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National Security Draft For Fining Tech Company "Noncompliance" On Wiretapping

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the only-criminals-use-pgp dept.

Privacy 165

Jeremiah Cornelius writes with what looks to be part of CISPA III: Children of CISPA. From the article: "A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Facebook and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur. ... 'The importance to us is pretty clear,' says Andrew Weissmann, the FBI's general counsel. 'We don't have the ability to go to court and say, "We need a court order to effectuate the intercept." Other countries have that.' Under the draft proposal, a court could levy a series of escalating fines, starting at tens of thousands of dollars, on firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders, according to persons who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. 'This proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs,' said Greg Nojeim, a senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. 'They might as well call it the Cyber Insecurity and Anti-Employment Act.'"

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165 comments

FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year ago | (#43585873)

'We don't have the ability to go to court and say, "We need a court order to effectuate the intercept."...

Can this guy be serious? The FBI doesn't have the ability to go to court and ask for a court order allowing them to listen in on conversations? Wow. Just utterly wow.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#43585935)

'We don't have the ability to go to court and say, "We need a court order to effectuate the intercept."...

I think he means, "Without a reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed, we don't have the ability to go to court ..."

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#43586043)

Actually, what I think he means is that even if a court grants an order, if the company does not track or have in place a method to monitor communications, then they could be fined in an escalating fashion.

For instance, most ISPs track what address gets assigned to which customer via DHCP, but there have been some ISPs that either don't, or won't give that information out as it's not guaranteed accurate. The FBI could get a court order for the information, but if the ISP doesn't track it, they can just say they don't have it. With the draft, the court could levy a fine against the company that can't or won't implement the necessary logging of that information.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43586107)

Just having read TFS, it's about "interception" of communications "as they occur" not logging. The ISPs that were telcos are used to regulations, and all have LI in place. The start-ups didn't design the network from scratch with that in mind, and now they are fighting against regulations that are almost 100 years old, as if they are somehow "new" and a "surprise".

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43586177)

I have to ask. What 100 year old regulations are you talking about?

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43586291)

The police walk into your telephone switch room with a warrant, you let them listen. That's much much older than CALEA, that's only 20 years old.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43586479)

Eavesdropping? I guess so, people have been eavesdropping for a lot longer than that.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587275)

Indeed - party lines in the 70s

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43586701)

"The police walk into your telephone switch room with a warrant, you let them listen. That's much much older than CALEA, that's only 20 years old."

That's pretty irrelevant, though, because with telephones, tapping is pretty darned easy. But with other technologies it has NEVER been possible to "just listen in"... it just wasn't built in.

That's not "refusal", it's simply not building something in a way that expressly caters to the police. And I don't give a damn. The police don't have a right to run the tech world.

If they can't keep up, tough shit.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43587083)

But with other technologies it has NEVER been possible to "just listen in"... it just wasn't built in.

Yes, it's not like there was ever a function set up that would SPAN one port to not only the destination port, but an additional tapping port as well.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43587285)

I could have been more clear. I didn't mean all other technologies. Just some of them.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43587425)

Nearly all technologies have "easy" snooping technologies built in. Even point to point fiber. Every teleco office around here has a splitter that all connections into the building runs through. Every cellular base station I've seen deployed will tap a call, though many don't bother and instead tap at the controllers in a more central location.

The police aren't running the tech world, they are just requesting that if you build something, that you allow warrants to be served against it.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587759)

What a bunch of weasel words and bullshit.

'they just request you allow warrants to be served against it'.

They just demand that the way you build your service caters specifically for them, even if it means completely changing your setup.

FTFY

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43587785)

The requirements have been there for 20 years (well, longer, but they worked more directly with local phone companies, rather than federal law when deregulating the industry to keep the same functionality. Anyone who built a network incompatible with CALEA is stupid and incopetent. Nobody ever had to "completely change" their setup to meet the basic LI requirements. They just lie about it to blame the government for everything.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43587953)

Physically, yes. And that gets you access to a huge pile of data. Actually finding what you want in there takes more work - things like emails or IM you can simply pull out with a filter, but a facebook conversation would require someone familiar with the facebook architecture and possibly a lot of work. The FBI is going to get very annoyed if they submit the warrant to a company and are told that they've put a man to work on the task, but it'll take a few hours to pull the information needed from seven different databases.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year ago | (#43588429)

The mechanical telephone system which permitted eavesdropping wasn't designed that way either, police just took advantage of the fact that it was possible. Like you, I'm uninclined to cripple future tech developments by imposing a design philosophy appropriate for mechanical telephone exchanges.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587901)

No, I wouldn't. I'd rather go out of business than let anyone invade the privacy of my clients.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43588019)

And how many businesses do you own?

