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FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks

The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.

In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.

The FBI general counsel's office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.

"If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding," an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI's draft legislation told CNET. The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second industry representative briefed on it.

The FBI's proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, that currently applies only to telecommunications providers, not Web companies. The Federal Communications Commission extended CALEA in 2004 to apply to broadband networks.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57428067-83/fbi-we-need-wir...



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Greenwald wrote about it

Greenwald wrote about it yesterday and as someone on DP pointed out, the comments to his article are pretty awesome:

http://www.salon.com/2012/05/06/surveillance_state_democracy...

I think it's time

for the FBI to just quietly fade away.
We just don't need them anymore, if we ever did.

It's an agency which has outlived its usefulness, if there ever was one.

If there is one thing that the federal government needs to learn how to do, it's how to close down the unnecessary agencies, departments, and bureaus.