• Paul June 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    This is an email sent from the ACLU.

    FBI Wants Expanded Internet Wiretapping Capabilities

    The FBI is lobbying tech companies including Google and

    Facebook to win support for an Obama administration proposal to expand

    its Internet wiretapping capabilities, according to a report in the

    New York Times. The administration is urging Congress to revise the

    Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), claiming

    that law enforcement needs to keep pace with technological changes.

    The original law, passed in 1994, compels telecommunications and

    broadband companies to make their services wiretap-ready.

    The report states that the administration is hoping to submit

    proposed legislation to Congress early next year to overhaul CALEA in

    order to ensure that telecommunications companies’ networks can be

    wiretapped as soon as they receive a government order. According to

    the report, the proposal could also mandate that any communications

    service based overseas ensure its communications are routed through an

    American server so that the government is able to collect and wiretap

    those communications.

    The administration’s proposal could grant the government the

    means for extensive surveillance and is urging Congress to reject any

    proposal that does not protect Americans’ privacy and civil


    “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 W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU Washington

    Legislative Office.

    The ACLU remains 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. We strongly encourage Congress to not

    rubberstamp this proposal that will grant the government the ability

    to conduct broad surveillance on innocent Americans.


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