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year ago | (#43588419)

"We don't have a switch room. So sorry."

"You're going to redesign your technology to comply with laws designed for an ancient technology that became obsolete decades ago"

Yeah, that's a great plan.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43588511)

Wow, are there really so many stupid admins that they have no idea how easy it is to ask "are you CALEA compliant" before buying an aggregation switch/router? It's zero cost and about 5 seconds to be compliant. Why is that so hard?

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | about a year ago | (#43586197)

This seems stupid at best, and a complete waste when they can just go to the ISP / backbone and get EVERYTHING, not just what said person is posting on G+

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43586305)

So your argument is that the FBI should snoop more on more people and more traffic, rather than more directed snooping based on evidence? Though I think the real reason is that G+ is encrypted, so the FBI wants it from Google so they don't have to decrypt it themselves.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year ago | (#43587873)

Sorry but targeting the end point of communications is just way to big a reach. What's to stop targeting of Banks, of online retailers, of typical business and how about the typical user. Once you attempt to force end point communications how do you write the law to limit how far that goes. The FBI wants the right to force everyone to become a spy on everyone else, sorry but fuck off. I remain honourable in my communications and spy and deceive for no one. This directly attacks the morals of any administrator of a system and attempts to force people against their will to deceive others.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43588027)

The FBI (Congress, actually, a Republica Congress, actually) requires that a service provider allow the FBI to tap an individual connection. Nobody is spying on anyone, other than the FBI, though once the capability is in, nothing stops an ISP employee from doing the same.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586387)

As someone that works for a telco, not in the US, and knows about lawful intercept, slurping the 'backbone' doesn't happen, for multiple reasons:
  • The interception warrant specifies a particular customer (so fishing expeditions are not possible). So, the telco won't just hand over everything to the agency, it only hands over traffic to and from a particular customer.
  • Following on from that, in order to be evidential (untainted), the parties have to be able to show that the warrant was correctly executed and the traffic and only the traffic named was captured. Failure to meet the terms of the warrant (by turning over unrelated traffic) would likely make it inadmissible.
  • Not all traffic passes through a 'backbone'. You might really want the traffic between two parties on the same node. I.e., just snooping the core will miss stuff. You need to monitor as close to the edge as possible.
  • Even a moderate ISP has huge volumes of traffic. A backbone tap starts at 10G x 2. Times two because you need to receive both side of the conversation.

No, he wants a live tap no warrant (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586929)

Firstly I notice we're not talking about Skype here, but that surely is where they really want a live tap? I think the fact we're not mentioning skype is telling, as in, it already has a live feed.

Secondly, he's clearly talking about a live tap WITHOUT WARRANT, if the delay from getting a court order won't cause problems, then the 5 minutes to save the voice conversation and send it won't either. So he clearly wants a live tap UNDER FBI CONTROL.

He's seen Syria and Iran's intercept capability and is jealous.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year ago | (#43586449)

In other words, they want companies to make it easier for them to spy on us. That sounds spectacular!

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43586113)

Wiretap warrants require a lot more [tumblr.com] than just reasonable suspicion of a crime, though. Wiretap laws were written to fit the idea that phone companies were simple carriers who would respect the integrity of customer's conversations, and since they didn't provide services themselves, people had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Now that we willingly send information to companies knowing it will be manipulated for the provided services, that clear expectation of privacy gets a lot more blurry. Post a threat to Facebook, and your friends can pass it on as a tip to police, but the police can't just ask Facebook who made threats? That doesn't really make much sense.

if only there was some legislation allowing companies to look at the data they carry, that didn't require a tedious and detailed warrant request for every detail... And of course, that's the goal of CISPA. Where CISPA fails is that it doesn't just remove the excessive red tape on wiretap warrants, but apparently bypasses due process altogether, for any kind of query.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586385)

Yes, but National Security Letters and FISA warrants don't.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

nbauman (624611) | about a year ago | (#43586395)

Well, if Law Comics says so.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43586769)

"Wiretap warrants require a lot more than just reasonable suspicion of a crime, though. "

Absolutely. They require probable cause, which means real evidence. Of course, then there are the secret rooms the government built into some telco offices that simply siphon off data without anybody's knowledge or consent. Those are established fact... they are the whole reason Congress had to give telcos "immunity" for passing on the information. But as far as I know, there still isn't a law that allows the government to do it legally or constitutionally.

