Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FBI Adds to Wiretap Wish List

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the can-we-hear-you-now? dept.

United States 471

WorkEmail writes "A far-reaching proposal from the FBI, made public Friday, would require all broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police. The FBI's request to the Federal Communications Commission aims to give police ready access to any form of Internet-based communications. If approved as drafted, the proposal could dramatically expand the scope of the agency's wiretap powers, raise costs for cable broadband companies and complicate Internet product development."

cancel ×

471 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

YOU ARE ALL GAY NIGGERS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550668)

Re:YOU ARE ALL GAY NIGGERS! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550824)

Hmmm.... in my case that would be gay aboriginal

win (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550669)

first post i win

Good thing! (-1, Flamebait)

AssProphet (757870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550670)

"...and complicate Internet product development."

I always thought Internet product development was too damn easy anyway.

Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades! (3, Insightful)

eaglebtc (303754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550671)

This is completely absurd. I am against wiretapping in principle; however, if the government wants to mess with the operation of a private entity, then that private entity (the ISP) should be justly compensated for their time and effort. The government should pay for the upgrades, not the consumer. While I'm on the subject of payment, let's assume that the FBI requires the use of wiretapping in less than 1% of all its investigations. So they want to force 99% of the people to pay for something they only need for 1% of the time?

Bottom line: The FBI can go piss on itself. Fuck the system.

fp

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550677)

>
> fp

well sir you may not be the first post, but you have the first *useful* one.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (5, Insightful)

jtwJGuevara (749094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550693)

I concur with the parent. However, the consumers will end up paying for the wiretapping regadless, whether the ISP's are forced to do the upgrade themselves, or if the FBI funds since the FBI is funded with everyone American's dollars.

Regardless, this is pretty intrusive on the FBI's part. Even though it isn't a blatant intrusion into our private lines located within our home, it may as well be, since our direct line to the internet for 99.9% of the population runs through commercial ISP's. I hope someone cries foul on this proposal in support for the protection of privacy. However, with the state of most American's line of thinking, such a hope is far-fetched.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (3, Insightful)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550705)

The government should pay for the upgrades, not the consumer.

Either way, the consumer ends up paying, be it in the form of increased access fees or a tax hike or, most likely with our govt, just tacking it on to the deficit. Bottom line: The FBI can go piss on itself. Fuck the system

Amen

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (0, Flamebait)

eaglebtc (303754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550726)

If we are going to pay for them with taxes, then they should not be in the form of additional taxes. Rather, the legislature needs to tighten its purse-strings: cut social programs, reduce administrative salaries, and put the money back into where it needs to go: defense and public works.

I think our Congressmen, Representatives and top-level government administrators have forgotten that they are servants of the people! They should be honored to have such a job! What I wouldn't sacrifice to have a powerful voice in the legislature of this country, or to head a committee on a topic of national importance. I would sacrifice everything to get there...except my integrity.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (2, Interesting)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550744)

If we are going to pay for them with taxes, then they should not be in the form of additional taxes. Rather, the legislature needs to tighten its purse-strings: cut social programs, reduce administrative salaries, and put the money back into where it needs to go: defense and public works.

I'm right there with you, but I'm afraid we can't get there without crashing and burning first.

think our Congressmen, Representatives and top-level government administrators have forgotten that they are servants of the people! They should be honored to have such a job!

They certainly carry the attitude that we're lucky to have such generous people in charge.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (5, Insightful)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550834)

If we are going to pay for them with taxes, then they should not be in the form of additional taxes. Rather, the legislature needs to tighten its purse-strings: cut social programs, reduce administrative salaries, and put the money back into where it needs to go: defense and public works.

I disagree. Social programs have been decimated in the past four years. The Great Society has been destroyed in favor of corporations and the wealthy. Defense spending has been astronomical and does not need to get any bigger. If greater power is given for wiretapping we will be running headlong into a police state. At this point the government already has too much power and needs to cut money out of programs that only serve to arm the government to the teeth, only to attack its own citizens and other nations unilateraly. If we need anything right now it's programs that will get the people of this country back on their feet.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550716)

let's assume that the FBI requires the use of wiretapping in less than 1% of all its investigations. So they want to force 99% of the people to pay for something they only need for 1% of the time?

