FBI’s Proposed CALEA Law Would Require Websites And Devices To Be Wiretap-Ready

calea law

Providers of email, chat, and messaging services used by a significant number of people would be required to enable easy wiretapping, if the FBI has its way, CNET News reports:

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.

The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law 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 FBI’s proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, that currently applies only to telecommunications providers, not Web companies. The Federal Communications Commission extended CALEA in 2004 to apply to broadband networks.

The White House, perhaps less inclined than the bureau to initiate what would likely be a bruising privacy battle, has not sent the FBI’s CALEA amendments to Capitol Hill, even though they were expected last year.

12 Comments on "FBI’s Proposed CALEA Law Would Require Websites And Devices To Be Wiretap-Ready"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Jun 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm |

    They’re not already?

  2. CosmicAmazing | Jun 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm |

    Most already are…

    • Yea but now they don’t have to hide what they’ve been doing. Oh look we got on board with this technology in record time…. it’s not like we already had it in place or anything.

      • Craig Bickford | Jun 4, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

        Just bringing already illegal activities into the world of the legal, kind of the same thing the NSA has been doing. FBI is just pissed that the NSA won’t share any of their data piles.

  3. emperorreagan | Jun 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

    So the FBI wants all websites to have a backdoor so they can dump kiddie porn, bomb plans, and crazy manifestos in any website then arrest everyone?

  4. DeepCough | Jun 4, 2013 at 2:51 pm |

    Oh, goody, a sequel to the PATRIOT Act.

    • Anarchy Pony | Jun 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm |

      I thought the NDAA was the sequel to the patriot act.

      • DeepCough | Jun 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm |

        Well, if you wanna be technical, sections 1021 & 22 of the NDAA are descended
        from the Alien and Sedition Acts under President John Adams.

        • Anarchy Pony | Jun 4, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

          Document family heritage is complicated…

          • emperorreagan | Jun 5, 2013 at 7:24 am |

            Very important though, because you can’t have a bastard document. Every document must trace its heritage to Magna Carta or else western civilization will fall apart.

            In fact, I think I should write a letter to my congressperson demanding that every bill starts with some biblical john begat joseph list showing the lineage all the way back.

  5. BuzzCoastin | Jun 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

    they’re trying to get what they already do made legal
    this bullshit meant to scare the herd into compliance
    the people they claim to be snooping on
    all use secret web tools like TOR, Bitmessage & PGP

  6. It isn’t as if any rational person still believes the USA is a free country. Think about it. No-warrant wire taps, indefinite detention of citizens without charges, approval of rendition of prisoners and torture, stop and frisk without probable cause, search and seizure without a warrant, no-knock entry, confiscation and destruction of cameras that might have been used to film police acting illegally, police brutality, police shootings that go without investigation, managed news, and the civil-rights destroying “Patriot” Act.

    In addition, the USA, with 5% of the world population, has 25% of all of the prisoners in the world. That means the USA has the most people in prison of any nation in history. Even by percentage of residents incarcerated, not just sheer numbers. USA is # 1

    Does any of that sound like a free country?

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