"Wiretap laws were written to fit the idea that phone companies were simple carriers who would respect the integrity of customer's conversations, and since they didn't provide services themselves, people had a reasonable expectation of privacy."

It's not that they didn't provide services. They didn't provide content. As the courts have ruled: there is a lesser standard of evidence needed for telephone records (who called who, and when, for example) than there is for the content of the telephone conversation (wiretap).

But this brings up a good point. Telcos were (FCC Regulations) classified as Title II "Common Carriers". I.e., they provide the call service, but are strictly forbidden from intercepting or interfering with the content (conversation) without a warrant.

It is quite possible to classify and regulate Cable companies and other ISPs as Title II Common Carriers. In fact, the FCC has wanted to do it for decades. But lobbyists got Congress to pass a law specifically excluding ISPs from Common Carrier status. That was one of the biggest mistakes of the last few decades.

The solution: get Congress to remove the exclusion from ISPs. Then the vast majority of your privacy concerns go away, virtually overnight: it will then be prohibited for ISPs (or anybody, including usage trackers) from monitoring your activities without a warrant. Most of the major privacy and security concerns surrounding the Internet simply disappear.

Sure, there will still be a few criminals doing it now and then. But criminals tapped (probably still tap) telephones, too. But the big problem -- government and corporations -- will be forced to leave it alone.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587507)

Ah, crap, I'm out of mod points. I thought at the time that the exclusion was enacted that it was bullshit and that it would cause problems. It was one of the more bone-headed things the Congress did that year.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587929)

It makes perfect sense to me. Facebook built a machine. The machine processes my data, but it isn't supposed to send it to people I haven't okayed it to be sharing with - and I certainly haven't okayed it sharing with the police. I suppose that you might be right if you say it should be able to share posts marked s public with the police. Even anything to "All my friends" is certainly not to the whole world. Giving my friends information which they might possibly be able to pass onto the police is one thing - but one would assume that if I am giving them the info, it's because I expect they WON'T pass it onto the police.

Some people get bent out of shape about GMail automatically scanning messages, but I don't mind it so much mainly *because* it's automatic. If they started sending sales leads to "business development professionals" saying that I looked like a good lead, then I would start to get irritated. Sending my information to law enforcement is much worse.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Insightful)

Mullen (14656) | about a year ago | (#43585955)

'We don't have the ability to go to court and say, "We need a court order to effectuate the intercept."...

Can this guy be serious? The FBI doesn't have the ability to go to court and ask for a court order allowing them to listen in on conversations? Wow. Just utterly wow.

That leads me to believe that the FBI just says this stuff so that a good chunk of the population, which does not understand the 4th Amendment or Court Orders in general, just buys into what they are saying, just so they can get it.

How the FBI intercepts anything without a warrant or court order and the evidence is not thrown out of court, is beyond me.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586199)

Why do they need a court order anyway? I thought the NSA was tcpdumping (or flushing) the entire flow of data on the Internet into their multi-bazzillion dollar datacenter. This is what happens when peoples jobs depend on the lawmaking industry.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (4, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year ago | (#43586539)

Why do they need a court order anyway? I thought the NSA was tcpdumping (or flushing) the entire flow of data on the Internet into their multi-bazzillion dollar datacenter. This is what happens when peoples jobs depend on the lawmaking industry.

Problem is, companies like Facebook and Google (the two mentioned in the summary) have been migrating to SSL over that past few years. https is the default means for connecting to Facebook now, and it has been an option for Google now for a couple of years. The more people use SSL, the less these "tcpdumps" are effective. This is why the feds need to go to Google or Facebook to get this information. Interesting that Skype wasn't mentioned.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587041)

Feds have had the ability to target SSL interception for years. Hell, even I had it it in a micro-corp I ran IT at four years ago.

It's available as a commercial off-the-shelft product, and the law enforcement versions have the right connections to 'just work'. THink about that for a minute, and if you don't grok it, go install some SSL Observatory plugins.

Doing /driftnet/ style SSL inspection is another problem altogether.

And that tells you something about the types of intercepts they're having trouble with.

