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Government preparing to fine tech firms that don’t comply with wiretaps

The government has for many years sought the means, through tech giants like Google and Facebook, to wiretap communications with the use of in-built backdoors. According to the Washington Post, a Justice Department task force, prompted by FBI efforts, is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to comply with law enforcement wiretaps. Via WaPo:

There is currently no way to wiretap some of these communications methods easily, and companies effectively have been able to avoid complying with court orders. While the companies argue that they have no means to facilitate the wiretap, the government, in turn, has no desire to enter into what could be a drawn-out contempt proceeding.

Under the draft proposal, a court could levy a series of escalating fines, starting at tens of thousands of dollars, on firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders, according to persons who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. A company that does not comply with an order within a certain period would face an automatic judicial inquiry, which could lead to fines. After 90 days, fines that remain unpaid would double daily.

... The proposal, however, is likely to encounter resistance, said industry officials and privacy advocates.

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