Saturday, August 06, 2005

The most dangerous hacker: the government

I changed the title from "The worst hacker possible"; I think the new one is better descriptive.
August 05, 2005

FCC Issues Rule Allowing FBI to Dictate Wiretap-Friendly Design for Internet Services

Tech Mandates Force Companies to Build Backdoors into Broadband, VoIP

Washington, DC - Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a release announcing its new rule expanding the reach of the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The ruling is a reinterpretation of the scope of CALEA and will force Internet broadband providers and certain voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers to build backdoors into their networks that make it easier for law enforcement to wiretap them. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has argued against this expansion of CALEA in several rounds of comments to the FCC on its proposed rule.

CALEA, a law passed in the early 1990s, mandated that all telephone providers build tappability into their networks, but expressly ruled out information services like broadband. Under the new ruling from the FCC, this tappability now extends to Internet broadband providers as well.
This should speak for itself.

What if Phil Zimmermann had been forced to code a backdoor into PGP? Why shouldn't the federal government require all locksmiths to make a master key for every particular type of lock, which law enforcement will own? That was the idea behind the Clipper Chip, in fact, which the feds failed a decade ago to force upon us. Today they're attempting much the same thing.

There's no more Fourth Amendment, and we'd better get used to it as subjects of the Empire.


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