Obama Seeks Back Door Key to Spy on All Internet Communication
Interview with Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, conducted by Scott Harris
Federal law enforcement and national security officials in the Obama administration are planning to seek broad new regulations next year that will enable the government to more easily spy on criminal and terrorist suspects' communications over the Internet. The goal is to facilitate government access to targeted encrypted e-mail transmitted over cell phone systems like BlackBerry, social networking Websites like Twitter and Facebook, as well as direct messaging via peer-to-peer communications via systems like Skype.
Although a 1994 telecommunications law called the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, requires phone and broadband companies to build-in back door wiretapping technology used by the government, Internet-based social networking companies are not covered under current law.
Employing a rationale similar to that of the Obama administration, nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recently announced a prohibition on the use of Blackberry wireless devices because the company's standard encryption makes it difficult to intercept and decode messages. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who examines the threats to privacy he sees in the White House's new policy on monitoring electronic communication.
Contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation by calling (415) 436-9333 or visit their website at www.eff.org.
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