FBI asking Microsoft and others to make products wiretap-friendly

In the name of better surveillance of suspected criminals, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is trying to pursue a way that could force companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google to make many of their Internet products more easily wiretapped by law enforcement officials.

News.com reports that the FBI has created the draft for a proposed law that, if passed, would make companies that offer VoIP and instant messaging software a way to make sure that their products are so-called "wiretap friendly". This same law would also apply to social networking websites and web email services.

The FBI is asking for these changes because of the rise of the Internet itself. Previously, the FBI could wiretap phone lines in order to conduct its surveillance of suspects. Now, more and more criminals are using the Internet to conduct their activities, and the FBI feels that it needs an easier way to tap into those kinds of communications.

The story claimed that FBI Director Robert Mueller is asking the various tech companies what can be put into the proposed law "to minimize impacts", according to one unnamed source.

As one might suspect, this kind of proposal may not sit well with many people, particularly those who have already tried to oppose bills like SOPA and CISPA on the grounds that it would give the government too broad of a mandate to spy and curtail Internet activities.

A Microsoft spokesperson has said simply that this new FBI proposal is "an area of ongoing interest to us" but did not elaborate. Facebook, Yahoo, and Google would not comment.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Nekro Kickstarter campaign ends with $158,733

Next Story

THQ won't build a big booth for E3 2012

52 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I kind of figured this was already happening since the emergence of Google, Myspace, and Facebook.... Not in the sense that "we want your information, so give it to us".... but more along the lines of "hey, we don't have any warrants, but if you see anything suspicious, feel free to let us have the information." Or "We don't have any warrants, but if you willingly allow us to spy on your users, we don't really need one, so... ;-) "

This is kinda cool, neowin is posting infowars type articles go team! Defeat the globalists, agenda 21, the police state and restore the Republic!

spike21 said,
We need REAL leaders in Washington to fallow the Constitution and protect our rights and Freedoms.
Yeah, choose a different dictator to oppress us.

kinda funny how the prevailing opinion here is obvious yet we all know
that it could be implemented fast and easy.
The population are nothing more than caged rats
at the mercy of Gov's that will do whatever they want
even if 95% of the whole countries population is against an idea
LOL life is great
Someone needs to flush the toilet..
Come ooon Apophis "hit the lever"

And learn to swim

its a ****ing nightmare!!!. Now EVERYONE is a suspect?!. wtf this country has become?. even them are suspects, stupid ass monkeys.

Google won't have a problem with this, as long as they get to sell the information.

(Hint: Not truly trolling, just a fact, they fought the Bush Administration, which ended in 'payment' to Google for the information. It wasn't about protecting the data, just getting paid for it.)

The FBI is asking for these changes because of the rise of the Internet itself. Previously, the FBI could wiretap phone lines in order to conduct its surveillance of suspects. Now, more and more criminals are using the Internet to conduct their activities, and the FBI feels that it needs an easier way to tap into those kinds of communications.
Do they seriously believe these criminals are actually just going on the internet, and posting their plans on a blog or something?

IMO, any built-in back door would also make the OS/Program less secure and opens vector for exploitation by rogue individuals. This is a bad idea.

AR556 said,
IMO, any built-in back door would also make the OS/Program less secure and opens vector for exploitation by rogue individuals. This is a bad idea.

My thoughts exactly.

parengputik said,
If it will happen it will be the year of the Linux desktop for me.

Internet wire tapping - this means the 'taps' are going to happen at the server level or line level, like a switch or router.

The government is so stupid...

Do they honestly think a terrorist or someone that doesn't want to be caught is going to use a smart phone??

There are so many prepaid phones out there...some that are as cheap as $10....a terrorist simply registers the phone like a NET10 or GO Phone under a fake name....then uses cash to fill the phone with minutes...then simply disposes of the phone when done.

But you keep trying U.S. Government. Spy on all law abiding citizens that have smart phones while the terrorists that are using pre paid phones keep making their calls and plotting threats...lol.

lexp said,
Microsoft is doing that since _NSAKEY.

Yet Google 'knowingly' does this for a fee to the US and OTHER governments.

Google is the 'CIA' for many smaller countries that don't have the resources to monitor themselves. Data Google has sold to countries in Africa in the last year have resulted in several deaths and 'hunting' of exiled citizens.

Adam Vester said,
Hmmm back to linux if this happens

Linux has backdoors too, but instead of the FBI and NSA, they're for greenpeace and peta.

Well we already know Microsoft will allow it. They have done so in the past, 2000 had an NSA backdoor and other Windows versions, rumored Windows 7, has one also. It's just one more reason to drop Microsoft and switch to open source; where at least you can check the code.

In this day and age there is absolutely no reason to use proprietary software. Linux is at the point where it can do all a home user wants, even play most Windows games.

Mike Frett said,
Well we already know Microsoft will allow it. They have done so in the past, 2000 had an NSA backdoor and other Windows versions, rumored Windows 7, has one also. It's just one more reason to drop Microsoft and switch to open source; where at least you can check the code.

In this day and age there is absolutely no reason to use proprietary software. Linux is at the point where it can do all a home user wants, even play most Windows games.


Big claims, source to verify?

