FBI Pushes for Easier Online Snooping
White House expected to back surveillance expansion
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2013 12:07 AM CDT
Officials monitor computers and cameras at the FBI Joint Operations Center in Plantation, Fla.    (AP Photo by J Pat Carter)

(Newser) – In a shift expected to spark a major debate on Internet freedom, the White House is leaning toward granting the FBI's wish to make it easier to eavesdrop on online communications, insiders tell the New York Times. The FBI, which argues that advances in technology are causing its ability to monitor suspects to "go dark," has proposed an overhaul of surveillance laws that includes heavy fines for Internet companies that fail to comply with wiretap orders. Foreign companies doing business in the US would also be required to comply with orders or face fines starting at $25,000 per day.

The FBI says the plan merely brings the law up to date with modern technology, but the proposal is expected to face stiff resistance from tech firms and privacy advocates. "I think the FBI's proposal would render Internet communications less secure and more vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves," says a spokesman for the Center for Democracy and Technology. "It would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there." A lawyer for tech companies fears the plan will encourage more snooping in other countries. "We’ll look a lot more like China than America after this," he says.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Ivan_the_Gypsy
May 16, 2013 8:00 PM CDT
Isn't it amazine how the general public sits back and lets its freedoms slip away one at a time and says nothing as long as it's social toys like sports, video games, day time soaps, and other frivolous things go untouched by Big Brother. Now with a Marxist administration in the White House and Congress the slide down hill picks up speed. And anyone who does complain is branded a kook.
K.KRANK
May 9, 2013 5:57 AM CDT
Because warrants? We don't need no stinking warrants! lol Your data are all belong to US! lol
Wrongdirection
May 8, 2013 10:40 AM CDT
I think the White house should hook Obama up to a Mind Reader to put his Brain on Surveillance 24/7 see how things go then... Would it be easier for these agents to do a real job like some leg work, fresh air, and capture some illegal aliens and deport them? The problem I see here is exploiting the citizens to unwanted Nazi style Surveillance. If you research your history on Nazi Germany, You'll find that the exact same thing in going on in this country! Trying to do away with free thinking America and enslave us all, control our population, They allow toxins to be used on us, Florides and other such chemicals. Raise the price of gasoline to where young people and older people cannot afford to vacation, to enjoy outings! They raise the price of gas but have no sidewalks. This is what they want to do, to us! The White House needs to buy the Agents of the FBI homes so they have no need to have a want or need to live in our homes or or on our computers!