Tag Archives | wiretapping

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

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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.

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Obama Might Back Laws Making it Easier to Spy on Internet Users

aa-surveillance-state-homeland-security-means-no-privacyYou have a friend request from Homeland Security…

Via New York Times:

The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
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The F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, has argued that the bureau’s ability to carry out court-approved eavesdropping on suspects is “going dark” as communications technology evolves, and since 2010 has pushed for a legal mandate requiring companies like Facebook and Google to build into their instant-messaging and other such systems a capacity to comply with wiretap orders. That proposal, however, bogged down amid concerns by other agencies, like the Commerce Department, about quashing Silicon Valley innovation.

While the F.B.I.’s original proposal would have required Internet communications services to each build in a wiretapping capacity, the revised one, which must now be reviewed by the White House, focuses on fining companies that do not comply with wiretap orders.

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U.S. Department Of Justice Secretly Granted Immunity For Internet Providers Engaging In Cybersurveillance Program

cybersurveillanceIf it’s in the name of “security,” telecommunications corporations can now monitor users’ personal messages with special legal immunity granted from existing wiretapping laws, CNET News reports:

Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications on networks operated by AT&T and other service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws.

The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors’ Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.

The Justice Department agreed to grant legal immunity to the participating network providers in the form of what participants in the confidential discussions refer to as “2511 letters,” a reference to the Wiretap Act codified at 18 USC 2511 in the federal statute books.

“The Justice Department is helping private companies evade federal wiretap laws,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which obtained over 1,000 pages of internal government documents and provided them to CNET this week.

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Newly Declassified Recordings: Candidate Nixon Sabotaged Vietnam Peace to Get Elected

The BBC’s David Taylor published a great analysis Friday of newly released White House recordings of President Lyndon Johnson. The two biggest revelations: Before the 1968 election, Nixon sabotaged Vietnam peace talks to prolong the war and increase his own presidential prospects; anti-war protesters literally blocked Johnson from the Chicago Democratic National Convention, and consequently from running again.

This story runs off the rails only briefly, when claiming that no president since Nixon has bugged the Oval Office. Obama, for one, is doing it.

Although Johnson learned of Nixon’s treasonous sabotage of Paris peace talks, we know now, the president said nothing.

In late October 1968 there were major concessions from Hanoi which promised to allow meaningful talks to get underway in Paris – concessions that would justify Johnson calling for a complete bombing halt of North Vietnam. This was exactly what Nixon feared.

[Senior Nixon campaign adviser Anna] Chennault was despatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal.

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CopBlock Founder Faces 21 Years in Prison on “Wiretapping” Charges for Filming Police

According to court documents, Adam “Ademo” Mueller, journalist and co-host of nationally syndicated radio talk show Free Talk Live, has been indicted on three counts of felony wiretapping. The charges are a result of a vlog Mueller posted on CopBlock.org about an incident involving alleged police misconduct, which featured recorded interviews of on-duty public officials.
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Ellsberg Discusses How Crimes Nixon Committed Are Now Considered Legal

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Photo: Thomas Good (CC)

Is President Obama getting away with some of the same offenses that led to Nixon’s resignation? Daniel Ellsberg thinks so. The Raw Story reports:

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg said Tuesday that disgraced former Republican President Richard M. Nixon would “admire [President Barack] Obama’s boldness” in trying to stifle whistleblowers.

“Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life,” Ellsberg told CNN. “And his aide Henry Kissinger was not the last American official to win an undeserved Nobel Peace Prize.”

“He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me — which forced his resignation facing impeachment — are now legal,” he continued.

“That includes burglarizing my former psychoanalyst’s office (for material to blackmail me into silence), warrantless wiretapping, using the CIA against an American citizen in the US, and authorizing a White House hit squad to ‘incapacitate me totally’ (on the steps of the Capitol on May 3, 1971)… But under George W.

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