EFF Sues The Gov't, Demanding Proof That It Needs To Put Wiretap Backdoors Into All Communications

from the where's-the-proof dept

About a month ago, news broke that the feds were going to push for new legislation that would require wiretapping backdoors be put into all forms of internet communications. This is a bad idea for any number of reasons -- including the fact that this would make it much easier for others to spy on the communications of Americans. However, all indications are that the feds (especially the NSA, who wants to pretend they're "protecting" Americans from security issues, while really just wanting to spy on more Americans) are going to push forward anyway.

Part of the justification for the push for such wiretapping mandates is that new technology has made it much more difficult for law enforcement to to intercept necessary information. So the EFF made a simple request: prove it. It filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the evidence that new technologies were actually hindering law enforcement. However, the US government apparently ignored the request, leading the EFF to sue the government over its failure to respond to the request.
"The sweeping changes the government is proposing, to require 'back doors' into all private communications technologies, would have enormous privacy and security ramifications for American Internet users," said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. "Any meaningful debate must be based on the information we're seeking in the FOIA requests, so the government's failure to comply in a timely manner is troubling."

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  1. icon
    PopeHilarius (profile), 1 Nov 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Just like gun laws...

    I thought of the comparison to gun laws immediately as well. But there is a crucial difference- the irony of your statement, "the only people who will have security from being spied apon will be the people who the government actually want to spy on", depends on the assumption of who the government actually wants to spy on.

    I think something less pithy, but more accurate would be: 'The only people who will have security from being spied on will be the people who the government purports to want to spy on.' Because the people they really want to spy on is who they will be able to spy on: mostly everyone.

    I'm not a pessimist though. In a police state, this is just something the government does. But in our glorious democracy, even the NSA is reduced to badgering the intractable gridlock that is Congress for legislation that it wants. They may get their proposal passed, but it'll take years, include a rider for Ohio farm subsidies, and end up applying only to Palm Pilots and Yahoo Messenger.

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