All you did was repeat your assumption. No cookie for you.

Bottom line: The FBI can go piss on itself. Fuck the system.

And to ensure a good mod, you bold the "stick it to the man line" so no one will miss it, ignore the illogical crapfest that was your post and mod you up!

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550735)

ON the other hand, if the government pays for the upgrades, it will be with tax dollars, so either way the consumer/citizen gets screwed. And, actually, if you look at the number of court cases that are successfully prosecuted nationwide using legitimately-garnered wiretap evidence, it's more like forcing 99.99999% of the people to pay for something the FBI needs only .000001% of the time, or worse. Ridiculous on the face of it: all the numbers I've been able to find simply don't justify this ongoing crusade for advanced wiretapping capabilities. Those boys just hate like hell to have anything kept from them. The problem, as I see it, is that the ease with which the FBI (and the Federal Government in general) was able to grab new powers in the wake of 9/11 has simply encouraged them to go for more of the same, although they've been trying for a national wiretap center for a long time prior to that. This is much like the FBI excesses decades ago, under Hoover, that resulted in Congressionally-mandated restraints upon its' behavior. Back then, of course, wiretapping was a relatively simple affair involving a lineman's handset and a pair of clip leads. Times have changed, and in the modern world the costs of allowing them to run in this open-loop fashion for very long are going to be significant, both in terms of money (tax dollars or on your Internet bill, take your pick) as well as civil-liberty abuse. Congress is the only entity that has the power to reign these people in, and I don't see a lot of effort being expended there on our behalf.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (5, Funny)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550737)

Next they'll bill the suspect for being investigated and failing to produce justification for an arrest warent.
Improves law enforcment and cuts the budget.. What could be wrong?

Oh right.. paying for being innocent.

Civil Protest (3, Interesting)

rodgster (671476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550740)

everyone should download anything and everything they can think of. Delete it when it is done and then initiate a new down load.

Bottom line: Saturate your download bandwidth.

If Everyone did this, it would likely hamper any monitoring capability.

I hate to advocat this this type of protest, but the bottom line is fuck you, get a warranat if you want to monitor my shit.

From this day forward, my download bandwidth will be saturated.

Like the SBC commercial in CA. "I'm gonna download the whole internet"!

Hopefully this will overload their ability to attempt to monitor anything.

This might be a good time to buy stock in harddrive manufacturers.

Re:Civil Protest (4, Funny)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550748)

everyone should download anything and everything they can think of. Delete it when it is done and then initiate a new down load

Similar concept but I think everything should be encrypted. Notes to mom, grocery list to the s.o., plans for laser beams mounted on fricken sharks, encrypt it. Fuck em, let em spend a ton of money decrypting a note to my g.f. asking to pick up drycleaning... Overload the system.

Re:Civil Protest (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550750)

Or simply encrypt your transmissions. The Federal Government has been aware of this possibility for many years (predating the opening of the Internet to the public) and tried mightily to get encryption effectively outlawed for private use. Fortunately they failed that time around, but that doesn't mean they won't try again. If all significant Internet traffic was adequately encrypted it wouldn't much matter if they could tap the packets, it would be too costly to decrypt it. That's where it's heading anyway, if nothing else to keep the RIAA from peeking at our upload folders. The question is whether or not the Feds have the balls to try and make that illegal.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550741)

totally radicules idea , aha pity on them for taping

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (1)

hype7 (239530) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550769)

however, if the government wants to mess with the operation of a private entity, then that private entity (the ISP) should be justly compensated for their time and effort.


Yeah, well who gets justly compensated every time credit card fraud occurs online?

It cuts both ways, buddy.

Bottom line: The FBI can go piss on itself. Fuck the system.


Love your spirit. I mean, why have the FBI at all? Or the police? Let's get rid of the lot of them! /sarcasm

The problem isn't in allowing LEA access to what they want. It's making sure there's a process they have to go through to get them, which prevents them from getting the information when they shouldn't be.

