" into their systems to allow ease for spying.

But groups like the ACLU says these physical mechanisms could be exploited by everyone from hackers to autocratic regimes cracking down on dissent.

 "It is important to realize that this proposal isn’t simply applying the same sort of wiretap system we have for phones to the Internet; it would require reconfiguring and changing the nature of the Internet," said Laura Murphy of the ACLU in a statement.

"We remain very concerned that this proposal is a clear recipe for abuse and will make it that much easier for the government to gain access to our most personal information. Americans should not simply surrender their privacy and other fundamental values in the name of national security."

Even within the Obama administration, there is some consternation that the changes sought by the FBI would inhibit innovation and aid repressive regimes.

Read more at The New York Times and Raw Story.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at November 18, 2010, 4:09am

 
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