Under the public radar, and little talked about in the MSM is the growing expansion of government intrusion into our privacy and the expansion of it’s control over internet. Let’s look at some of this:
Obama and Congress consider expanding government wiretapping
WASHINGTON — 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.
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.
A central element of the F.B.I.’s proposal is to expand the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act — a 1994 law that already requires phone and network carriers to build interception capabilities into their systems — so that it would also cover Internet-based services that allow people to communicate. Fines could start at $25,000 a day.
Albert Gidari Jr., who represents technology companies on law enforcement matters, criticized that proposed procedure. He argued that if the United States started imposing fines on foreign Internet firms, it would encourage other countries, some of which may be looking for political dissidents, to penalize American companies if they refused to turn over users’ information.
“We’ll look a lot more like China than America after this,” Mr. Gidari said.
The 1994 law would be expanded to cover peer-to-peer voice-over-Internet protocol, or VoIP — calls between computers that do not connect to the regular phone network. Such services typically do not route data packets through any central hub, making them difficult to intercept.
The Federal Bureaucracy has been continually spreading it’s roots of control into various areas of the new medium. This has been very worrying to advocates of internet privacy and freedom.
The FBI’s proposal requires Internet communication companies to build in a wiretapping capacity, and will establish fines for companies that do not cooperate.
“I think the F.B.I.’s proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves,” said Gregory T. Nojeim of the Center for Democracy and Technology. “It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there, where there aren’t the same mandates.”
Andrew Weissmann, the general counsel of the F.B.I., said in a statement that the proposal was aimed only at preserving law enforcement officials’ longstanding ability to investigate suspected criminals, spies and terrorists subject to a court’s permission.
“This doesn’t create any new legal surveillance authority,” he said. “This always requires a court order. None of the ‘going dark’ solutions would do anything except update the law given means of modern communications.”
…Months before the debate about Internet censorship raged as SOPA and PIPA dominated the concerns of web users, President Obama signed an international treaty that would allow companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US with no legal oversight whatsoever.
Obama has signed the following executive orders:
Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions
Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA.
The “top secret “Presidential Policy Directive 20 on cyber-security. (This may be innocuous, but as it’s classified and a non-secret summery has not been released, who can say?)
And the following controversial laws and treatys:
21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)
Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)
Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA)
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
Currently proposed are:
Leadership of both parties seems to have little problem with the expansion of government control of the internet and expanding it’s ability to spy on the public. How far should we trust the government? It is truly appalling in today’s “information age” what we don’t know because the MSM and our government wont inform the public.