Provide wiretapping capabilities to hand over your (customers’) data to the FBI or be fined, Google and Facebook
The Washington Post reports on a government task proposal that aims to punish tech companies for not providing wiretapping capabilities for law enforcement officials. The FBI, which is the driving force behind this push for more more surveillance, justifies its demands with the need to counter a “going dark” problem, a “gap between authority and capability” in regards to online surveillance. The FBI mentions not just terrorism, as might seem likely briefly after the Boston Marathon Bombing, but also transnational narcotrafficking and child prostitution.
If successful, this initiative would not only concern Internet giants such as Google or Facebook, but potentially any tech company that collects user data. And that includes practically any new free-to-use online service.
This initiative by the FBI takes place in the context of a much larger secretive push towards extensive online surveillance (see below).
“Proposal seeks to fine tech companies for noncompliance with wiretap orders.” (Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post, 2013/04/29)
“U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance.” (Declan McCullagh, CNET, 2013/04/24)
“Internetüberwachung in den USA: Strafen für Unternehmen, die keine Daten liefern?” (Andrea Jonjic, Netzpolitik.org, 30.04.2013)
“USA: Mit geheimen Anweisungen das Internet überwachen.” (Andrea Jonjic, Netzpolitik.org, 26.04.2013)