The U.S. government is putting together proposed new Internet regulations that could have more widespread implications for your privacy than anything Mark Zuckerberg ever did to your Facebook news feed.
The new bill, slated to be brought before Congress next year, aims to make all online communication services able to be wiretapped. Messages would need to be capable of being both intercepted and unencrypted. This would involve redesigning a lot of services from the ground up, some of which have peer-to-peer messaging that even service providers cannot unscramble. Foreign-based providers could also be required to establish a domestic office to perform these interceptions.
National law enforcement insists that the proposal is reasonable and that without it, their ability to monitor criminal suspects is "going dark." While the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act makes communication service providers subject to wiretap orders, interception capability is not currently required. Some providers wait until the order is served to try to develop the means to intercept communications.
How wise a move the proposal may be is up for debate. Today's New York Times offers a good look at the controversy, with quotes from opinionholders on both sides, weighing considerations of security and privacy.
I certainly hope this doesn't pass. Immense infastructre redesigning aside, I think that this is not worth the money and freedom.
Sure it may help fight terrorism, but how much freedom will we give to the government for safety? Its hard enough to obey traffic laws which we get taxed to use and punished if we don't pay our taxes, will we be taxed for our internet usage?
Will we be paying registration taxes for our modems? Then get our licence taken away if we forget to pay them on time? This nanny state we call the USA is getting pretty freaking ridiculous.
It's almost like the US gov wont stop until everyone is under watch and/or under arrest.
THIS IS GARBAGE.
What are you talking about?? All they are talking about in this article is making the messaging software so it is possible for the government to listen in on what is being said. This would make it possible for them to see any terrorist activity same as they do with the phones. You are going off on some random tangent. If the government wanted to tax us on internet more they would or if the ISP's want to charge us a usage fee they could like it is done in other countries. Freedom ain't free people. If you obey the law you are fine. I am down for what it takes to keep my self and my family from getting bombed. I am sure you would be all sorts of mad if you found out that the government could of intercepted a message over the Internet if this bill had been passed and by them not being able to intercept this message thousands died. Stop being retarded get your head out of your A**. This is still the greatest Country in the world you don't like get the F*** out.
@delkomatic: the problem was stated in the article: to allow one country to wiretap the internet would require worldwide infrastructure overhaul. The want everyone else to bend over backwards to suit their needs. This better not go through; I get the feeling their would be some comparability issues if it happens. (plus it would give more control to dictators. If America can watch what it's citizens are doing, then the technology will be out there for China.
LOL, this is almost impossible to achieve.
If backdoors are required to be installed on every application that sends encrypted data over the internet you can be for dam sure someone will hack it.
The government has shown a excellent use of restraint and judgment in only using its powers when necessary to do important things like to monitor Dr. King's sex life.
Personally I don't want big brother watching me, even if it will reduce the number of people lighting fireworks off in cars.
So, not only will we not have net neutrality, now we won't have any privacy either? If the government wants to able to do this, they should at least enforce net neutrality because where the internet is something that is controlled by ISP's the government's plan to be able to tap the internet should put their foot in the door for more control over it.
They might as well install chips below people's lips when they talk in person too. The FBI already investigates pedophiles, drug dealers, terrorists, and spies online. Why do they need to pass this bill? It's stupid. Remember the Russian spies they found a couple weeks back or so?
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin
I agree Freedom isnt free, Freedom costs a buck 'o five.
America, F@ck Yeah! Coming again, to save the day yeah!
Its funny you people actually think the government doesn;t know eveything you do already. Cracks my shat up...you really think that they can't tap messaging software if they really want. They are just trying to make it easier. Come on people stop being so blind. They are already doing it.
I bet this will pass under Obama's enlightened liberal reign. I almost miss Bush.
Our greatest enemy against freedom is not in a cave in some far off land, The tyranny walks among us. The best part is people like Delkomatic that are so willing to give up essential liberty for temporary safety.
Just another step towards a police state, and some people are too ignorant to relize it.
If this goes through and net neutrality dies then stop using the internet. Easier than it sounds.
net neutrality is the same thing as this bill. their not doing it for you, making it like a public utility means they control who's on, what's on, what to take off, what private networks to shut down for "net safety", and monitoring. monitoring for "hate speech" like hey that politician sucks lets vote them out, simply hateful.
The biggest problem with this bill is it bypasses the courts. No warrant needed. No subpoena. No oversight. I could accept more if the proper checks and balances were preserved.
Mycellium, neither of those things is true.
Net neutrality is neutrality - there's no preferential treatment, so there's no government blocking of anything. It wouldn't make any sense - only corporations have any need to control commerce in that sense.
There's no indication whatever in the article that the courts would not be involved in this wiretapping issue. Anyway, it wouldn't likely be any less than on the phone, though that's become ... unreasonable of late.
It's still ridiculous, of course. Frankly, it's nothing to do with the first, fourth, or fifth - I feel it infringes on my *second*-amendment rights. = P
as if everything isn't known about everyone and what they know already...this is just to let us know that they know.
i hate my country....
So what about Canadians and everyone else around the world? What if we don't want this eh? The internet has no borders! And why should we all go through a hassle just because the US wants us to?
Why is it that our government keeps trying to act more and more like the governments that alienate their people and enslave them?
They have no business snooping around my private messages period. They have no need to listen to my phone conversations either.
