The F.B.I. has been quietly laying the groundwork for years for a push to require Internet-based communications services — like Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry and Skype — to design their systems with a built-in way to comply with wiretap orders. On Thursday, the bureau made its first full airing of the “going dark” problem.
“Due to the revolutionary expansion of communications technology in recent years, the government finds that it is rapidly losing ground in its ability to execute court orders with respect to Internet-based communications,” said the F.B.I.’s general counsel, Valerie Caproni.
Along with increasing demands for journalists and human rights workers to turn all their electronic devices over to the government for purposes of seizing all information held within the devices, this move is just one step toward dictatorship and government conduct outside the rule of law.
As demandprogress observes at firedoglake:
Companies that want to avoid heavy-handed regulations, and those that actually care about our privacy rights, would have to leave the U.S. That would reduce our prominence as a technology leader, and encourage the government to devise ever more severe ways of blocking Americans from using the offending technologies. Other companies would comply by creating back-doors that could lead to more privacy violations and make the Internet more vulnerable to attack: experts say wiretap-ready technologies would be much easier to hack.Why does Obama hate our freedoms?