Skip to main content

The NY Times broke an important story Monday morning. Under the title U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet, it said:

WASHINGTON — 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 "going dark" as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct "peer to peer" messaging like Skype  — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions...

It certainly does. It raises a lot of questions. Salon was more blunt in their summation:

In other words, the U.S. Government is taking exactly the position of the UAE and the Saudis:  no communications are permitted to be beyond the surveillance reach of U.S. authorities.

The more technical CNET News reported it this way:

The Obama administration will seek a new federal law forcing Internet e-mail, instant-messaging, and other communication providers offering encryption to build in backdoors for law enforcement surveillance, The New York Times reported today.

Communication providers, apparently including companies that offer voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, would be compelled to reconfigure their systems so that police could be guaranteed access to descrambled information.

It could become illegal for a company to offer completely secure encrypted communications--through a protocol such as ZRTP, for instance--if its customers held the keys and the provider did not.

Well, I've got news for Obama's Internet Police, as long as we have network neutrality and I can control the computers on both ends of a connection, I can use widely available Open Source tools like IPSec to be as secure as I want to be, and only I will have the key. I have been doing this for years between my notebook and my home network because I know that the wireless WEP/WPA encryption provided by the 802.11 devices is trivial. I can also send email that my ISP can't read. Now Obama proposes to make what I have been doing for a decade illegal.  In short, Obama's Internet plans can't work without criminalizing privacy guards that have been available to Internet users for decades and making those who refuse to go along with it criminals.

In a number of my earlier diaries, I raised the question of just what Trojan Horse Meat they were putting into the Net Neutrality Sausage they were cooking up for us. I have shown that one of the proposed "secret ingredients" was enhanced copyright enforcement, today we know that it is much worst than that. The very fabric of the Internet, along with the advancement and freedoms it has given us are now directly threatened.

This is also going to be very costly. There is the question of all those wasted CPU cycles. In our digital age, the total computer processing power of a country can be considered a major factor in that country's vitality. But it depends on what you do with all your processors. And while the U.S. has more CPU power than any other country by a long shot, that doesn't mean we have it to waste. This move means that a big proportion of this country's CPU power will not be available to design new drugs, predict Earthquakes, advance education, science and the arts, because it will be needed to spy on our citizens. As Susan Landau, a Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study fellow and former Sun Microsystems engineer, points out, the same math holds true for our technical talent pool: "Every engineer who is developing the wiretap system is an engineer who is not building in greater security, more features, or getting the product out faster,"

Again, from the NY Times article:

James X. Dempsey, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, an Internet policy group, said the proposal had "huge implications" and challenged "fundamental elements of the Internet revolution" — including its decentralized design.

"They are really asking for the authority to redesign services that take advantage of the unique, and now pervasive, architecture of the Internet," he said. "They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function."

That last comment is a particularly telling one given that certain so-called advocates of Net Neutrality such as Free Press have been loudly banging the drums to have the FCC protect Net Neutrality by re-classifying the Internet under the Communications Act of 1934. How convenient for them!

Again just last Thursday, Free Press staged an event at the FCC's meeting to demand that they takeover the Internet:

"We’ve tried all the traditional methods, including petitions, comments and phone calls, to tell the FCC to protect Net Neutrality, so this time we decided to resort to tastier tactics," said Craig Aaron, managing director of Free Press. "The public can’t afford to wait much longer for the FCC to stop waffling and move forward on enacting real Net Neutrality rules to ensure that the Internet remains open for everyone."

Open indeed! I have already made my detailed critique of the Free Press position that:

The FCC Should Classify Broadband Internet Connectivity as a Telecommunications Service Under the Communications Act and Pair that Determination with Tailored Forbearance.

I would only add that now we know what "Tailored Forbearance" will mean. When I talked to Jenn Ettinger of Free Press on Monday, they didn't yet have a position on these new attacks on Internet freedom. Let's hope they have one soon.

I would also ask the reader to re-examine the attacks on Google launched by Free Press because of the Google/Verizon proposal on network neutrality in light of Obama's plans for the Internet. I have said elsewhere why I think their proposal has merit and is not deserving of the bashing it received. Now consider this: Given Google's history of fiercely opposing government spying, they could easily be named 'large corporation most likely to oppose Obama's Internet plans.' For example, when the Bush Administration demanded people's search data from AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google in 2006, only Google refused to comply and brought the whole matter to light of day. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I might even suspect that the campaign against Google was something of a preempted strike by the principal enemies of Internet freedom.

