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FBI Snooping Plan: Backdoor into Facebook, Google, and Yahoo

Written by Gary North on May 7, 2012

The FBI insists that it needs trapdoors to get into all social media sites. The goal, we are told, is to track terrorists.

The current law allows this for all telecommunications carriers. But it does not apply to the Internet. The FBI want to close this loophole.

The problem, the FBI says, is that it is hard for them to conduct wiretaps.

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.

“If you create a service, product, or app that allows a user to communicate, you get the privilege of adding that extra coding,” an industry representative who has reviewed the FBI’s draft legislation told CNET. The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second industry representative briefed on it.

This pressuring of the Federal Communications Commission has been going on for over a year.

In February 2011, CNET was the first to report that then-FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni was planning to warn Congress of what the bureau calls its “Going Dark” problem, meaning that its surveillance capabilities may diminish as technology advances. Caproni singled out “Web-based e-mail, social-networking sites, and peer-to-peer communications” as problems that have left the FBI “increasingly unable” to conduct the same kind of wiretapping it could in the past.

In addition to the FBI’s legislative proposal, there are indications that the Federal Communications Commission is considering reinterpreting CALEA to demand that products that allow video or voice chat over the Internet — from Skype to Google Hangouts to Xbox Live — include surveillance backdoors to help the FBI with its “Going Dark” program. CALEA applies to technologies that are a “substantial replacement” for the telephone system.

It began at least seven years ago. So far, the FBI has gotten nowhere.

But the White House, perhaps less inclined than the bureau to initiate what would likely be a bruising privacy battle, has not sent the FBI’s CALEA amendments to Capitol Hill, even though they were expected last year. (A representative for Sen. Patrick Leahy, head of the Judiciary committee and original author of CALEA, said today that “we have not seen any proposals from the administration.”)

CNET contacted the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Both failed to respond.

The reason the FBI wants Congress to pass a law and the President to sign it is because the FCC has dragged its feet. Usually, the FBI bypasses Congress. It just goes to the FCC.

As CNET was the first to report in 2003, representatives of the FBI’s Electronic Surveillance Technology Section in Chantilly, Va., began quietly lobbying the FCC to force broadband providers to provide more-efficient, standardized surveillance facilities. The FCC approved that requirement a year later, sweeping in Internet phone companies that tie into the existing telecommunications system. It was upheld in 2006 by a federal appeals court.

But the FCC never granted the FBI’s request to rewrite CALEA to cover instant messaging and VoIP programs that are not “managed”–meaning peer-to-peer programs like Apple’s Facetime, iChat/AIM, Gmail’s video chat, and Xbox Live’s in-game chat that do not use the public telephone network.

Continue Reading on news.cnet.com

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26 thoughts on “FBI Snooping Plan: Backdoor into Facebook, Google, and Yahoo

  1. When the left controlled all three branches of govt., it was just a matter of time before they took our security agencies and turned them against their own people. DHS is the best example. That agency was never needed in the first place.

  2. The Gov't is split … The FBI no longer shares info with DHS (Janet Incompetano et al commies) ..

  3. steve, do you mean the Shrub’s administration was all a bunch of leftists? Do you remember last year or 5 years ago or did you just wake from a 10 year nap?
    So your take must be if Republicans take away our rights(Patriot Act to begin with), that is ok but if Democrats take away our rights it’s bad?

  4. Victor Barney says:

    I feel that the FBI is a better organization by far than our CIA! In fact, if the CIA didn't control every facet of our government, it couldn't even perform it's own mandate. Just saying…

  5. I all the 12 past presidents and this current imposter that I have lived through I can't remenber a regime so determined to get into every aspect of its citizens lives. SO SAD and DANGEROUS!!

  6. Gene Terenzio Sr. says:

    Ya all the lizards are in charge,
    "Plunk your Magic Twanger, Froggy!"
    Republicans /democrats= same thing.
    Only one I trust is Ron Paul,
    don't let the left leaning,
    oops, tilting media fool you.
    He can win if you sheep,
    don't listen to the B/S media and vote for him!
    He is Mr. Constitution
    Ron Paul 2012!

  7. Like I have always said, "They are all in on it together" but let us remember who had all the votes for several years running. If you really want to have the truth, go back and start looking at all the votes cast from before G.W.'s time in office. The truth will come out then. Know first that NO I have not done that, I just thought since Both of you seemed so sure he was right, you should both do the above check. Then announce it here and we will all know who is right/wrong.