They're not only mining shit when they don't even have a suspect in mind. They're so used to it that they want it to be illegal to make it difficult.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (4, Insightful)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year ago | (#43587339)

Wait, just so I'm clear: you're saying that law enforcement has the ability to do one of the following:
1. Generate an SSL certificate trusted by the browser (i.e. using a CA which is trusted by the browser) and 'MITM' the connection
2. Use an SSL certificate which doesn't derive trust from a trusted CA, but prevent the browser from notifying the user that the certificate is invalid
3. Has the actual certificate of the server the traffic to which they want to interept

I guess they could also just be intercepting using untrusted certificates and hoping people ignore it - and most probably would.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year ago | (#43587801)

Probably 1 and 3. Commercial CA are supposed to have a copy put in escrow in case the government needs access. How easy it is for the government to get access I don't know but would guess it's not hard

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587951)

1 is certainly possible if the CA cooperates.
2 Is not possible without hacking someone's PC. (Well maybe with Internet Explorer there is a special Law Enforcement feature, I don't know...)
3 Isn't possible because without hacking the service provider because the CA never has a copy of the server's private SSL key. (What places like Verisign do is only sign the public key of the server in question).

So actually #3 is pretty damned well not going to happen. I really don't think anyone like Google would hand over their private key to the government, and I don't think the FBI or similar would risk being discovered trying to hack into Google's servers to get the SSL key.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587841)

Good analysis. There's a few other possibilities you missed, including utilizing old SSL weaknesses like the null prefix attack. But Just so the AC that you replied to gives you an answer.

Yes.

It's option #1 via one of two common mechanisms:

1) RAT installation of a third party CA. You should be able to imagine any of a dozen remote exploits that make this trivial. You can have a few dozen keys almost entirely pre-generated and do a lawful intercept and rebundling of HTTPS in realtime (This is basically the same way things happen in a corporate intercept, except instead of a RAT, you use group policy to distribute the content inspection server's certificate....)

Lazy implementations can sometimes get by by looking to see if the browser searches for a remote proxy configuration and...supplying it without even needing to engage in dns or arp poisoning.

2) Via issuing a certificate from an existing trusted CA. Take a look at the hundreds in your browser sometime. Then ask yourself if every single one of them would refuse a subpoena from every single government. If there's even one that wouldn't, ask yourself what it would cost to discretely steal that root certificate for limited use that would likely never be noticed or reported.

I /have/ seen attacks against root certificates, but not at a government level.

I wouldn't consider your option #3 out of the question, but I have never actually witnessed such in wild.

I do know for a fact that these devices are available for purchase, and that the law enforcement only ones are marketed as zeroconfiguration.

There are additional theoretical attacks that will strip SSL I can and have used in a laboratory network environment that were witnessed in-the-wild during the Arab spring incidents.

I am not the author -- but for an example of SSL stripping, see https://github.com/moxie0/sslstrip [github.com]

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43586465)

Of course.

This is what is called "a limited hangout". They are already doing worse. This is to distract from that, and to send a discreet message to Google and Twitter that they function as outsourced, privatized intelligence bitches -- or else.

No, (4, Funny)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year ago | (#43585963)

They're whining that companies don't drop everything end change their business model to a law enforcement intelligence and evidence gathering organization at their request. *This* is "big government"; part of your business model has to include an Open API to the government with a real time feed to help them do their jobs. It would be hilarious if their response could be to allow them to access the petabytes of information and find the needle in the universe of needles themselves.

Re:No, (0)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43586181)

*This* is "big government"; part of your business model has to include an Open API to the government with a real time feed to help them do their jobs.

Yes, and you get to charge them for the cost, face penalties if you don't follow it, and the rules are old and have been in place for a long time. It's not expensive, and isn't a hidden expense. So what's the problem?

It would be hilarious if their response could be to allow them to access the petabytes of information and find the needle in the universe of needles themselves.

You can if you like, but the reimbursement for costs won't include it, and filters are easy. You'll lose a lot more than the FBI will if you were to do that.

They're whining that companies don't drop everything end change their business model

CALEA was passed in 1994. Which company are you talking about that was around before LI who was asked to change their business model? Do you even know what a business model is? Anyone I've seen complain about it was younger than the law they were complaining about, so "change" would be silly. They'd have to have done something incompatible with existing law to need to "change" anything. Those older were already working with law enforcement for years (AT&T and spinoffs, MCI, and all that), the newer knew what to do, and must have chosen to not do it.

Re:No, (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43586377)

> Yes, and you get to charge them for the cost, face penalties if you don't follow it, and the rules are old and have
> been in place for a long time. It's not expensive, and isn't a hidden expense. So what's the problem?

I don't see what the problem is. The law is what it is, and the defined fine of nothing is being given out every time its broken. You can't say the law isn't working if its doing exactly what it was intended to do, do you have any evidence that companies are being fined less than nothing?

