[It seems unlikely the FBI can get this proposal through Congress this
year, given the shorter session and the controversial nature. The bureau
also might be waiting to see what happens with the court case. This is
more likely an issue for next year, I think. --Declan]
FBI plans new Net-tapping push
By Declan McCullagh
July 7, 2006, 6:47 PM PDT
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,
CNET News.com has learned.
FBI Agent Barry Smith distributed the proposal at a private meeting last
Friday with industry representatives and indicated it would be
introduced by Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, according to two
sources familiar with the meeting.
The draft bill would place the FBI's Net-surveillance push on solid
legal footing. At the moment, it's ensnared in a legal challenge from
universities and some technology companies that claim the Federal
Communications Commission's broadband surveillance directives exceed
what Congress has authorized.
The FBI claims that expanding the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law
Enforcement Act is necessary to thwart criminals and terrorists who have
turned to technologies like voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.
"The complexity and variety of communications technologies have
dramatically increased in recent years, and the lawful intercept
capabilities of the federal, state and local law enforcement community
have been under continual stress, and in many cases have decreased or
become impossible," according to a summary accompanying the draft bill.
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