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FBI wants access to social networks



When the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was enacted in 1994 to help the FBI obtain wiretaps, there was no mention of the Internet. 10 years later, CALEA was amended to include broadband providers, but there was no mention of social networks. Now the FBI is pushing for another to update CALEA, this time including what CNN calls “backdoors for government surveillance.” The article continues: “The FBI general counsel's office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.” Privacy and big tech companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter will likely fight the proposed updates tooth and nail. The FBI thinks it’s justified, because fewer and fewer people are communicating by talking on the phone. It wants to be able to capture communication in real time, and that means moving into the realm of texts, instant messages, and status updates. 

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.
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