On Friday, Derek Turner of Free Press argued before the FCC:

The FCC chairman himself, based on his own statements, knows exactly what these meaningful rules should look like, but so far he hasn’t taken actions needed to achieve his own and President Obama’s vision of Net Neutrality. So it’s time for this FCC chairman to stop dithering. And that means him taking the action to restore his agency’s own authority to protect Internet users, and then enacting strong and enforceable Net Neutrality rules to protect all consumers online.

First off, let us be clear. This whole debate around Net Neutrality and the FCC is about giving the Federal gov't powers it doesn't now have and have never had on the Internet. It is disingenuous for Derek Tuner to talk about "restoring" the FCC's authority, unless he is talking about restoring the type of control exercised by the government when telephone was king. Are these people fools or tools?

The infrastructure changes that are being demanded are hugely expensive, both in terms of initial capital outlay, and especially ongoing costs. The Internet works as well as it does because every node forwards a data packet that comes to it to the next node on it's journey to it's destination without fear or favor. That is the essence of network neutrality. They don't have to be tracked so there is little in the way of accounting costs. All that will change if Obama has his way.

Michael A. Sussmann, a former Justice Department lawyer who advises communications providers warns "Implementation would be a huge technology and security headache, and the investigative burden and costs will shift to providers." Which means that those huge costs will ultimately be shifted to the Internet user with the government's blessing. When your government spies on you, you have to pay for it too.

The need for this gross and expensive intrusion into our Internet privacy is of course justified in the name of national security. The story is that they need these powers to investigate terrorists. Just how broadly they are coming to define the "terrorist threat" is shown by Friday's unprecedented FBI raids against anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. Most played a leading role in the 2008 GOP convention protests. Now they are being investigated, after having their computers and cell phones taken, for "providing material support to terrorism."

These new 'national security' requirements that the Internet is to be saddled with coincide nicely with something else that is going on. On Slashdot last Monday, Gov TechGuy writes:

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee unveiled new legislation to combat online piracy on Monday that gives the Department of Justice more power to shut down websites trafficking in pirated movies, films or counterfeit goods. The new bill would give the government the authority to shut down the sites with a court order; the site owner would have to petition the court to have it lifted. The judge would have final say over whether a site should be shut down or not. Business groups including the US Chamber of Commerce hailed the legislation as a huge step forward.

Some of the comments to this blog post ran:

...shut down websites trafficking in ... counterfeit goods
Bye Bye EBAY, and good riddance

to which Anonymous Coward replied:

The government isnt going to shut down sites backed by the almighty $$$
But your movie blog is gone the first time you give a bad review.
Your political forum is shut down the first time some kid quotes 1984.
Etc, etc..

before Ed111 added, on a more serious note:

Yes.......... but how?

When a website is "taken down" on a U.S based server that does not mean it is dead. Far from it. What happened was the hosting company shut it down due the court order. There are some hosting companies that will refuse based on principles.

Now let's say that the site owner is risking contempt of court if they move the website out of the U.S jurisdiction. Maybe they will get the site started up under somebody else? Sell all the corporate assets to a foreign company for $1.

I guess what I am getting at, is that shutting down a website has not been incredibly effective when the principles involved and hosting is not inside the U.S. Just how long will it take before the Justice Department can get a court order to interfere with the DNS records of allegedly infringing websites?

Manipulation and control over the DNS is what is ultimately required to do anything effective. This law will just drive all the businesses outside of the U.S, just like the DMCA has driven a lot of businesses outside as well.

It will be DNS too, since the Great Firewall of Freedom will be more expensive then the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined and even less effective.

Talk about a wonderful day for hosting providers huh?

This is the kind of thing that happens as empires decay.

Manipulation and control over the DNS is what is ultimately required to do anything effective.

This is a most important "technical" detail because ultimately for the U.S. government to be successful in enforcing these controls on the Internet it must either wrestle control of the root domain name servers [DNS] from the international ngo's that have been running them, ICANN and InterNIC, or corrupt those organizations to it's will. That is why I think it fair to call this a coup d'état and nothing less than an attempt by the U.S. government to takeover the Internet.

These new Internet laws will do more than just run ISPs and websites off-shore. It will run Internet innovation and software development to places were liberty is still loved as well. If these new federal laws force any restrictions or requirements on to the software developers, as it is reported they do, and indeed must do, if they are to work, they will be in complete contradiction to the Free Software & Open Source movements [OSS]. For those that came late to the party, OSS is literally the software that runs the Internet. It runs Facebook, it runs the DailyKos, it does all the email forwarding and DNS searches. It gave us Linux and Apache and Perl and Google and Android. It has been the goose that laid the golden egg in the world of Internet innovation. Obama's plans will kill the goose, at least in the U.S.