-- james

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (1, Interesting)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550843)

The problem isn't in allowing LEA access to what they want. It's making sure there's a process they have to go through to get them, which prevents them from getting the information when they shouldn't be.

Too bad the government just doesn't follow the rules when they don't want to. Just ask the people who have spent years in military prisons in Guantanamo.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (4, Interesting)

vanillacoke (646623) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550849)

I don't think he meant to say bring the system down, because that's pretty stupid and we don't have a backup plan (rip it down to put it back up WTH?)....

ANYWAY He is agitated like I am at the FBI for their complete incompetence, we already eroded our right for them and they still FUCK UP. The track record of the FBI is they consistently do more harm then good (anyone heard of them going after the guys who wrote Louie Louie for subversion?).

Oooooo.. (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550783)

I'll bet Carnivore heard that!

Erm..look at that a purple dinosaur!

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (1)

smack_attack (171144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550823)

Beep beep beep.... Here comes NIPR.gov with their shiny black routers. Heh.

They can all fuck off. We don't need them, they need us.

Re:Screw you, government! You pay for the upgrades (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550833)

Time and time again, the US federal government has proved wasteful and inefficient. Do you really want the government implementing something that private industry can implement for half the cost? Besides, I'd rather see my ISP bill go up a little than watch the seemingly endless budget fattening of the government. In the end, regardless of who implements it, you will pay for it.

I'd rather pay the ISP.

Stock Tip (5, Insightful)

BinBoy (164798) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550673)

Invest in encryption products.

Re:Stock Tip (5, Insightful)

cperciva (102828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550743)

You really think they have time to look at the data contents of your packets? That takes time and human resources... what they're interested in watching is your packet headers, which aren't going to be encrypted.

This is all about traffic analysis. They can work out who is talking to whom over the air via the NSA's listening network (or rather, GCHQ's network, via reciprocal "let's get around domestic spying laws" deals), but they need hardware on the wires to look at those packets.

Sure, if you're under investigation, they might use this hardware to log the contents of your traffic; but they'd do that anyway. These changes are about identifying possible suspects based on who they associate with.

Re:Stock Tip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550844)

And get raided. You will need to provide them with a key or get in sh...I mean trouble!

Dial Up (4, Interesting)

HughDario (741581) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550674)

Wait, what about us who still have dial-up? (yes we do still exist) It says nothing about it in the article from what I saw.

Re:Dial Up (1)

asmellysock (649878) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550687)

I think existing telephone wire tapping would work fine for this.

Is there really a difference? (0, Interesting)

Animaniac (719374) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550679)

So instead of paying the ISP, I'd have to end up paying Uncle Sam through taxes. It's a lose-lose situation.

You watch.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550681)

Next, they will come for your encryption. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... but soon.

Re:You watch.... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550757)

If you don't have anything to hide, why did you put your mail in an envelope instead of using a postcard, hmmmmmmmmm?

KFG

They can (1)

rodgster (671476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550760)

Pry my encryption from my cold dead hand.

And how are they going to prove you encrypt... (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550793)

...a datastream of an unknown kind which is compressed, hidden using steganography, has plausable deniability using an legal, escrowed key and so on?

FBI might as well accept that people are able to talk privately in virtual space just as they usually can in real world. They'll just have to rely on common carelessness or on some other methods to stop crime.

Money Power Politicss (3, Interesting)

parasyght (545609) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550685)

Hypothesis:
Carless wire tapping will some how turn into a corpate espionage tool. Give yer brother bill whos a cop a couple bucks, get access to the competitions phone wires, walla!! corpate espionage.

can i use the word "walla" in a hypothesis?

Re:Money Power Politicss (1, Funny)

discogravy (455376) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550694)

no, because it's not a word. you're looking for the word viola (there's supposed to be an accent on the A at the end; which would make it different from the instrument. it's italian I think.)

Re:Money Power Politicss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550727)

no, because it's not a word. you're looking for the word viola (there's supposed to be an accent on the A at the end; which would make it different from the instrument. it's italian I think.)

I think they mean voila, which is french for "here/there it is."

