The New York Times is reporting that the Obama ministration wants to introduce legislation next year to make it easier for law enforcement and National Security officials to eavesdrop on Internet, email, Facebook and Blackberries, to name a few. The legislation would require encrypted services like Skype, Blackberry, and others to be technically equipped to be wiretapped by law enforcement and National Security. I can just imagine technicians being reminded that they have to leave the back door open, so the government can hack into the software.
After years of complaining about the Bush administration’s Patriot Act and warrant-less domestic eavesdropping; it would be hypocritical of me, if I approved of this violation of our civil liberties. The Federal authorities' are saying that terrorist are no longer using cell phones, so they need the tools to intercept the means of communications they're using today. They assure us, that all will be lawful intercepts and they're not expanding their authority, just their means. I guess we'll have that argument of protecting one's privacy and the need to address our National Security.
The New York Times said the Obama proposal would likely include several requires:
-Any service that provides encrypted messages must be capable of unscrambling them.
-Any foreign communications providers that do business in the U.S. would have to have an office in the United States that's capable of providing intercepts.
-Software developers of peer-to-peer communications services would be required to redesign their products to allow interception.
Not only are the telecoms and software developers telling us that "the regulations would create weaknesses in the technology that hackers could more easily exploit" but I doubt that we will get rock solid evidence that terrorists are no longer using cell phones. Will the authorities give back their authorization, if these enhanced powers don't produce results? I seriously doubt it; it's like the old temporary sales tax and that once in a lifetime surcharge. The legislators that vote against this bill will be labeled unpatriotic.
I know that the data mining , the National Security Agency uses, already intercepts all the incoming calls and emails and this is just to include encrypted media, but it also makes it more possible for some poor innocent person to get wrongly accused. After 9/11, Congress passed the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists" which gives very broad presidential powers to "use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."..... After reading the powers that are in that piece of legislation, I don't see why the president needs Congress to give him additional authority.... That last sentence of the bill might need to be amended because if it's about those who plan authorized committed or aided the attacks of 9/11... It has already been determined that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, was the mastermind of 9/11; we have him in custody and al Qaeda only has about 450 members left.
This legislation will produce the same old arguments and statements like" let them do it; I've got nothing to hide" that usually send me into a frenzy. It will also bring out the old conspiracy theorists, the Fox spin, and those that do not trust this president with more powers.
"Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists
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