The very foundations of OSS mandate that no such government restrictions can be forced on software and no closed source 'hooks' can be forced on the open source world. The Free Software Foundation lists 'free from restriction' as the first condition of free software. If Obama's Internet becomes law, it will criminalize all those who 'keep the faith' of the Free Software Movement. As some of the OSS community has already been forced offshore because of U.S. government copyright enforcement, now many more will leave the U.S. in an effort to preserve what Open Source theorist Eric Raymond called our freedom to write software that doesn't suck? Maybe Linus Torvalds will move back to Finland so he doesn't have to worry about the Fed telling him he must include this and that in the Linux kernel. Their gain will certainly be our lost.

While I expect some members of this community will fold under the pressure the Federal government will bring to bear, I know many others that will resist the destruction of freedom on the Internet and our freedom to write software without restrictions.

Speaking as one of the peons, let me say we have labored, in some cases more than a quarter century, to build the Internet as a tool for human liberation, and to do this we have build organizations that I believe represent the absolute best in international cooperation and a body of excellent software, freely available to all, that has made the dream of instant, multimedia, global, lowcost and secure communications a reality. We will not go quietly into that goodbye!

We will apply First Amendment Remedies! We will write code that can't be cracked and exploits that can't be tracked. As another Slashdoter commented:

All the more reason to move over to I2P, or other general darknets, which can provide application-agnostic anonymous networking with end-to-end encryption. Why wait for the inevitable when we can build a secure internet on top of the old one?

I love the Free Software Movement. Before we submit we'll build virtual communities underground, buried deep in the Internet. we'll communicate via encrypted tunnels. We'll live like the Viet Cong in Cu Chi, a whole city underground while the enemy patrols just over our heads, except in this case maybe it's the other way 'round, and we're just a little bit over their heads!

Welcome to the Matrix. Good night and Good luck!

Here is a recap of my other DKos dairies on this subject:
Julian Assange on Threat to Internet Freedom
FCC Net Neutrality's Trojan Horse
Free Press: Country Codes for the Internet?
The Mountain comes to Mohammad
Keith Olbermann's Deception
Court rules -> Google Must Be Evil & Maximize Profits
EFF on the Google\Verizon Net Neutrality Proposal
Google-Verizon: What is the Free Press Agenda?
End of the Internet As We Know It!
Free Press would make this Illegal!
Google Verizon Announce Terms of Deal

Originally posted to Linux Beach on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 02:29 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Obama's War on Privacy (13+ / 0-)

    It sure looks like another step toward government control which can get worse quickly if the population is scared.

    There are so many things to say. It used to be that USA led the world in technology and manufacturing. One of the few leadership areas during the 19990's was computers, telecom and the internet. Now with the outsourcing we can't even manufacture our military hardware any more as noted in a recent diary on dailykos.

    Heck, we have reached the state that at times ordinary teaching is an act of civil disobedience.

    It seems that anywhere one looks, the systems are falling apart.

    The American government and American society seem unable to solve important problems and wastes time and energy on entertainment and making the super rich even richer so they can buy elections.

    The title of this comment is Glenn Greenwald's column title yesterday. Here is a link

  •  In times like these (7+ / 0-)

    One must think like a hero in order to merely act like a decent human being.

    •  The Gaping Yawn from the left ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Thank You for this diary

      I find it quite unsettling how 'the left' has reacted to this -- IF Your diary had contained "The Bush Administration is ...." or the equally, if not more frightening "The McCain/Palin Administration is ..." - this would be top of the fold - top of the Rec List stuff ...

      i get the sense that one of the reasons so many people are turned off of US politics -- is the abject poverty of ideas and ideals

      i, for one, don't give a flying fuck where or who the impetus of these policies is coming from -- they are just plain assed disturbing --

      "I want to keep them alive long enough that I can win them to Christ," - Rick Warren, Professional Greed Driven Scumbag

      by josephk on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 07:48:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  that cat is already out of the bag. (10+ / 0-)

    Open source operating systems and crypto are already so firmly entrenched and widely dispersed, that turning back progress on this is going to be like putting the smoke back in a pipe.  

    Not that they won't try.

