FBI Wants More Power To Monitor Internet Activity
from the because-they're-so-trustworthy dept
The FBI, which still can’t even get its own computer network working properly, would rather just have more widespread access to spy on the computer network everyone else uses: the internet. Talking to Congress today, the FBI proposed a few different things, including the right to more widely spy on internet activity as well as legislation to force ISPs to retain log file data for an extended period of time. While the Congressional reps in attendance seemed to respond by saying “sure, sounds great” to both of these suggestion, both should actually be looked at much more closely.
More freedom to spy on internet usage potentially violates the 4th Amendment as well as federal wiretap laws. Given the evidence that the FBI has widely abused its ability to wiretap, this should be a major concern. As for data retention, problems with such an idea have been chronicled for years. It tends to put a tremendous expense on ISPs for no real reason — and it tends to make it even harder to find the type of data authorities actually need to deal with criminal activities. If you’re in the FBI, it’s no surprise that you’d want both things in place, but that hardly means Congress should roll over and give them to the FBI.