Re:Money Power Politicss (3, Informative)

Roydd McWilson (730636) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550733)

ahem, "voila [reference.com] " comes from French, mademoiselle.

Re:Money Power Politicss (1)

eaglebtc (303754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550738)

A "viola" is a musical instrument.

You meant Voila! Apparently Slashdot doesn't allow accented characters; I tried typing it three different ways and it still wouldn't show up in the preview.

Re:Money Power Politicss (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550845)

It's funny to see one of these incorrect corrections.

Everyone else has fixed your error, I'm just here to laugh at you.

Encryption (2, Insightful)

Aurix (610383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550686)

Makes you wonder when we're all going to be forced to use high-grade encryption for all connections across the Internet....

Re:Encryption (1)

mattjb0010 (724744) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550703)

It's fairly safe to assume that even if the FBI isn't looking then someone else (your employer? your ISP? Echelon?) is. Moral of the story: use one time pads. Or just hook your lava lamp up, they generate great spoof fodder, although not as interesting as the paranoid freaks on /. ;)

Re:Encryption (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550777)

Moral of the story: use one time pads.

Not feasible, unless you're only communicating with a small group of people. Public key encryption with a sufficiently long key and a decent password is more than enough for most purposes (ie, it should be uncrackable for at least a few decades).

Re:Encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550792)

Moral of the story: use one time pads.

There is no story to which the moral is "use one time pads."

Re:Encryption (1)

rodgster (671476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550779)

My guess, encryption will probably attract attention (you must be a terrrorist since you have somthing to hide, yea right). And I'd guess they can probabaly crack it as long as encrypted messages remain a minority of internet traffic. No I don't have a tinfoil hat.

Easy wiretap... (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550688)

buy a sniffer? use ethereal?

its really not that fucking hard to sniff traffic. I used to do it at work when diagnosing routers- to see what "worked" and what just didn't work. Do a qucik writeup and pass it on to the hardware guy.

-Grump

can the FBI break 128 bit encryption? (5, Insightful)

netnerd.caffinated (473121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550691)

if they can't, then whats the point. anyone who's doing anything illegal & knows the FBI can listen in, will just encrypt.
Big waste of time

Re:can the FBI break 128 bit encryption? (1)

rodgster (671476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550817)

When you assume you make an ASS out of U am ME.

This isn't a troll. I just want to point out that since the US eased the export of 128-bit ecrryption technology (there may be a reason why). Like it can be cracked if they are interested enough to look. If I remeber right (god damn altimerzers) 56 bit RSA is really weakened to 40 bit in the way it is hashed.

See http://cacr.math.uwaterloo.ca/hac

Re:can the FBI break 128 bit encryption? (1)

Xabraxas (654195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550853)

The government will never allow an encryption scheme that they can't break if they need to.

They have that in Russia (4, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550696)

ISP's are obliged by law to install wiretapping devices and provide internet connectivity to police to use these wiretapping devices. There's no warrant necessary to wiretap. Best of all, all encryption standards (except GOST, which comes from the government) are outlawed, so you can get hard time for using PGP. I haven't heard about anyone getting sued for using strong crypto, though, so it looks like these laws are not enfoced.

Re:They have that in Russia (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550734)

ISP's are obliged by law to install wiretapping devices and provide internet connectivity to police to use these wiretapping devices. There's no warrant necessary to wiretap. Best of all, all encryption standards (except GOST, which comes from the government) are outlawed, so you can get hard time for using PGP. I haven't heard about anyone getting sued for using strong crypto, though, so it looks like these laws are not enfoced.

So, on paper, run-of-the mill SSL is illegal in Russia?

Crypto in Russia (4, Informative)

drosselmeyer (707244) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550863)

For government insititutions, yes. Government-owned corporations may only use certified encryption technology, and only GOST is certified. (It's not a bad standard for strong private-key encryption, but not very popular either.)

It is not clear if the specified regulations actually apply to private citizens or to private-owned companies, but there is no article in Penal Code about illegal use of encryption. It is clear that this law (as well as many other evil laws) was never actually enforced. (Thank God!) The fact that everybody, including government, uses SSL in daily practice due to using existing OS and browser software incorporating it is quietly ignored.

