Friday, April 5, 2013

A More Wiretap-Friendly Web?

(The Hosting News) –
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The U.S. government is hoping to make key internet services such as Google and Facebook more wiretap-friendly. According to a Washington Post report on Sunday, a government task force is helping craft legislation that would see fines imposed on providers that fail to comply with court-initiated wiretap requests.

Authorities have increasingly fallen behind the times in terms of technological development – something the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has referred to as a “going dark” dilemma. The FBI commonly uses wiretaps to intercept criminal behavior pertaining to terrorism, financial fraud, underage pornography and more. Tech providers refusing to agree to wiretapping could face fines in the tens of thousands.

Meanwhile, if they’re unpaid after a 90 day period, they could double on a per-day basis. The initiative will, without a doubt, prove controversial among privacy rights experts who see the move as a potential threat to the stability of the Internet’s economy. “This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs,” commented Center for Democracy senior counsel Greg Nojeim in the Washington Post’s report.

It may not be the first time the U.S. government has looked into increasing wiretaps with tech provider, however. Previous changes to popular communications program Skype reportedly made it easier for law enforcement to gain access – albeit that remains speculation.

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