FBI proposing 'wiretapping' law for social media, Web email, according to report

The FBI is preparing to ask Web companies to insert computer code into their products that would create “backdoor” entries to facilitate wiretapping by the government, according to a report by CNET.

Current laws provide for telephone wiretapping by law enforcement agencies for investigations of suspected illegal activity under certain conditions. However, the shift from telephone to the Web has made wiretapping much more difficult and has necessitated new legal approaches for Web-based surveillance.

As a solution, the FBI’s general counsel has drafted a proposed law that would require companies including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo and Google to create software code “backdoors” in their Web products to make them wiretap-friendly. The Web products to be covered would include social networks, Voice Over Internet Protocol, instant messaging and Web email, CNET said in the May 4 article.

The FBI's proposal would amend the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which currently applies only to telecommunications and broadband networks, and not Web companies.

About the Author

Connect with the FCW staff on Twitter @FCWnow.

Featured

  • Workforce
    Former vice-president Joe Biden formally launches his 2020 presidential campaign during a rally May 18, 2019, at Eakins Oval in Philadelphia. (Matt Smith Photographer/Shutterstock.com)

    Biden promises to undo Trump’s workforce policies

    Democratic candidate pledges to appropriate permanent funding to feds in case of another shutdown.

  • People
    Federal CIO Suzette Kent

    Federal CIO Kent to exit in July

    During her tenure, Suzette Kent pushed on policies including Trusted Internet Connection, identity management and the creation of the Chief Data Officers Council

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.