FBI wants Internet wiretap option

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

The FBI is forging ahead in its push for U.S. laws that would allow the agency to wiretap social networking sites and other providers of Internet communications, such as email and instant messaging, according to CNET.com.

FBI Director Robert Mueller confirmed during a congressional hearing this week that the FBI still wants an Internet wiretap law, but he did not say when the Obama administration would present a proposal.

The explosion of online communications as more Americans rely less on traditional wire line telephones has made it harder to keep track of illegal activities, the FBI argues. The agency wants providers of Internet-based devices and service providers to install back doors for government eavesdropping.

From CNET:

The FBI’s proposal would amend a 1994 law, called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, that currently applies only to telecommunications providers, not Web companies. From the FBI’s perspective, expanding CALEA to cover VoIP, Web e-mail, and social networks isn’t expanding wiretapping law: If a court order is required today, one will be required tomorrow as well. Rather, it’s making sure that a wiretap is guaranteed to produce results.

Governments around globe have increased surveillance of online communications in response to pro-democracy demonstrations fueled in large part by instant communications via Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites.

Should the U.S. government’s wiretap laws be extended to cover online communications?

47 comments Add your comment

Homeland "Security" BLOWS

May 19th, 2012
4:12 pm

Big Brother is here, and Osama bin Laden WON in expediting his arrival on 9-11.

Homeland "Security" BLOWS

May 19th, 2012
4:15 pm

Incompetent Presidents Bush & 0bama have made Big Brother feel very welcome.

Socialism Here We Come

May 19th, 2012
4:35 pm

Another push into the Socialist way of life. Socialism is a huge plus for law enforcement, they don’t have to worry about violating someone’s civil liberties……because you would have none.


May 19th, 2012
4:37 pm

Why, hello there, Big Brother! Trying to take away our freedom again? Oh, you crazy Federal Bureau of Idiots!


May 19th, 2012
4:44 pm

They should be allowed to check people out if they have cause, but not without a court order. To me the internet communication is basically the same as telephone services, with more bells and whistles. People’s right to privacy should be basically the same online.


May 19th, 2012
5:01 pm



May 19th, 2012
5:04 pm

No. No. Heck, no.


May 19th, 2012
5:08 pm

To to socialist-phobe: this is the opposite of socialism. This is authoritarianism, fascism – police state kind of stuff.


May 19th, 2012
5:09 pm

They WANT to tap e-mail? They already DO. They have for many years. It’s called Echelon and they already have access to every single internet communication.

tell it like it is

May 19th, 2012
5:18 pm

Thank you bobV by the time we hear about they have been doing it for about 5 years.


May 19th, 2012
5:43 pm

Basically what I think they’re looking for here is permission to do something they already do.
If Mueller wants it, Obama will find a way to get it to him without looking too Republican.
And Obama’s Team Spirit will cheer the darn thing on as something better than we’d get with the GOP.
Which still makes it wrong and wronger.


May 19th, 2012
5:55 pm

Always remember …
they more secure you are, the less freedom you will have.


May 19th, 2012
5:58 pm

FBI’s former program for collecting all emails was called Carnivore. Who knows what the NSA does every day in those dark buildings in Laurel, MD.


May 19th, 2012
6:04 pm

O no! That means I cant blog anymore


May 19th, 2012
6:09 pm

Welcome to the USA – Police State – Police Country – I agree with the comment of TIME TO MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY

Quack Quack

May 19th, 2012
6:18 pm

I’ll keep my FREEDOM, my MONEY, and my GUNS……



May 19th, 2012
6:25 pm

Quack Quack…that’s a bumper sticker. How original… gheez


May 19th, 2012
6:31 pm

Anyone who turns this into a Republican vs Democrat argument is an idiot and part of the problem.

Who cares?

May 19th, 2012
6:31 pm

So where are all you freedom flag waving people at now? you know, where is the guy with the “don’t tread on me” flag?

too busy arguing about Obama care huh……
you need to upset about the Patriot act.
We are a gullible nation……

These guys are taking our freedoms and the PATRIOT ACT is alive and well.
It isn’t about terrorism, it’s about taking your freedoms and they are doing a great job at it.

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”


May 19th, 2012
6:32 pm

I agree that the FBI should be able to monitor people’s email and social network sites but ONLY if the person in question is suspect to breaking the law IE pedophilia or terrorism and ONLY with a court order! Law abiding citizens should not be scrutinized by the government if they haven’t broken the law!

Ben Franklin

May 19th, 2012
6:32 pm

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty, to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”


May 19th, 2012
6:43 pm

careful what you type. Big Brother is already watching.


