The New York Times has an important story about the United States’ wiretapping programs:
Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is â€œgoing darkâ€ as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications â€” including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct â€œpeer to peerâ€ messaging like Skype â€” to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages. […]
James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had â€œhuge implicationsâ€ and challenged â€œfundamental elements of the Internet revolutionâ€ â€” including its decentralized design. […]
Several privacy and technology advocates argued that requiring interception capabilities would create holes that would inevitably be exploited by hackers.
Steven M. Bellovin, a Columbia University computer science professor, pointed to an episode in Greece: In 2005, it was discovered that hackers had taken advantage of a legally mandated wiretap function to spy on top officialsâ€™ phones, including the prime ministerâ€™s.
Read the full story at the New York Times.