CALEA was passed in 1994 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587011)

Well get on up there to the hill and tell them just how easy CALEA compliance is for internet services to provide! The guy sitting next to you talking about the internet and tubes is a little wacky but he is spot on because he was around before they made the Communications Act of 1934. PS: Neat how easy it was for those massive telecoms to spin up CALEA compliance. I'm sure they were against it seeing as they have been on the tit of the taxpayer for decades and the added up front cost is mostly felt by a startup.

Re:CALEA was passed in 1994 (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43587101)

I've implemented CALEA in an ISP. It's easy. Before you buy a $250,000 device, you ask them about their CALEA compliance. They'll usually have something to show you, so long as you ask before you buy it. You'd have to be pretty lazy/stupid to start up a new ISP and not have even accidentally bought enough CALEA compliant equipment to comply with no additional cost.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (4, Insightful)

Schmorgluck (1293264) | about a year ago | (#43585969)

Yeah, I mean, seriously. Every wiretaping scandal in the past years in the USA is due to non-compliance with due process. Only the judiciary branch can suspend the fundamental rights of individuals. That's what due process is for.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586123)

He isn't saying that they can't get a court order to wire tap. The issue here is much larger than that. As I read it, there isn't an effective way to "wire tap" these forms of communications. They are basically going to fine tech companies until they reprogram their technologies so that the FBI can "wire tap" a chosen individual. From the article they mention that when Google uses SSL on the email client, the FBI can no longer just request that the user's ISP let them sniff the bits from the target. Thus they can't effectuate or put into operation an intercept.

The fact that they think it is perfectly reasonable to force companies to rebuild their systems and protocols to allows for easy interception is insane.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587977)

The fact that they can't tap my Gmail is a FEATURE!

ok, so I will agree, Google should make it easy for them to tap my mail, just as soon as the FBI makes it easy for my to access their systems and decrypt all their data.

And before you say "Well but they are the government and have legit reasons... blah blah blah.." - remember that there have been quite a few documented incidents where the CIA and parts of the US government have been helping in corporate espionage - so as a company or individual, government snooping is certainly part of the threat model I want to use and protect against.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43586179)

Maybe their car wont start.

Re:FBI's general counsel - having a laugh? (5, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43586721)

the FBI's general counsel. 'We don't have the ability to go to court and say, "We need a court order to effectuate the intercept." Other countries have that.'

Last time I checked, that was always a selling point of this country

firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43585875)

Don't the 3-letter agencies already have an administrator dashboard for Facebook anyway, and full access to everything on it?

captcha - "wiretaps" no joke.

Re:firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587363)

You do know that the CAPTCHAs here are not random, and are usually words related to the story somehow, right? No spooky coincidence happened.

Rights are inconvenient (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43585903)

The 4th Amendment is getting in the way of FBI evidence-gathering.
Good; that's what it's for.

Re:Rights are inconvenient (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43585957)

No, the fourth amendment is there to make sure that investigations are actually investigating something reasonable, rather than just harassing somebody the officers don't like.

Redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586831)

Well that was largely redundant.

Re:Rights are inconvenient (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43587049)

Don't be so petty. The fourth amendment is so that investigations can't devolve into general-purpose evidence gathering sessions. It's to guarantee our privacy. Nice try, though, in your try to characterize the issue as law enforcement 'just being pesky.'

Require law enforcement to follow the Constitution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43585965)

'The importance to us is pretty clear,' says Andrew Weissmann, the FBI's general counsel. 'We don't have the ability to go to court and say, "We need a court order to effectuate the intercept." Other countries have that.'

Paraphrasing: The power is pretty importance to us ... We actually need probable cause to go to court and say, "We need a court order to effectuate the intercept." Only democratic countries have that.

Re:Require law enforcement to follow the Constitut (2)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43586203)

I think they want the same kind of government regulation that China has.

AIN'T THAT THE UNKNOWN SPAMMER ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43585989)

Jerimiah Cormeluss is no bullfrog !! He is a hosts file spammer !!

The bill is doomed to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43585991)

As usual, the bill is worded to ensure a knee jerk reaction.

In this case a good one, No Way!

Let the bombardment of negative emails to congress begin.

Re:The bill is doomed to fail (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43586059)

Yeah, like the NDAA...

The average American doesn't care about freedom anymore. Sure, they love the -illusion- of freedom, they love the -illusion- of their rights, but when it comes down to it, the average American is perfectly content and even applaud rights violations as long as they think that it won't apply to them. I mean, look at the outright celebration of essentially martial law in Boston, look at the lack of outrage against drone strikes, heck, even look at the widespread cheers for the horrible conditions at Guantanamo.