May 19th, 2012
6:45 pm

Once you open that can of worms there’s no going back. We know fully well this is another right that will violated by those with the means and ability to do so. There will be no privacy.

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither ….

The terrorist have won.


May 19th, 2012
6:56 pm

I have nothing to hide, why would anyone argue? It is the world we reside in, sadly.


May 19th, 2012
6:57 pm

Why would you worry? Do you have something to hide? Keep it clean and keep business open and honest! The government should be able to look all they want but they should stop telling everyone what they are doing. How are you going to keep the country secure if everyone knows what you are doing? Get real! Just do what you have to do to protect the country and its people!


May 19th, 2012
7:02 pm

This would be just like a wiretap, which requires onerous standards that have to go up and down the chain at DON before it’s shown to a federal judge with the standard that shows that the state has probable cause and that the state has exhausted other means to obtain the information. It’s really nothing to worry about.


May 19th, 2012
7:04 pm

Why are they going after new laws? They can already illegally spy on anyone they want without disclosing to anyone including a judge and without a warrant. Of course, it’s all in the name of “keeping us safer”. At least that is what is said. How about they just do their jobs and wiretap people the old-fashioned way with a warrant? They even have FISA and can get a warrant after they wiretap someone. What do they have to hide?


May 19th, 2012
7:06 pm

Paul, Paul, Paul, The burden of proof is not on the innocent or even the accused, it is on the government or police to prove to a judge to a reasonable standard for a warrant or an after the fact FISA warrant. When the government wants to spy on people without any standard of proof to a judge you have to wonder what they have to hide and if they are just going after people they don’t like or people that could hurt them politically.

T'ville DAWG

May 19th, 2012
7:10 pm

With the current admistration anything is possible if not probable, in Socialist America your rights pertain to and are limited to your choice of deodorants.

Sister Sarah

May 19th, 2012
7:16 pm



I am glad SOMEONE with some degree of intelligence is on this blog from time to time. Some of these knuckleheads are only capable of spewing what Fox News and similar outlets implant into their brains. We have been under the threat of FASCISM since the Bush administration. People are however too braindead to see that it is that when the CORPORATIONS control the government and its policies (as we have now) , that freedom truly begins to erode away. But noooo… THEY prefer to be distracted by a straw man who peddles to them that their measley little dollars want to be taken away to give to someone else.

These same people were screaming how they had NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER with the Bush administration and its WARRANTLESS WIRETAPS. They would say stupid things on this very blog like “I personally have no problem with it, because I have nothing to hide and if you don’t why are you?” They believed Bush was “keeping them safe from them terrorists” (more brown folk). Well… time to pay the piper “patriots” ! LOL


May 19th, 2012
7:32 pm

The coup was successful 30+ years ago. What is sad is you still think this is a democracy and that you’re free.

You aren’t.


May 19th, 2012
7:40 pm

Nothing to hide here either. Moving to another country, sorry, if you have a computer you are watched and listened to too. Its the sign of the times, 9/11 changed everything.


May 19th, 2012
7:47 pm

People who don’t even know what socialism means should just in their homes and keep their ignorant mouths shut.


May 19th, 2012
8:11 pm

S, I appreciate your jaded response, but it’s an over-generalization. Here’s why. 9/11 did change things. But you’re discounting several other factors, chiefly that the ubiquity of instantaneous communication, a centralized, global Internet and a steady and accelerating shift to the right and privatization of our shared interests.

On the last point, the political shift to the right has been driven by depthless, Utopian economic ideals that conflate abstracts and absolutes like “freedom” with the epitome of materialism, money. This has resulted in some sort of Randian/Nietzchean-Superman American ideal. Some sort of Icarian madness. The cost of our Oligarchy? Bubble economies. And bubble economies burst. One of the major causes of the Greek economic collapse? The Greek governments deals with Bear Sterns to invest in derivatives, which is a good example of the merging of governments with private sector entities. The revolving door between CEO’s and government appointed positions is well-lubed. Everyone points at the government, while CEO’s sneak in and monkey wrench the commons.

Moving back to the Internet, it’s simply another tool that can be exploited by law enforcement. Rather than viewing 9/11 as a paradigm shift in itself, it should be viewed as affirmation of the security state that’s been active for decades. For example, the FBI worked tirelessly to deport John Lennon. There wasn’t an Internet then, but he was seen as subversive and a threat. As a result, he was followed, his phones were tapped and they spied on him. Ah, paranoia!

9/11 is merely an affirmation.

