[IP] FBI plans new Net-tapping push
Bob2-19-0501 at bobf.frankston.com
Sat Jul 8 11:17:46 PDT 2006
Doest his meant hat if I use a generic Linux box to write some
routing or NAT software I must include an FBI module? Is it illegal
for Cisco to provide open source LinkSys boxes?
Given the attitude that the unexamined conversation is treason
shouldnbt the FBI be looking into all calls made using walkie-
talkies, between cordless phones, between extension phones? Are
corporate PBXes exempted?
Good thing that Bombay is now called Mumbai b otherwise think of all
the conversations that would be flagged as dangerous.
From: David Farber [mailto:dave at farber.net]
Sent: Saturday, July 08, 2006 08:00
To: ip at v2.listbox.com
Subject: [IP] FBI plans new Net-tapping push
Begin forwarded message:
From: Richard Forno <rforno at infowarrior.org>
Date: July 8, 2006 2:22:38 AM EDT
To: Blaster <rforno at infowarrior.org>
Cc: Dave Farber <dave at farber.net>
Subject: FBI plans new Net-tapping push
FBI plans new Net-tapping push
By Declan McCullagh
Story last modified Fri Jul 07 18:55:01 PDT 2006
The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet
service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance
and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for
eavesdropping, CNET News.com has learned.
FBI Agent Barry Smith distributed the proposal at a private meeting
last Friday with industry representatives and indicated it would be
introduced by Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, according to two
sources familiar with the meeting.
The draft bill would place the FBIbs Net-surveillance push on solid
legal footing. At the moment, itbs ensnared in a legal challenge from
universities and some technology companies that claim the Federal
Communications Commissionbs broadband surveillance directives exceed
what Congress has authorized.
The FBI claims that expanding the 1994 Communications Assistance for
Law Enforcement Act is necessary to thwart criminals and terrorists
who have turned to technologies like voice over Internet Protocol, or
bThe complexity and variety of communications technologies have
dramatically increased in recent years, and the lawful intercept
capabilities of the federal, state and local law enforcement
community have been under continual stress, and in many cases have
decreased or become impossible,b according to a summary accompanying
the draft bill.
Complicating the political outlook for the legislation is an ongoing
debate over allegedly illegal surveillance by the National Security
Administrationbpunctuated by several lawsuits challenging it on
constitutional grounds and an unrelated proposal to force Internet
service providers to record what Americans are doing online. One
source, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive
nature of last Fridaybs meeting, said the FBI viewed this as a top
congressional priority for 2007.
Breaking the legislation down
The 27-page proposed CALEA amendments seen by CNET News.com would:
B7 Require any manufacturer of broutingb and baddressingb
hardware to offer upgrades or other bmodificationsb that are needed
to support Internet wiretapping. Current law does require that of
telephone switch manufacturersbbut not makers of routers and network
address translation hardware like Cisco Systems and 2Wire.
B7 Authorize the expansion of wiretapping requirements to
bcommercialb Internet services including instant messaging if the FCC
deems it to be in the bpublic interest.b That would likely sweep in
services such as in- game chats offered by Microsoftbs Xbox 360
gaming system as well.
B7 Force Internet service providers to sift through their
customersb communications to identify, for instance, only VoIP calls.
(The language requires companies to adhere to bprocessing or
filtering methods or procedures applied by a law enforcement
agency.b) That means police could simply ask broadband providers like
AT&T, Comcast or Verizon for wiretap infobinstead of having to figure
out what VoIP service was being used.
B7 Eliminate the current legal requirement saying the Justice
Department must publish a public bnotice of the actual number of
communications interceptionsb every year. That notice currently also
must disclose the bmaximum capacityb required to accommodate all of
the legally authorized taps that government agencies will bconduct
and use simultaneously.b
Jim Harper, a policy analyst at the free-market Cato Institute and
member of a Homeland Security advisory board, said the proposal would
bhave a negative impact on Internet usersb privacy.b
bPeople expect their information to be private unless the government
meets certain legal standards,b Harper said. bRight now the
Department of Justice is pushing the wrong way on all this.b
Neither the FBI nor DeWinebs office responded to a request for
comment Friday afternoon.
DeWine has relatively low approval ratings--47 percent, according to
SurveyUSA.comband is enmeshed in a fierce battle with a Democratic
challenger to retain his Senate seat in the November elections.
DeWine is a member of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee charged with
overseeing electronic privacy and antiterrorism enforcement and is a
former prosecutor in Ohio.
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., decided 2-1
last month to uphold the FCCbs extension of CALEA to broadband
providers, and itbs not clear what will happen next with the lawsuit.
Judge Harry Edwards wrote in his dissent that the majoritybs logic
gave the FCC bunlimited authority to regulate every
telecommunications service that might conceivably be used to assist
The organizations behind the lawsuit say Congress never intended
CALEA to force broadband providersband networks at corporations and
universitiesbto build in central surveillance hubs for the police.
The list of organizations includes Sun Microsystems, Pulver.com, the
American Association of Community Colleges, the Association of
American Universities and the American Library Association.
If the FBIbs legislation becomes law, it would derail the lawsuit
because there would no longer be any question that Congress intended
CALEA to apply to the Internet.
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