In real life, unless you actually find anyone getting busted for this, you should ignore the rumors and use crypto if you feel you need it. Practice is much more of a criterion than written law in this country. For example, there's no law prohibiting the usage of GPS devices for purposes other than construction work, but people do get in trouble for using them anyway, on the grounds of misinterpretation of the existing regulations - like the absurd notion that all geographical coordinates more precise than 200 meters are classified.

In all my communication... (4, Funny)

SisyphusShrugged (728028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550698)

All my commmunication will have to have GW is Double-Plus Good as the header :) Using words such as Terrorism, Nader for President, and Same-Sex Marriage will merit an immediate termination.

Easy way of securing your mail (4, Interesting)

Isbiten (597220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550701)

Well at least if your using Mac OS X 10.3 Mail.app

I used this [joar.com] tutorial on how to certify my email adress so the one receiving my email will know that's it me. Also when the receiver and the sender got a certified email adress you can encrypt your email adress.

Yes I know about PGP but this is much easier since Mail automatically adds the senders key for you when you get a mail that's signed.

Re:Easy way of securing your mail (1)

Isbiten (597220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550856)

Yes I know that you shouldn't reply to your own posts, but what the heck.

Of course I mean that you can encrypt the email you send, not the email adress. Just like to make that clear.

Possible.. (2)

iswm (727826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550702)

I can't imagine something like this actually happening.. But with all these other absurd patents, copyrights being approved I wouldn't be surpised to see this a few years down the line. Absurd.

... outside of the U.S. (3, Interesting)

Mark Trade (172948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550707)

Yeah. Do so but invest in encryption outside the U.S. because the next step will be to ban encryption on the U.S. part of the internet. Ok, this will severely interfer with all kinds of online payment but how much sense would it make for the FBI if they are allowed to wiretap you but can't read what you type?

Re:... outside of the U.S. (1)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550719)

because the next step will be to ban encryption on the U.S. part of the internet. Ok, this will severely interfer with all kinds of online payment but how much sense would it make for the FBI if they are allowed to wiretap you but can't read what you type?

They'll just ban "bad" encryption, you know, the kind without some sort of key escrow system. Expect the usual, "only a terrorist would be afraid" of key escrow...

Re:... outside of the U.S. (3, Insightful)

UnassumingLocalGuy (660007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550729)

/me looks at the U. S. Constitution and cries.

Re:... outside of the U.S. (1)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550758)

/me looks at the U. S. Constitution and cries

"And Benjamin consented to break his rule and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single commandment. It ran: 'ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS'".

Listening in on X-Box Live? (5, Funny)

letdownjournals (737635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550711)

Legal experts said the 85-page filing includes language that could be interpreted as forcing companies to build back doors into everything from instant messaging and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) programs to Microsoft's Xbox Live game service.

To avoid any potentially deadly misunderstandings, I'd advise you not to play a Counter-Strike "terrorist."

1984 (5, Funny)

aixou (756713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550712)

Some visionary should write a book about a future dystopia and call it 2040. Then Apple can come out with a cool new commercial in 2040, with a dubbed over voice saying, "god damn it. it's happened.", and have a gunshot fire with the sound of a body falling to the ground. right?

Re:1984 (2, Insightful)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550771)

I got a better one..

George Orwell is a man ahead of his time...
20 years to be exact: 1984 - 2004.

Re:1984 (2, Informative)

PacoTaco (577292) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550802)

There's this book [amazon.com] .

Re:1984 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550830)

I have a gut feeling Ted Rall is one of these alarmists who's out to cash in on the hype, just like Peter North did with Y2K.

Vacancies at the FBI: (5, Funny)

eltaDciraD (700966) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550713)

The FBI seeks to appoint a senior AOL linguist. The successful candidate will form a 1337 team able to translate AOL to American English in real-time as part of a stimulating new FBI initiative...

Re:Vacancies at the FBI: (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550858)

I was reading the paper this afternoon, there was a caricature of Usama Bin Laden with the caption, "I hablo espanol, too." I suppose that means that the FBI will need an interpreter for when Usama Bin Laden sends out his message,
Fu|X0r teh 3\/IL cru54d3rz. 0ea7h 2 4m3r1ka!!!

