Saturday, September 1, 2007

You've Got E-mail : And The FBI Wants to Read It

At a time when the United States Senate continues to debate the future of net neutrality, a recent story on CNet reveals that the federal government is seeking the power to monitor all e-mall transmissions in this country.

According to the report by Declan McCullagh, "The FBI has drafted sweeping legislation that would require Internet service providers to create wiretapping hubs for police surveillance and force makers of networking gear to build in backdoors for eavesdropping." As noted in by CNet, the proposed legislation would require any manufacturer of "routing" and "addressing" hardware to offer upgrades or other modifications that are needed to support Internet wiretapping -- it would also authorize the expansion of wiretapping requirements to commercial Internet services including instant messaging if the FCC deems it to be in the public interest.

While we understand that monitoring e-mail may enable the government to prevent some criminal activity, we strongly dispute that the imagined benefits of this surveillance will outweigh the clear loss of privacy that will ensue if these policies are implemented. Stay tuned for more information on this disturbing story. Journalist, programmer, photographer, and Politech founder Declan McCullagh .

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