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FBI calling for legislation to penalize online services that provide users with too much security.

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posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:00 AM

The FBI has some strange ideas about how to “update” federal surveillance laws: They’re calling for legislation to penalize online services that provide users with too much security.

Why? Federal law enforcement agencies like the FBI have long feared their wiretap capabilities would begin “going dark” as criminals and terrorists — along with ordinary citizens — shift from telephone networks, which are required to be wiretap-ready under the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), to the dizzying array of online communications platforms available today.

While it’s not yet clear how dire the going-dark scenario really is, the statutory “cure” proposed by the FBI — with fines starting at $25,000 a day for companies that aren’t wiretap capable — would surely be worse than the disease.

The FBI’s misguided proposal would impose costly burdens on thousands of companies (and threaten to entirely kill those whose business model centers on providing highly secure encrypted communications), while making cloud solutions less attractive to businesses and users. It would aid totalitarian governments eager to spy on their citizens while distorting business decisions about software design. Perhaps worst of all, it would treat millions of law-abiding users with legitimate security needs as presumed criminals — while doing little to hamper actual criminals.

But if the FBI gets its way, companies won’t be able to adopt that “end to end” encryption model, or offer their users the security it provides. A wiretap interface is essentially an intentional security vulnerability, as network engineer Susan Landau points out — which means requiring companies to be wiretap-capable is also mandating them to design less secure services.

The FBI´s Plan for a Wiretap-Ready Internet is Misdirected, Shortsighted and Ridicoulous

Wow, I hope it will not go through or some other way will be found. I wonder how it would affect European users of US-based portals/sites. Of course everything can already be hacked if needed, although now I see the trend of making this legal.

In some ways, to be honest, it is justified. It would probably catch some lower-level criminals from planning, although at the same time it would invade the privacy of billions of users. Is it worth it?

Less secure networks will also make the cyber-security of individuals weaker, which makes the lives of hackers, who are not in for good, easier.

From another nation´s perspective, I hope it will not be passed, although I would like to hear what locals think of this.

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:48 AM

Less secure networks will also make the cyber-security of individuals weaker, which makes the lives of hackers, who are not in for good, easier.

That is why you have a firewall tougher than the Great wall of China...then get a few more firewalls that are tougher. No matter how communist the FBI wants to be, they can never get around "all" security tools possessed by the average citizen.

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 11:49 AM
I can see the corporate lobbyists pulling out the checkbooks to quickly shut this idea down, there is just too much money and vested interest in secrets these days. If the communication system is to have a well know and standardized vulnerability in it what is to stop any rival, competitor or even enemy from tapping into it? With so much man power needed to review all this collected data what is to stop insider trading on communications with those that have access to it?

I do like to think that a lot of the damage from greed and war would come to a stop if there where no more secrets, but if this means that we have to assimilate into a Borg collective to get there it does raise a lot of doubts and hesitation. The reality of the situation is that if people want to have private conservations, they will have them.

As for the survivability of the internet with building in such a weakness and the practicality of implementation there are a lot of concerns and issues. If I had more trust in humanity and government I might be in more favor for such a plan, but considering the current state of play it sounds like they are asking for a lot in hoping to get a little.

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:15 PM
reply to post by Cabin

In other words, the FBI wants the market to not do what it does. If a person is willing to pay for uber-on-line security and someone is willing to create it, what is the problem? What did they expect was going to happen? A static operational landscape?

I guess what always happens: the government will pay an obscene amount of money to be the sole beneficiary of a tech advance. That will last about 6 months, maybe.

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:25 PM
Basically they are telling us we should have no right to privacy from them. Continuing the sad state of the future.

posted on May, 12 2013 @ 08:44 PM
Great post! Thanks for that.

I never realized they could be SO bad and then be so blatant about it.

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