Mike Frett said,
just one more reason to drop Microsoft and switch to open source; where at least you can check the code.

In this day and age there is absolutely no reason to use proprietary software. Linux is at the point where it can do all a home user wants, even play most Windows games.

How many people actually check the code of a linux distro? and how many people check the md5 of each file to make sure the compiled librarys are the same as the code, I have looked at the code but to be honest my C is rusty and I would not know a backdoor if i found one.

as far as playing most windows games, LOL I cant tell if your kidding or just plain stupid

I'm all for open source and I use it myself but the normal user or "home user" is not going to know what to do with Linux. This will be somewhat proven when windows 8 comes out. People are going to freak out because it's different. It may be a good platform for tablets but for the desktop windows 8 is going to **** allot of people off. The other aspect of this is the corporate side windows will always be the end user system and a windows server will be running AD DS why because it works.

Toysoldier said,

How many people actually check the code of a linux distro? and how many people check the md5 of each file to make sure the compiled librarys are the same as the code, I have looked at the code but to be honest my C is rusty and I would not know a backdoor if i found one.

as far as playing most windows games, LOL I cant tell if your kidding or just plain stupid

Mike Frett said,

In this day and age there is absolutely no reason to use proprietary software. Linux is at the point where it can do all a home user wants, even play most Windows games.

yeah with alot of frigging round something the average joe user doesn't want to do

If it needs wine or some such emu proggy then you may aswell just use windows

So basically the FBI wants to have backdoors into any software that is widely used on the internet as part of their CISPA (removed). What happens when someone else figures out how to screw you in the backdoor?

The internet is meant to be free and open. But CISPA is only going to lead to more security vulnerabilities, identity theft, and privacy concerns. I don't trust our police and I don't trust our government. Both sectors have more control than they deserve and there are no checks and balances. You think that the legal system supports honesty and that you are innocent until proven guilty, when in reality you are guilty until proven innocent. There is no one to turn to make sure that the police or that the government is not abusing their power.

Dont circumvent the swear filter please -Neobond

Edited by Steven P., May 5 2012, 1:16pm :

Oh no. No no no no no. This is one of those ideas that seem great on the outside, but absolutely suck. This is yet one more step toward Orwell's 1984 or even V for Vendetta. Terrible, terrible idea.

kurgan2001 said,
Oh no. No no no no no. This is one of those ideas that seem great on the outside, but absolutely suck. This is yet one more step toward Orwell's 1984 or even V for Vendetta. Terrible, terrible idea.

This doesn't seem like a good idea from the outside or the inside. Or any side for that matter.

This law really has nothing to do with crims, it's all about information gathering of the public.

Absolutely sick.

Auzeras said,
This law really has nothing to do with crims, it's all about information gathering of the public.

Absolutely sick.


What information could the FBI possibly be gathering, if not to monitor crime? I don't know about you, but the FBI would find me absolutely boring.

[That said, I oppose wire-tapping without probable cause. Nothing in this article suggests that it would be used to conduct illegal search and seizure.]

rfirth said,

What information could the FBI possibly be gathering, if not to monitor crime? I don't know about you, but the FBI would find me absolutely boring.

[That said, I oppose wire-tapping without probable cause. Nothing in this article suggests that it would be used to conduct illegal search and seizure.]

You're just very naive if you think it wouldn't be used in such a manner.

rfirth said,
-1 for off-topic Window 8 hate comment

Windows 8 is intentionally more difficult to use by Microsoft, this man gets +1 for being awesome in seeing the correlation.

JAB Creations said,
Remember, you're part of everyone and everyone is guilty of everything.

...or you can vote for Ron Paul.

+1 vote Ron Paul

JAB Creations said,
Remember, you're part of everyone and everyone is guilty of everything.

...or you can vote for Ron Paul.

Ron Paul will never get in, either people think he's too old or too anti-war.

simplezz said,

I don't understand how anybody can be pro-war after Afghanistan and Iraqi.

It just means he will cripple the defense department by slashing funds. Maybe. Some say it costs too much.

ccoltmanm said,
It just means he will cripple the defense department by slashing funds. Maybe. Some say it costs too much.

I know! I totally remember the ten million troops the Iraqies had five miles off the Delaware coast. And then there were the two million troops the Libyans had five miles off the Maine coast. Good thing congress voted to go to war to defend our soil on our land!

simplezz said,

I don't understand how anybody can be pro-war after Afghanistan and Iraqi.
The people who make the decisions are pro-war. War makes money.

smooth_criminal1990 said,

Ron Paul will never get in, either people think he's too old or too anti-war.

He's got a huge chance with the people the problem he's facing is that it's "their system" and they have been changing the rules on him a few million times.

He won't lose so easily though. Romney is falling down real hard right now because of his globalist views. Even some senator's wife was chanting Ron Paul while he tried to endorse the other xD I love it!!

Izlude said,

He's got a huge chance with the people the problem he's facing is that it's "their system" and they have been changing the rules on him a few million times.

He won't lose so easily though. Romney is falling down real hard right now because of his globalist views. Even some senator's wife was chanting Ron Paul while he tried to endorse the other xD I love it!!


Nice, I did not know that!