The average voter doesn't care about freedom, as long as they have their welfare checks, government jobs, medicare and social security. As long as the media can maintain the illusion that the US is the freest country in the world, there won't be any outrage.

Re:The bill is doomed to fail (1)

RussR42 (779993) | about a year ago | (#43586213)

People signing a petition to repeal the first amendment [youtube.com] .

Re:The bill is doomed to fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586509)

Wow, A right wing asshole takes advantage of a bunch of morons. Never seen that before...

Re:The bill is doomed to fail (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43586255)

Let the bombardment of negative emails to congress begin.

"Hey, tech nerd guy. My mailbox can is full of V146R4, protest messages, and those lobby guy conversations again...do you mind doing that 'Death Knoll' ritual so I can breathe easy and those New York Times Cyber Terrorists don't find them?"

"Uh...Congressman...I think you should go read the prote--"

"Oh look, McDonald's is calling, I think they want you back."

"Okay, okay! I'm on it!"

Messages erased. No new mail.

*sips Pellegrino* "Ahh...much better."

Re:The bill is doomed to fail (2)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about a year ago | (#43587389)

I've gotten many responses from my congressmen and senators. For some of them I wish they didn't waste the paper when they send letters, though it's good for the post office. I do read the the direct email to me.
I've made phone calls as well. A couple times they wanted my full contact info, and I got a letter, or email in response.

Sometimes public opinion works. The republican senator from Pennsylvania switched his position on gun control. Sadly that hasn't passed, yet.
There have been some other notable changes in position due to public position.

The last election proved that ignoring the tech nerd guy is how to lose an election.
D'Oh!

sorry you lost the last election

Re:The bill is doomed to fail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43588039)

No, the last election proves that tribal affiliation based on skin color wins over logic and/or common sense. It also proves that if you promise government handouts to tribal members, they will vote for you - even if the country can't afford the cost of all the freebies.

Amazing... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43586019)

Its amazing that even with a court system that bends over backwards to help "law enforcement" agencies, they still think they need even more ways to violate basic rights.

Its really amazing what has happened in the last 30 some odd years, to see a nation which used to truly be one of the freest in the world to now only paying lip service to freedoms. It used to be that if you wanted freedom, you came to the US, now its becoming increasingly obvious that if you value freedom, moving out of the US is the way to go.

Re:Amazing... (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43586215)

I wonder where you were planning to move? Australia? China? Iran? England? Just wondering.

Re:Amazing... (3)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43586289)

Chile is one of my options, fairly politically stable, modern, fairly free in practice, fairly cheap land, etc.

Some of the non-EU European nations wouldn't be bad, a bit more expensive, but Andorra and Switzerland are potential options. Even though I don't really like crowds and big cities, Hong Kong and Singapore wouldn't be too terrible to live in, but again its more expensive.

The real test though is how free countries are in practice, I mean, North Korea's constitution guarantees freedom of religion and expression, but it certainly isn't practiced. Similarly some countries may have more restrictive laws, but they are never enforced which provides more freedom in practice than a country with laws guaranteeing freedom but that restricts the practice of it.

Re:Amazing... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43586227)

It used to be that if you wanted freedom, you came to the US, now its becoming increasingly obvious that if you value freedom, moving out of the US is the way to go.

That's why I left. I now live in a "socialist" country with lower taxes and more services.

Re:Amazing... (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#43586327)

Yeah, I certainly can believe it.

There is a huge disconnect between how countries are portrayed in the media and how they actually are. I mean, who would have thought back in the "cold war days" that someone would flee France for Russia for economic freedom!

What people think they believe in and what they actually believe are two separate things. I remember talking with my grandparents that they were scared that Obama would put the country under martial law, and then when Boston basically went under martial law, they praised the police and thought it was great what they were doing!

Re:Amazing... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43586577)

> What people think they believe in and what they actually believe are two separate things. I remember talking
> with my grandparents that they were scared that Obama would put the country under martial law, and then when
> Boston basically went under martial law, they praised the police and thought it was great what they were doing!

Agree with your points but, think you picked a terrible example. I am here in Boston and, generally the first one to be a detractor, but, mostly...mostly....I think they did a good job under the circumstances. Lets not forget, this was nearly an unprecedented situation, which involved not just bombings, but an active persuit of a person who had been actively using both guns and bombs, and was believed (if incorrectly) to still be armed.

