U.S. drafts bill proposing easier Internet wiretapping

As criminals and terrorists are progressively ditching phone communication in favor of the online kind, U.S. law enforcement and national security agencies are worried about the possibility of intercepting it in order to thwart their malicious plans.

So, as AolNews reports, the Obama administration has begun drafting new regulations that will make it easier for those officials to spy on e-mail and Internet communications.

The bill pushing these regulations is expected to be submitted to Congress next year, and it would compel online services to modify their operations in such a way that would enable them to comply with a wiretap order.

In short, the proposed law would require services that provide encrypted messages of any kind to be able to decrypt them when requested to do so by the authorities; foreign communications providers with a U.S. presence to have an office in the country through which a wiretap could be set up; and developers of P2P communications services to alter them so that interception of communication can be performed.

The mere drafting of the regulation, of course, has already raised questions about how it is going to affect the citizens’ privacy, but FBI lawyer Valerie Caproni points out: “We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts. We’re not talking about expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”

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