Anyone that thinks they should have access to these things is in the wrong country and needs to go to a place more suitable to them. You like to be told what to do and that what you think is criminal or invalid then go to China. Here we are authorized to think for ourselves and it is protected by our laws.
Furthermore the use of the word terrorism has been abused to a sad point at this point to diffuse opinion and strip rights start thinking for yourselves people. If we keep this up our whole country will be a concentration camp to protect us from ourselves in case the unknown could ever happen god forbid the unknown happens!
I am with ScottieD: this is garbage: let them do it. so what? I have nothing to hide of the legal nature. As long as its only government looking at and what I want private stays private. then fine. BUT and big BUT. we have to pay for this.
this is going to cost tax dollars. we have to pay for them to spy on us!!! F that.
I call for a redesign of Washington DC, to make it an irradiated wasteland. And if you would, when you're done with that, can you bring democracy to Europe by opening a bottle of canned sunshine above Brussels too?
Oh and by the way, how many years now have people, especially in the open source community, called for conspicous and excessive use of encryption on everything in order to make it impossible to even identify what is and what isn't sensitive data? Not just because it helps in the west where we are still relatively free(but getting worse by the day) but because it helps iranians, chinese and other peoples who are oppressed and censored by their governments to a much greater extent.
They still haven't managed to decrypt Mitnick's files, which used a lousy 128-bit key; with all that custom silicon, all that brain power and all that money they cannot even do that.
In a couple of years american citizens will have less freedom on the internet then the chinese
"Messages would need to be capable of being both intercepted and unencrypted"
Guess that means a hackers job would be just that tad easier knowing theres an encryption key to find... so long for the md5 hash to secure basic info like passwords.
Terrorism is real. Criminals are real. I love the idea of reducing these threats and making a better society. Wiretapping into people's conversations with an unbiased and perfect machine algorithm might be a good solution. But will it be a machine checking in on us, or will this power be abused? Let's face it, corrupt governments are just as real as terrorists. People, Systems and Leaders can and do make mistakes.
Let's say that today, (in 2010) the government as it stands is NOT corrupt. Fine. What about 2020 or 2030? What happens when we have given up all our rights to the government only to have it slowly polluted by its own self interests and corrupt politicians?
If we have no way to communicate freely and openly without the possible threat of government oppression over our communication, then the public is stripped of its job to keep the government in check. Free speech and decentralized power has brought our civilization out of the dark ages. Let's not go back 500 years by destroying our foundation of free speech and openness.
Let's look at reality for a moment shall we? Do we really think a smart & organized terrorist group can be stopped by wire tapping the Internet? When the Internet is fully "wiretapable", real terrorists could easily create a 4096 bit encryption algorithm that hides messages in normal looking jpeg images. I could think of much better ways to overcome security than that, but I think you can see my point. The new internet laws could end up catching innocent people, but probably not the real terrorists.
Imagine if Britain had the technology back in 1760 to "wire tap" our brains to protect against "terrorism". Would Britain label the American patriots as terrorists? Probably. Would the American Revolution have succeeded? Probably not.
I'd like to give the government the benefit of the doubt here, I mean after all there are real threats out there such as bio weapons and nano technology but government corruption is real too, and we can see it clearly in Pakistan, Iran, Haiti and the Philippines to name a few.
I think the future is going to be open. More transparent, less hiding. More freedom and open communication, but all this requires more trust, less corruption and less fear.
What is worse? Corruption leaders or terrorism?
If the government wants its people to keep giving up their privacy, then the government should step up to the plate and show us by leading the way. They better open up everything for the public. Government transparency leads to honesty. This is the right direction. Are there live streaming cameras in every government facility? Do we get to hear all their phone conversations and see all their emails? Are all government funds tracked and accounted for? Is every government policy and decision ran past the public, with proper input? We should never forget that the public citizens fought to create the American government and it SHOULD BE THE PUBLIC that owns and guides the government, so Big Brother, hand over the keys, and spill all the beans please.
In the age of open source development, crowd sourcing, public feedback, social media and free speech, our civilization has more going for it than ever before in history. It is about to blossom into the greatest world we have ever known. Let's not snuff it out so fast by fearfully controlling the people's communication which may be the last line of defense against corrupt leaders. People like being guided, mentored and encouraged, not controlled. The government needs to show trust in its own citizens by opening up.
Can we find a way to simultaneously reduce crime, terrorism and government corruption, or must we reduce terrorism at the cost of tipping the scales of power into potentially corrupt hands?
He who sacrifices liberty in exchange for safety deserves neither.
I agree that the first concept of net neutrality is about isps. but its the extraneous riders they try to put in. net neutrality is a vehicle, sold as protecting the consumer but it doesn't stop with that piece by piece bit by bit chip away at the wild west of information the net. Who will decide what traffic is acceptable or not? It also does make me suspicious when the ususal suspects worldwide all get behind something in a big way. not usually for us.
I forgot where I read that this new order would bypass the courts and supboena's. I'll have to try to find that again, but it wasn't in this article on popsci.
I think that one of the greatest issues here is that the intent seems lessabout being able to do what they currently can (get a warrent to tap an individual) and more to what they wish they could do (scan communication at large, identify threats, and then tap those threats).
The simple actions of finding the bad guys, then using tapping to find the evidence to prove guilt is already treading into grey area. Expanding that to internet is in line with current law.
Shortcutting that process, however, by exspecting companies to have the information already recorded, tagged, logged, and available so that all that is needed is a warrant to pull of the "file" of your internet activities is vile.