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Feb 14th, 2011 9:10 AM #1
Lawmaker Calls for Limits on Exporting Net-Spying Tools
You ought to read this story in full, because there is some vital information on how tracking technology is embedded already.
Ryan Singel writes for Wired.com:
Congressman Bill Keating plans to introduce legislation putting limits on U.S. companies selling net monitoring equipment to repressive regimes, after news that a Boeing subsidiary sold powerful net inspection technology to Egypt’s state telecom.
“The Iranian and Egyptian protests have taught us that social media can be as powerful as any gun,” said Rep. Keating (D-Massachusetts). “Companies that are selling technology to countries that are using it to perpetuate human rights abuses must work with Congress to make this right...
...However, nearly all carrier-grade phone and internet equipment now ships with so-called “intercept capability,” thanks to a 1996 U.S. law called CALEA which mandated that all U.S. phone networks be capable of very sophisticated wiretapping.
In 2002, the FCC — at the behest of the FBI — extended those wiretapping requirements to the internet, prompting major manufacturers to build those capabilities into their equipment as defaults.
These federal requirements also benefited Narus, whose powerful monitoring equipment is used by many of the nation’s telecoms to provide the legally required wiretapping systems needed to comply with U.S. government wiretapping orders.
Activists can often evade the worst of such surveillance using encrypted communication tools, but even these are now under assault by the FBI, which is seeking to have Congress require that encryption technology have backdoors for government surveillance."The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me..."
Feb 14th, 2011 6:10 PM #2
It is scary times in which we live. What have we give up in the name of security,and will we ever see those freedoms again.I have seen the light at the end of the tunnel,and I truely believe it is a train.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Feb 15th, 2011 8:00 AM #3
Here's why I don't think Congress will go for it. The House just passed- without debate- the extension of key Patriot Act provisions that keep in place the following:
The “roving wiretap” provision allows the FBI to obtain wiretaps from a secret intelligence court, known as the FISA court (for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), without identifying the target or what method of communication is to be tapped.
The “lone wolf” measure allows FISA court warrants for the electronic monitoring of a person for whatever reason — even without showing that the suspect is an agent of a foreign power or a terrorist. The government has said it has never invoked that provision, but the Obama administration said it wanted to retain the authority to do so.
The “business records” provision allows FISA court warrants for any type of record, from banking to library to medical, without the government having to declare that the information sought is connected to a terrorism or espionage investigation."The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me..."
Feb 18th, 2011 7:19 AM #4
Yesterday, "the FBI urged members of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security on Thursday to update the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and make it easier for authorities to eavesdrop on Internet."
Since 2006, they've been working for it; it's titled "Going Dark".
The FBI’s "Five-Prong" Going Dark Strategy
The FBI states the Going Dark program is a "five-prong strategic approach to address the lawful 'Intercept capability gap'" (GD3, p. 10). These five prongs are:
1. modernization /amendment of existing laws,
2. enhancing authorities to protect industry proprietary and [law enforcement] sensitive lawful intercept information, equipment and techniques,
3. enhancing [law enforcement] agencies' coordination leveraging technical expertise of FBI with other [law enforcement] entities,
4. enhancing lawful intercept cooperation between the communications industry and [law enforcement agencies] with a "One Voice" approach, and
5. seeking new federal funding to bolster lawful intercept capabilities.
(GD3, p. 10). Originally it seemed the FBI was focused on just updating CALEA (which could be bad enough if it included some of the things we wrote about here), but now it appears the FBI plans to seek changes to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and other laws, and may also propose new laws. For example, another document we received notes under Prong 1 that "Existing lawful intercept laws (e.g., Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act, Electronic Communications Privacy Act [ECPA], and the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act [CALEA]) require modernization as a result of advancements in communications services and technologies." (GD1, pp. 38-40). And another document breaks the FBI’s legislative strategy down into two categories:
1. modernizing the Federal ELSUR [electronic surveillance] assistance mandates and Federal ELSUR laws and
2. enacting new ELSUR-enhancing statutory authorities.
(GD1, p. 13). This is the first hard evidence we've seen that the FBI is pushing to update ECPA in addition to CALEA, and it is concerning to learn that the agency is trying to convince Congress that these two laws should be expanded at the same time to give the FBI even broader power to conduct "lawful" surveillance. Unfortunately, we don’t know much more about the specifics of the FBI’s plan because crucial information in the documents has been withheld or blocked out..."The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me..."
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