Even before corporations fully infiltrated our government and sacrificed our economic sovereignty, the security state was in-place and growing. Rumfeld’s Team B, established during the Ford administration, is a great example of this, as well as being a forerunner of privatized security forces and private-sector mercenary armies ready to contract with the “government.” Eisenhower made a now very famous speech upon his exit about the rising military-industrial complex. He would later be shunned by Birchers, the forerunners of today’s Teabaggers. Guess what they called him? A Communist. I’m shocked.

This news is as disturbing as it is expected.

John Weston

May 19th, 2012
8:17 pm

I’m not moving. I’ll fight for this one and I think its time to rise up.

Rick James

May 19th, 2012
8:18 pm

It it happens it will be during an Obama or democratic administration.There was talk that Obama wanted to be able to shut down the internet during a national emergency.We are slowly becoming the new red china..

[...] FBI wants Internet wiretap option The FBI is forging ahead in its push for US laws that would allow the agency to wiretap social networking sites and other providers of Internet communications, such as email and instant messaging, according to CNET.com. FBI Director Robert Mueller … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


May 19th, 2012
8:23 pm

What a pack of alarmists. If you’re not doing anything you shouldn’t be doing you should have no worries if the FBI looks in on your transmissions. It’s the price we have to pay to keep us safe, unfortunately. And if you think moving to another country is going to solve your problem, think again. One day electronic communications the world over will have to be monitored if necessary.

And after all, the ONLY reason the FBI would even consider monitoring your internet transmissions is if you’ve give them a very good reason to.

Dr. H.

May 19th, 2012
8:25 pm

The last 4 presidents (Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama)–and particularly 43 and Obama–have presided over the wholesale destruction of American liberties. They should all be tried for treason, convicted and punished appropriately. The evidence is clear: The creation of the Departments of Homeland Security and TSA, the Patriot Act and monitoring of cell phones without warrants have violated every American, not just those who are bad. Interestingly, the right wingers who should be against such government intervention are the ones who don’t mind it while the left wingers are beating their drums.


May 19th, 2012
8:27 pm

I’m sure internet wiretapping is already being done. It easier to apoligize after you’re caught doing it


May 19th, 2012
8:31 pm

Regardless if I have nothing to hide I don’t want people to just walk into my privacy. If that is the case you shouldn’t have a problem with strange people walking into your house and looking around. That is a stupid comment!

As a citizen we have a right to freedom, but the more people are scared and want the government to “protect” them the more invasive they become until we really live in a world where we are numbered cattle sheep.

In my travels I have learned that America pretends to be the land of the Free but many countries in Europe enjoy way more freedom than we do!!

Also it is the NSA that is already tapping into everything, however the FBI is a different branch with different authority, also the expansion of the NSA was due the PATRIOT act created by the Bush administration and pressured by the Bush administration to eavesdrop inside of America. NSA was supposed to only intercept communication from foreign countries but not inside the country.

Motocross Survivor

May 19th, 2012
8:33 pm

As the insane Zionists sink their hooks more and more into American government, you can simply expect more and more of this. The Late Great United States…..while you were dozing to the hypnotic TV screens from your easy chairs, the hijacking of America commenced.

Jay M.

May 19th, 2012
8:48 pm

If the federal government can get backdoor user-level access to Facebook that means that they can see not just the suspect’s postings, but also all postings that the suspect can view. If so, I certainly hope that you never friend someone who subsequently becomes a suspect in a federal case – otherwise those embarrassing college photos and inside jokes may be viewed in a whole different light by Uncle Sam’s Internet Dragnet Unit…

Who Me?

May 19th, 2012
8:57 pm


May 19th, 2012
9:08 pm

The internet is not private, never has been. It is public domain of communication. Take your risks as they say. If you want to protect communication I believe the US government set up a service called the USPS a while ago. I am not being jaded here but it is reality. Send a letter which by law is protected from invasion….I do not work for the USPS by the way.


May 22nd, 2012
8:41 am

I believe government at all levels should be completely abolished. Just typing that invites FBI/NSA/who knows what other levels of alphabet soup to track me – and per some comments on this thread, apparently I deserve it.

Nevermind that my ideals are based on my belief that all persons should be completely free to decide their own fates, and that I refuse to use force or coercion of any form to achieve my goals. I will only fight in self defense – and that includes in self defense from ANYONE who chooses to aggress against me, regardless of the clothes they are wearing.

We live in a Police State, where “cops” (really government sanctioned gang bangers, at best) are free to do as they choose – including routinely murdering, raping, and pillaging innocent civilians – with impunity.

Stalin would be proud.


May 22nd, 2012
9:03 am

internet wiretaps—welcome to the new AMERIKA! Show your papers!