Encryption. (5, Informative)

captnitro (160231) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550718)

If you boil a frog, it doesn't know that it's in trouble until its legs are paralyzed and can't escape. Yup.

This is probably more for the "VoIP" segment of the universe than "XBox Live", this is a perfect reason to enable IPSEC over VoIP.

Too often the open source community thinks of the unreasonable approaches before the reasonable, and that's only because you have to fight fire with fire. In this case, you have to have as much reason as a politician will -- and yes, that sometimes means being as evil as they can be -- that is to say, with transparent encryption, it makes it unreasonable for a state agency to tap because it would mean confiscating servers and disrupting business (the state, in the US, must have a compelling state interest to do just about anything). This can have two effects: (1) Hosts increasingly require unreasonable agreements (CYA). (2) The disruption of business is so much that is becomes a burden for politicians to support.

My point being: look guys, we're Slashdotters, and we administrate public networks, and we're smarter than them, and with no disrespect, we can make prior art out of whatever aged notions of data security they have. That's what open source is about; the gathering of the people above those with green and power.

We should assume our data is being intercepted in the first place -- that's why you provide data security. Thou shalt encrypt.

ALSO SEE: Due Process, Fourth Amendment.

Further proof that the internet is a luxury (3, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550720)

Seriously. It's nice (esp since I just got cable), but once it becomes Yet Another Intrusive Tool, I -for one- will go back to reading and ordering cds through catalogs or buying them in person.

The internet isn't a necessity, particularly if survellience becomes unavoidable.

WTF? (1)

enune (636751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550721)

Someone forgot to tell the FBI about dsniff [monkey.org] ?

Re:WTF? (1)

Felinoid (16872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550790)

Forget nothing.
I'd go out of my way to not say anything about any observation tools to the FBI more advanced than binnoculars.

Where are the civil libertarians? (2)

Debug This (702664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550722)

"In soviet russia.." ah, forget it.

Seriously though, this will stir a fair bit of controversy; on one side you will have the civil libertarians bitching about how this is a 'massive breach of human rights', on the other you will have the people who spout that 'it could save your life one day'. I don't actually know where i stand as of yet, but im in Australia so it's all good - we probably wont get the technology for another 25 years.

Re:Where are the civil libertarians? (2, Insightful)

velo_mike (666386) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550768)

I don't actually know where i stand as of yet, but im in Australia so it's all good - we probably wont get the technology for another 25 year

May I point you to my favorite civil libertarian [harrybrowne.org] author's thoughts on the subject of privacy [harrybrowne.org] .

Re:Where are the civil libertarians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550842)

So, in thirty years, will Russian geeks be making "In Republican America..." jokes?

Because that would be pretty funny.

Right.... (1)

SignoffTheSourcerer (567014) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550736)

Wiretapping the network for extern traffic might be feasible, but wiretapping a switched network , including local traffic on a cablemodem network, without anyone noticing is almost impossible. You could sniff a switched network and then "fail open" it by bogus ARP floods, but people would notice (either by sniffing) or by the sudden performance loss of the network. Seems like the only sane solution here, thank god, is to physically tap the connection (like you would hotwire a phone). So it seems like these morons should thake a crash course in network-topology.

Re:Right.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550797)

We (a large Dutch ISP) have it set up in such a way that on each router which has customers connected to it, either on a switched network or directly on an UBR there is one interface configured for tapping. This inteface will mirror all the data coming from the customer interface, which then is filtered out by an dedicated tapping/sniffer box so only the targets data gets stored.

Freeswan (3, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550749)

Perhaps Freeswan [freeswan.org] went into retirement a bit too soon. Freeswan offered ubiquitous encryption throughout the internet where computers would negotiate secure transport mechanisms with each other on an opportunistic rather than pre defined basis.

Does it "solve" anything (2, Insightful)

SyKOStarchild (576577) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550751)

I am thinking, even if they rewired it, we'd just use point to point encryption and all they'd get is traffic info, not content.

I am thinking more a kerberos solution. Literal streaming encryption.

