Government seeks wiretap for Internet communications

By Mike · 24 replies
Sep 27, 2010
Post New Reply
  1. As if September hasn't been an interesting enough month for governmental Internet regulation, the Obama administration is now pushing for a federal law that would require built-in backdoors for law enforcement surveillance of email, instant messaging, and other communication tools. Many of these services, which maintain the security of their content through detailed encryption methods, would need to implement procedures allowing them to intercept and decrypt messages when served with a wiretap order.

    Read the whole story
  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,718   +860

    On the surface this sounds invasive, but this law will still require a search warrant to conduct these Internet sniffing activities. It's no different than what they do now with wiretapping a telephone under a search warrant which everyone is perfectly fine with.

    If you don't engage in criminal behavior, you won't have your e-mail snooped in on. Just that simple.
  3. Phraun

    Phraun TS Rookie Posts: 35

    I'd rather they had to work for the few they need than be freely handed everybody's communications. There's really nothing to stop them from abusing such back doors if they do get built in.
  4. motrin

    motrin TS Booster Posts: 162   +15

    agreed, after all humans will be running this. not all can be trusted to treat the back doors as intended
  5. Darkshadoe

    Darkshadoe TS Guru Posts: 571   +113

    ..and of course the government would NEVER do anything illegal, right?

    Say goodbye to your civil liberties. Big Brother is listening.
  6. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,959   +218

    This ranks high on the list of worst ideas regarding user privacy I have heard about in a long time
    Even if we don't consider the problems associated with the goverment wiretapping laws (like they have never been misued before, and how much easier it becomes when it's just pressing a few buttons on a terminal)

    It will be just a matter of weeks untill the bad guys manage to exploit this backdoor and then our SSL connections could just be dropped entirely, it would be just as plain text communication
  7. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,596   +257

    This is along the lines of what I was thinking. Abuse of this system could be taken to an extreme...
  8. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 544

    If the US. government is going to spy on private lifes, then atleast they should do I right. Over in Sweden, as the IPRED-law is currently common practice, wiretapping really stinks. Some of my buddies use torrent-downloads atleast 5 times a day, and the government isn't doing squat. Only 3 people got fined for torrenting last month... that is way below the FRA's (The "defense radio-establishment") initial promises of 80!

    Hopefully, the US. wiretapping-organizations will take severe notice of hacker-abilities...
  9. anguis

    anguis TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +12

    What a ridiculous proposal. Hansson is exactly right. If you create a backdoor to any type of secure service, IT'S GOING TO BE FOUND. Also, the service itself would need to create these backdoors. That presents a HUGE problem with COST and TIME. Many companies struggle as it is with fixing vulnerabilities. When the backdoors they make get discovered, they will need to patch them and make another.
  10. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    Our postal mail is not opened and read. Why should it be any different with email?
  11. bakape

    bakape TS Enthusiast Posts: 123

    Because there are no hackers in the government (or at least tech-savvy people). Hence, the flaming internet.

    On second thought, if the government is full of black hatters, this all makes perfect sense. ^^
  12. kimdaystar

    kimdaystar TS Rookie

    watachoka " swahili word meaning they wont make it"
  13. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,986   +12

    Are you sure ?

    Could you tell if your letter had been opened by an expert ?
  14. Post in the UK is remarkably quick, they would have to have known a letter was being sent, and where it was in the system, get authority from royal mail to seize it, open it with such precision as to not disturb it at all, and then place it back in the system for it to be delivered on the time it was stated to arrive.. and how many letters are sent each day?
  15. jonelsorel

    jonelsorel TS Rookie Posts: 72

    If you believe that you're either one of them, or an incredibly gullible person which knows very little about his government.

    Make sure to vote next time, ok?
  16. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson TS Maniac Posts: 488   +10

    It sounds scary, but I'm not against it given what is being proposed.

    Our government does need to keep up with the shift in technological communication and the internet is a big part of that. As long as similar safeties are in place that will protect the public from missuse (basically prohibiting just doing whatever the authority wants); this seems to be the case. I don't have any problem with it. I think this is something that will eventually happen regardless of how afriad we are of having big brother browse along with us.

    It will require resources to monitor and track data so they will pict targets that are worth their time... don't be worth their time...
  17. jonelsorel

    jonelsorel TS Rookie Posts: 72

    Do you HONESTLY think that governments wiretap their citizens only AFTER there's a police record with their name on it?

    Do you really think those "terrorists" that never get caught use MSN, Yahoo Messenger or AOL to send each other vital mission details?

    Is the US - or the world - any safer after all the laws regarding national security passed since 2001, including that allowing the government to kill "high risk" individuals overseas?

    Wake up, sleepy America!
  18. @jonelsorel you are spot on in your replies to this topic. The only thing I have to add is this quote:

    "People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both." - Ben Franklin
  20. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    +1 Per Hansson

    TomSEA, that's possibly the most ridiculous thing I've seen in a long time. If you actually believe that I take pity on you. /facepalm @ sheeple
  21. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Totally agree with Per Hansson's views. Governments (no matter if they are democratic or otherwise) always want to control means of communications according to their agendas, which can change according to time and whichever stupid ideas these *****s can come up with.

    I think if things could be completely transparent with regard to each and every aspect of governmental business, probability is the government(s) will be the biggest violators of laws instead of the citizens.

    Although this may do one more thing in case this ever becomes a law, it may spark more 'independent' minded programmers to circumvent these 'backdoors' for good, and everyone can still live happily after all ;)
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,026   +2,557

    More and more, the Obama administration is starting to be a reiteration of the Bush Whitehouse. When you add this crap, to the legal seizure IP domains, and stir in a couple of wars, it almost seems like somehow, we've all been teleported to China.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, the Wall Street Bailouts
  23. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Hmm speaking of which ..... I was wondering if there will be a movie titled 'Wall Street Bandits and White House Thugs' ..... or something similar ;)
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,026   +2,557

    More like a Christmas toy for budding investment bankers, "President Obama's Mint Your own Money Printing Press". (Ages 6 to Bernie Nadoff)

    The first trillion dollars is included, yacht, and multiple vacation homes sold separately.
  25. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,690   +96

    Well that seemed bit too civilized for this bunch of *****s, I remember something from Ibn-e-Khaldoon's book which said something like that 'never appoint someone who is a tax payer (i.e. businessmen/women etc.) in an governmental position ....... because he/she will always make laws which suits them, and or find ways how to circumvent these laws to gain fair or unfair advantage'.

    Funnily enough, democracy have the tendency to impose will of the 'minority' on the 'majority' (at times); or majority which doesn't know what it is doing can suppress the minority which actually is intelligent enough to understand what may be right thing to do.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...