I do think that they overreacted a bit, and I was not a fan of some of the actions that they took, particularly shooting him since he wasn't armed and thus couldn't have been shooting at them.... or the, at least one, house they did search with explicit non-consent.

That said, I am willing to give a lot of latitude to them when dealing, specifically, with an active persuit of an armed group or individual, in the area where he was last contacted. Though, it is pretty clear that they did overreact greatly in extending this all the way to the other side of boston. Hell, I was closer to the action than many of the places locked down, and we were not under lockdown here.

That said, I think generally the fears of martial law coming are mostly overblown. This government does a fine job of controlling people without barely working for it. Martial law is expensive and a huge and counterproductive undertaking. I am more worried about the effect of policies over time.... follow the track of the drug war and its, just a nasty feedback loop, of ever increasing need for more and more power to go after bigger and badder bad guys, which didn't exist before the market that birthed them was created.

Re:Amazing... (3, Insightful)

ClintJCL (264898) | about a year ago | (#43586827)

You really suck at history, huh? Boston has faced bombers MANY times in the past. MANY. For giggles, google how it relates to the molasses massacre that killed score(s)....

Re:Amazing... (3, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43587077)

"The situation is unprecedented, so unprecedented extreme measures need to be taken" is a standard ploy for those seeking to exercise extreme state power.

Re:Amazing... (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43587129)

or the, at least one, house they did search with explicit non-consent.

The law is pretty specific about this. If a violent crime is in progress, then the police have the right to pursue. If a kidnapper breaks into your basement without your knowledge and the police saw him enter with the hostage, the police have the "right" to break into your house and search it. They "shouldn't" use anything found against the homeowner, but they can do so in pursuit.

Much more alarming is the pursuit of the LA cop, who they shot out cars of the wrong person and all that. But that seemed to get less press than other less interesting things.

Re:Amazing... (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#43587359)

I know...I swear to God, it's like watching Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam Hussein argue about how best to implement and protect a democracy; and the sad part is, they're doing it in earnest, they're really trying, but they just can't fight some of those inner tendencies of theirs that cause things to kind of drift off course...

The more I watch these courts bend over for the J. Edgars, the more I contemplate being cremated and having my ashes stuck in a rocket, because I simply refuse to be buried on a planet with this kind of nonsense ongoing.

Re:Amazing... (0)

chromaexcursion (2047080) | about a year ago | (#43587453)

Your sig marks you as an anarchist, or something close to it.
Either you're wealthy, or you're a hypocrite.
As for your opinion others should move to another country, get a clue!
The only countries that would fit you criteria have no economy, like Tuvalu. Or perhaps Republic of the Marshall Islands.

It is very amusing the number of million dollar racing yachts who's home port is Bikini, M.I.

translated (3, Insightful)

waddgodd (34934) | about a year ago | (#43586065)

"What's the point of a warrantless wiretap if we have to go to court to get compliance?"

Meanwhile, a workplace death = $1000 (4, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | about a year ago | (#43586075)

Just a reminder that OSHA and EPA fines, when they happen even under the most egregious circumstances, typically result in fines that barely break four digits.

Re:Meanwhile, a workplace death = $1000 (3, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43586225)

Gotta keep you priorities straight. Who cares about a few peasants?

Re:Meanwhile, a workplace death = $1000 (1)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#43586325)

Gotta keep you priorities straight. Who cares about a few peasants?

The FBI, apparently. Since they want to wiretap what the peasants are doing in real time on all communications mediums, not just phones.

Re:Meanwhile, a workplace death = $1000 (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43586493)

They must be really bored. My phone calls make watching grass grow exciting by comparison.

CISPA III: Children of CISPA (2)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | about a year ago | (#43586343)

Also known as the Capitalize On The Boston Bombing Act.

Re: CISPA III: Children of CISPA (3, Informative)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#43587089)

"Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste"

Tragic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586367)

So we have Weissmann saying, in effect, that the FBI isn't competitive with other countries and needs to keep up. Nevermind that some of those other countries are likely to be unsavoury dictatorships and the like.

Next we have Nojeim trying to defend against this legislation on the basis of jobs. Jobs!! Like that had anything to do with anything.

If they need to surveil, they ought to be able to do it. With a warrant, obtained from a judge, in advance of all surveillance activities. Furthermore that warrant ought to have an expiry date on it. Something reasonable, and in any case never longer than one year.

Anything less opens the potential to all kinds of abuse of citizens, privacy, and all the rest.