Even so, they know as well as any tech geeks do that its a smokescreen, a feel-good, a deliberate overextension so that when its denied, less extreme but still invasive suggestions look fine by comparison.

There is only one way to oppose this.... (3, Funny)

3seas (184403) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550753)

We all need to install internet cameras in our tolits...with a direct feed to the FBI.

Any bets on the timeline for hacking it? (5, Insightful)

Grym (725290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550754)

I can't believe the government is actually considering putting a backdoor in every cable modem. Karnivore, while of debatable, legitimacy, is at the very least, secure because its physical components are kept very far away from crackers (in secured buildings of Tier one providers). Thus, it works on a fairly good premise of obscurity and limited access.

If this type of backdoor was inside the cable/DSL modem next to your computer, imagine how quickly both the obscurity and limited access factors disappear. You can kiss any type of sibilance of security on the internet goodbye because, in no time, every script kiddie running windows will be able to packet sniff your computer.

Sometimes, I really wonder how highly funded groups like the FBI can ignore common sense problems. If there's ONE thing I think we've all learned in the past twenty years in regards to computer security is: if it's even minutely possible for them to do so, they (geeks) will figure it out. If you put an encryption scheme on every DVD drive in the world, they will figure it out. If you don't address a security bug in a prominent piece of software, they will figure it out. And if you put some uber-packet sniffing device on every cable/DSL modem in the country, they will figure it out with probably an extra sense of haste.

So if this does come to pass, how long do you think it'll take for it to be cracked? My guess is a week. *sigh* Your hard earned tax dollars at work.

-Grym

Sibilance? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550785)

Does your firewall make a hissing sound?

This, kids, is why we don't blindly trust the spellchecker. The word you're searching for is "semblance".

Re:Sibilance? (1)

Grym (725290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550835)

When it's 5:00 AM and you write more than three flaming sentences, sometimes you miss a word or two. My deepest apologies.

-Grym

Re:Any bets on the timeline for hacking it? (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550820)

He he. Just wait until some 12 year old russian kid figures out how to hack it and starts selling government documents. Ideas like this sound SO cool until they shit in your face. But isn't that life? He he.

this would be a good time... (5, Insightful)

zeruch (547271) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550756)

...among many other opportunities, to use the sharp minds many here claim to have and contact your congresscritters...in writing. on paper. that will always bear more attention than an email (or even a phone call).

People really need to stop bitching about this stuff in web fora and actually try to interface with the people that can put a stop to some of these intrusive inanities.

So, what is the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550765)

Use cryptografy, end of story.

in The Netherlands (5, Informative)

sachar (620132) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550766)

ISP's have been forced to install tapping devices since december 1998. Accroding to the Dutch Telecommunications Act 1998. http://www.ez.nl/english/docs/tweng.pdf

Not likely (5, Interesting)

max born (739948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550776)

Wouldn't worry about this.

1. The FBI is only "asking" the FCC which, anyway, lacks jurisdiction to tell IRC programmers how to program.

2. The Internet is becoming more decentralzed (e.g. anonymous wireless LANS,P2P networks, etc.) so there will be too many small time non compliant ISPs to go after. And the government, not for want of trying, has so far shown only futile attempts at regulating the Internet.

3. The only people for this are the FBI and a few conservative politicians. They're going up against the communications giants and equipment manufacuters -- financially secure industries with campaign contributions, lobby groups, and lots of lawyers.

4. Besides all that, they just don't get it. Any two connected nodes communicating by pulses (ones and zeros) can always encrypt their conversation. Language is a secret handshake.

Re:Not likely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550809)

Language is a secret handshake.

I really like that comment. Makes perfect sense for any language -- people who know it are 'in' on the secret. I suppose if things really got out of hand with this FBI wiretapping crap, we could all just develop our own languages.

How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550778)

How do they plan on rewritting the software needed for *them* to access a wiretap. Isn't there security issues involved here?

so they are going to capture all those giga-porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550798)

per seconds and save it somewhere for someone to look at ? :O

Time to invest in storage companies I guess

In Soviet America.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550803)

Well.. yeah. That's about all I got.

