The FBI has a problem. It can’t de-crypt Skype conversations. What’s a government agency to do? It has hired programmers who may be able to do the job.
It is part of a program called the Domestic Communications Assistance Center (DCAC). I mran, who wouldn’t appreciate a little assistance from one’s friend in Washington.
Well, not exactly Washington. It is housed at Quantico, Virginia, at FBI training headquarters.
Sharing in this venture are the U.S. Marshalls and the Drug Enforcement Agency.
The FBI isn’t talking about DCAC. But CNET did some research. Call it CNET-DCAC.
DCAC can do what it wants. It can spy of Skype. It can build a wiretap or analyze data from a social network.
In short, it can search for needles in very large haystacks.
The center represents the technological component of the bureau’s “Going Dark” Internet wiretapping push, which was allocated $54 million by a Senate committee last month. The legal component is no less important: as CNET reported on May 4, the FBI wants Internet companies not to oppose a proposed law that would require social-networks and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail to build in backdoors for government surveillance.
The FBI is likely to focus in VoIP calls, wireless, and the Internet. Basically, everything.
Now, all it needs are a few hot-shot programmers.
The Senate appropriated over $54 million to fund electronic surveillance.
But what does the FBI plan to do with all this information? No one knows.
I know. Collect it. Store it. Pretend that it can find something relevant. Pretend that it has agents who can interpret it.
Finally, pretend that it can nip terrorists’ plans in the bud.
It’s Barney Fife with a computer.