Via Say Uncle we get this annoying news:
The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance.
In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned.
The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.
“If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding,” an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI’s draft legislation told CNET. The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second industry representative briefed on it.
This is so crap for brains stupid I am surprised the author of the article and the industry representatives didn’t fall over laughing at the FBI. Since the “requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded” as long as the number is greater than two they can’t enforce such a requirement against small groups of people. And that assumes the criminals were to use service providers in the U.S. that are easy to track down. With overseas and even open Wi-Fi access points so easy to access even finding a group of a criminals who utilized an illegal communication system would be tough.
This is nothing but A Security Theater that invades the privacy of those that pose no threat to the general population and can be used as a tool by unscrupulous politicians and government thugs to embarrass or blackmail their opponents.