FBI (4, Insightful)

Vexware (720793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550815)

I am pretty sure that the majority of Internet users have nothing to hide, and are involved in no illegal activities, or at least no such activies that would be of interest to the anti-terror force that is the FBI, but privacy is one of the most basic principles of a free society, and making broadband users pay more so that the perverse desires of some unknown FBI agent "searching for terrorists" can be fulfilled is, in my opinion, outraging. The FBI already has some power when it comes to eavesdropping on the Internet, but breaching the privacy of the gigantic Broadband userbase of the USA, when they only need to track a few individuals, is I think horribly exaggarating.

What have the Broadband ISPs said about this? They stick to revolting against delivering confidential information of their heavily downloading clients, but they don't even try to stick a word in when their whole userbase's privacy is at risk?

Some implications (5, Insightful)

tehanu (682528) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550816)

Besides the privacy, police-state implications that I'm sure other people will point out, here are several points:

Firstly, if there is a easily available backdoor for everything, what's to stop criminals and terrorists from using it as well? People don't seriously think that they are not going to be able to get the technical information easily. Especially if *every* software program that allows communication the way they describe requires these backdoors. There's no-way you can keep all those civilian mouths shut. These backdoors will be built-in security holes. Just like mandating only low-level encryption may mean that it is easier for the US government to break into your data, but it also makes it easier for criminals to do so as well. The likely ease with which the technical information will spread will mean that hackers will probably make versions of the programs w/o the backdoors and spread them through the underground. Real (smart) criminals and terrorists will use these backdoorless programs leaving the American government to spy on harmless citizens and the inept.

Secondly, I can see governments like China rejecting any protocol or programs which has these backdoors installed. They are already paranoid enough about rumoured backdoors. If they are sure they exist (say through a FCC mandate) they are going to drop American software like a hot stone. While the Chinese government is a police state and would love the ability to spy on their *own* people, the last thing they want is to allow the American government to spy on *them*. Other countries, like the EU, UK might have a few qualms of letting the US government spy on *them*, though I wouldn't put it past them (esp. the UK ie. Blunkett) to start thinking of mandating their own spyware for their citizens....Say goodbye to the American software export industry...

I also wonder how these things would work in conjunction with Trusted Computing?

The last thing is, I presume that all rules and regulations will apply to open source software as well. So I guess all open source developers of the mentioned program types will have to submit their programs to the US government for approval before they can release it. And how does this affect the open source nature of development if you need government oversight *every* time you want to release any sort of new code?

Important news on Fridays (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550846)

Anyone else notice that anytime the FedGov proposes something draconian against civil liberties it often seems to break into the news on Friday afternoons so it settles down over the weekend and the masses stay dumbed down?

How to enforce this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550847)

Kick everybody out of the internet. The FBI computers must UNPLUG their cables. Then only FBI will be in the internet and everybody else outside. Whoever wants to get back in should accept this proposal. Then, FBI will let them connect again.

How about it?

Fucking Bastards Incorporated.

Fits Right In... (1)

farghen (759198) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550852)

It seems to me that this proposal is right in line with this [slashdot.org]

Maybe this particular proposal will not go through, but the government is already working on solving the problem of wiretapping at a more fundamental level - Internet Protocol

Give an inch take a yard (1)

4b696e67 (670803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550855)

Didn't they just get more wiretapping power a few years ago with the patriot act? It seems they won't be satisfied till everyone has a microphone and transmitter strapped to them just incase they might, on the off chance, be planning a crime.

Its a sad situation in any country when the government feels that this is something they need to inflict upon its citizens. Its even more sad when the citizens let them.

Big Brother? (0, Flamebait)

Jexx Dragon (733193) | more than 10 years ago | (#8550866)

Hmm, I really feel sorry for people in the US. At one point it was called "The Land Of The Free," but does that really apply anymore?

If this goes through the whole idea of privacy will be shot, Bush might as well just change his title to "Big Brother."

I assume people would have to vote on it? And so I don't see this happening, though the average person would probably assume this would stop spam and crackers...

This is the FBI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8550868)

all your bases are belong to us!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>