If a certain federal agency has its way, three letters may be infiltrating Facebook in the near future, and they’re not “LOL.”
Time Ideas reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is urging Congress to pass a law requiring social networks including Facebook to add “back doors” to their platform, which the FBI can then use to eavesdrop on conversations.
According to Time Ideas, the FBI’s request is part of its “Going Dark” initiative, as the bureau has said its ability to monitor suspected criminals is going dark due to the growth of online communications.
The FBI claims that the law it is seeking would have helped it with two stalled investigations: a child-prostitution ring the bureau was trailing, and a criminal organization that smuggled cocaine from South America and trafficked guns to Africa, adding that the latter used communications platforms that it could not intercept.
According to the bureau, it already has the legal authority to back its request in the form of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994, but it is asking Facebook and other social networks to provide it with a back-door entry point, as well as with ways to unscramble encrypted messages.
Not surprisingly, the American Civil Liberties Union weighed in on the FBI’s request, comparing it to requiring every home to be built with preinstalled cameras and microphones and saying:
It would provide little reassurance to know that the government would have to get a search warrant to turn those cameras on.
Readers: Do you believe Congress should grant the FBI’s wishes and require Facebook and other social networks to grant the bureau back-door access, or do you see that as a violation of civil rights?
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