  8. A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Obama!! Wake up you dolt…………..

  9. FIRST, they need to monitor Obama's Blackberry or iPab or whatever he is using to receive instructions from George Soros.

  10. DefendConstitution says:

    If the FBI or any other agency has a real need to monitor an individual on any social networking site, all they have to do is convince a judge of the need and they can get a legal witre tap. Case closed.

  11. websmith44 says:

    Don't listen to the Bama Butt plants telling you that a vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Obama!! Just do the right thing for your country. The Nazis should be grateful for Social Sites because it gives the population a place to rant and rave and blow off steam instead of doing what they should.. Freedom, however, can no longer be tolerated. The very word frightens the tyrants.

  12. Skyknight says:

    That is correct, I have it from a very reliable source that the FBI broke off sharing information with DHS because of all the Communist and Muslims that have been placed into positions with access to sensitive information and have determined that there is a major leak in DHS.
    DHS is also making plans and trying to empliment plans to deal with a Cvil War here in America, which there will be if Obama manages to get re elected. There is also a real possibility that it will happen anyway as retrobution from OWS and the Communist controlled Unions if he does not get elected.

  13. Skyknight says:

    What the world needs is someone to put George Soros out of his misery. I can't believe that Masaad would not have ordered a hit on that Nazi colaborater while they were tracking down other war criminals.

  14. Iftruthbeknown says:

    As much as I believe Ron Paul would be the strongest candidate to pull our country back from the abyss looming in front of it, I truly do believe that there just arn't enough people in this country who would vote for him. At best, voting for Ron Paul would split the vote between him and Romney……and BHO would get reelected, even if his numbers were low. THEREFORE….. a vote for Ron Paul would definately be a vote for Obama. I just can't take the chance of this moose lim leftist getting reelected so I am voting for Romney. (I hate him, but he IS the lesser of both evils).

  15. Iftruthbeknown says:

    If people seriously want Ron Paul to be president, well, he has already said he won't run as an independent. BUT…..since Ron Paul will be too old to run again in 2016, he could choose, instead, to take a younger politician under his wing, teach him what he knows and have him run in Ron Paul's place, in 2016. Just a thought. Then again, we may never see another American election after this one unless folks wake up and get real to the fact that they need to become proactive about protecting their future freedoms here in the USA.

  16. Nanna Gail says:

    A vote for ANY of the current candidates is a vote for obambler. What we really need, is to find someone who really CAN be trusted to run America By the Constitution, ie: By doing what the PEOPLE tell them they want on everything THEY, the elected officials, President INCLUDED.

  17. Blair Franconia, NH says:

    This can't be allowed to happen.

  18. catchesthewnd says:

    You troll. Who u callin dolt?

  19. Colonialgirl says:

    A liberal troll spews nonsense from its nether orifice.

  20. Colonialgirl says:

    Ron Paul WONT get the nomination in the convention and in the General Election, a vote for Ron Paul will be one less for Romeny. If you vote for Ron in November, you might as well vote for Obama you ronpaulbot zombie troll.

  21. websmith44 says:

    Ron Paul just took everything in Nevada except for the dead hookers which he left for their undying support for Romney. You will run into them at times. It really doesn't matter if it's Obama or Romney. We've had the likes of them for decades and the country is almost history. Do the right thing. It's not always easy.

  22. Gene Terenzio Sr. says:

    All you naysayers of Ron Paul are the ones that need to pull your heads out of you're-a$$'s, Hes the only one to hold up the Constitution, ALL THE TIME, Wake up, don't let the Media vote for you, Oh Waite your all sheep/slaves for the left, reptilelacans and demarats, so be a slave for the rest of your miserable lives's. vote for Mr. Constitution Ron Paul,I hope he has his son as V-P

  23. FBI wants to track us? Obama want to track us. If he collapses the USA, he'll need to track anti-Obama policy persons. Why do you think he got control of the Internet? He can shut down communications Pro-America defenders of the country. Drones in the skys, Internet monitored, brown boots.

  24. NObama2012 says:

    There's reports about child porn and pedophilia pages on Facebook, why aren't we hearing about the FBI busting THESE wastes of skin?!

  25. NObama2012 says:

    Don't worry, after Nov.6th all he'll have is brown-noses…following him back to Chi-town.

  26. utfan52 says:

    To both of y'all!!! dammit 2 wrongs don't equal a right!!! Especially taking them away!!!!