We all know what this is about, right? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586409)

Say you're trying to get someones gmail traffic. Conventionally you could tap it anywhere along the path, so it made sense to pick the ISP who may not have the resources (small ISP) or inclination (AT&T et. al) to resist a bogus wiretap request. The absolute last thing you want is someone like google with resources and inclination to look at your flimsy wiretap request.

Hence the panic. The funny bit is that this is yet another bandaid - true peer-to-peer communication ups the ante again. I wonder what would happen to a company that developed real peer-to-peer communications, but wasn't involved in setting up the call (so they don't have the secret to give the government); would they get caught up in the binary fine escalation too?

"Other countries have that". (3, Insightful)

sacrabos (2563893) | about a year ago | (#43586459)

Yeah, many other countries don't have a 4th Amendment and other Constitutional protections and restrictions on government.

Where's the list of "other countries"? (2)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | about a year ago | (#43586617)

I don't think Egypt and the Arab states should be held out as role models.

Inb4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586639)

new season of "The Wire" comiing! I can only hope! only this time, with emails....

I can't wait for Obama to take office (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586655)

Then we'll see all this Bush/Cheney crap reversed.

Yeh, it is disappointing (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587035)

He got healthcare reform through, and killed Bin Laden, and got us out of Iraq, but what else?

Republicans have him blocked, he can't close Gitmo because Republicans wrote it into law. He can't balance the budget because Republicans don't want military or medicare cut, and won't allow tax increases on rich people.

Now FBI feels confident enough to ask the Republican controlled legislature for laws to let them live warantless wiretap.

And military already got it's 'kill Americans' law, Obama says he won't use, but the Republicans didn't put it in place for him, it's for the next time they get a Republican into power.

Yeh, Obama sucks,

Laundromat cork boards (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43586705)

They should go after laundromat cork boards next. Also billboards, movie theater screens, and bluetooth keyboard output.

This is about enabling interception of any communications, right?

Oh Hell (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | about a year ago | (#43586713)

Just fuck the 4th amendment. It's easier without it getting in the way of a "police state".

why is this even an issue these days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43586781)

Given how well known BOTH corporate and governmental tracking and privacy violations are, and that it is only a few mouseclicks away to install something like Off the Record and talk privately when your friends, why the FUCK is anybody communicating in cleartext on the internet any more?

Seriously, aren't we beyond that by now?

Re:why is this even an issue these days? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43587993)

Because Facebook.

Do not underestimate Facebook. It's huge.

The FBI's testimony on "Going Dark" (5, Informative)

blahblahwoofwoof (2287010) | about a year ago | (#43586859)

Respectfully submitted: Did anyone bother to read the FBI's actual testimony, which was linked in the WaPo article?

http://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/going-dark-lawful-electronic-surveillance-in-the-face-of-new-technologies [fbi.gov]

Note the date of the testimony: February 17, 2011
This has been on the burner for a while now.

How's The Project To Encrypt Everything Coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43587131)

Sounds like we need to move it up a bit.

A matter of national security (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#43587561)

"information services" are exempt from CALEA. CALEA is only for access providers not web sites and information services.

Having the FBI say they don't seek to expand their existing authority while concurrently seeking to have CALEA apply to "information services" is nonsensical doubletalk.

Under CALEA and common sense you cannot be compelled to cough up keys you don't have so the only choice is to go after information services which is a breathtaking new grant of authority *explicitly* excluded from all existing CALEA legislation.

Note TFA also talks specifically about communications between peers without a centralized intermediary....ie direct communications between two XMPP clients. How the hell do you technically accomplish this without fundementally turning the Internet and general purpose execution environment into a locked down police state?

LEA needs to come to terms with the fact they don't get to wholesale easedrop on all communication in clear violation of the law anymore. Its not like they can't already get a warrant for emails from messaging providers and its not like we don't already have fucked up legal regimes like the third party doctrine which effectivly bypasses our rights to privacy when our information is stored on third party systems.

Part of the problem is everytime the government decides to invent absurd concepts out of thin air like free reign on emails > 180 days or grant immunity from civil action when telcoms break existing law more and more people and technologists deploy more and more encryption by default. SMTP between mail systems, IMAP..etc now often using TLS by default..etc. Part of this is government getting what it deserves for acting more like a nation of kings rather than a nation of laws.

It is hard for me to understand with the blessing that is facebook and the rise of massive messaging providers why LEA continues to complain. Full visibility into virtually all bit torrent downloads... They actually have it better than ever before but nothing will ever be enough.

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