    Al Gore was also on the wrong side of this one with the Clipper Chip proposal when he was VP in the first term of the Clinton administration, and that proposal was ultimately defeated.


    As for those who want to dump on the oldschool telephone network, keep in mind that electromechanical switches can't be tapped without making a physical connection to a line terminal, and your old rotary dial "500 set" couldn't be made to bug your room without being physically modified in an obvious way (obvious to anyone who could compare a couple of photos).  

    Contrast to the flashy little surveillance devices all the trendy folks carry in their pockets today, with mics and cameras and geolocation that can all be remotely triggered purely through closed-platform software.  

    The scope of surveillance in the oldschool telephone network was strictly limited by the pure labor-intensiveness of it.  Once everything is reduced to software, including Google's voice-recognition routines that are as good as anything NSA had 10 years ago, the labor required to spy and censor on an enormous scale is trivial.


    And if you want to fight back, go here:

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation: protecting freedom and privacy on the internet since before most people even heard of the internet.  

    Yes, and send them a nice big check.   Or a small check.  Whatever you can afford.   They have a bunch of ferocious lawyers with track record of victories, and they can only keep fighting & winning if we keep supporting them.  

    •  Hurrah for EFF! (4+ / 0-)

      They have done a great job over the years.

    •  Thanks for the plug for EFF (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I should have included a link and a request for support. EFF is great! Everybody should get one of their "Come Back With A Warrant" stickers and put it on their front door.

      Here's another way to help - use their referral code when you order something from {shameless plug}, in fact order Vietnam: American Holocaust from Amazon and use their referral code.

      You are right about the surveillance situation too, The nexus of voice rec, face rec, and GPS is truly frightening.

      Last week I noticed something new on some LAPD Parking Enforcement vehicles, cameras on the roof, pointed out and down, positioned to scan license plates as it drives by. I talked to the officer. Sure enough, they are using OCR, to scan licenses straight into the computers. They can process 100 plates/hr. No PC, just driving by and scanning. They're putting them into patrol cars too.

      LAPD claims the focus is recovering stolen cars. Everyone knows that is a lie. Nobody but stupid kids drives around in stolen cars with the plates still on it. Most are chopped up minutes after they are stolen.

      Sure they are scanning for outstanding tickets and expired tags, you want to bet they aren't also storing away all that juicy location data on everyone?

  •  Excellent diary. (3+ / 0-)

    Offshore VPN using 256 bit AES encryption will frustrate the eavesdroppers.  The more of us that use it, the more impossible their task becomes.

    Networks of friends or members of an organization can set up their own VPN server for communications too.

    The DNS issue has concerned me for sometime.  Eventually, what we may have to do is use offshore sites as IP catalogs, where the IP addresses of sites are listed that can be used instead of domain name.  If the IP remains more or less permanent, that can be entered into the host file of the operating system so that a "domain name"--not necessarily registered--can be used in lieu of the IP.

    We should all be moving to Linux.  It's now pretty much as convenient as Windows, but it's open source, easily modifiable and counter-Establishment by nature.

  •  Important diary... (7+ / 0-)

    getting routinely ignored. I hope this gets recommended.

  •  Wow (3+ / 0-)

    This is a phenomenal diary. I'm not a programmer but I've been following with interest the open source and free software movement for some time. I really like your "mission statement":

    . . . we have labored, in some cases more than a quarter century, to build the Internet as a tool for human liberation, and to do this we have build organizations that I believe represent the absolute best in international cooperation and a body of excellent software, freely available to all, that has made the dream of instant, multimedia, global, lowcost and secure communications a reality.

    I hope that this diary makes the rec list, and more people begin to understand the stakes here. After all, this community itself is a prime example of what you're talking about.

  •  Sorry but this is a bullshit fake outrage story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Imhotepsings, Deep Texan

    The problem we have as a society, as consumers of news and as alternative media and the blogosphere is that we were abused for so long by the Bush regime that we've forgotten what the normal rule of law is supposed to look like.

    (Another problem is that a lot of participants are very young and may have been children 8-10 years ago and were not aware of how the legal system operated when they were 12 or 13.)

    You don't have to go far in this article to realize that this entire controversy is bogus, but fortunately, the reasons for its bogosity are clearly stated -- and thank you to the diarist for your honesty in not trying to edit the story in any dishonest way.

    Here are the most important phrase -- which should have been highlighted:

    WASHINGTON — 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 "going dark" as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

    Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct "peer to peer" messaging like Skype  — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order.

    Let me reiterate the most important phrase:


    Now does everyone get this?  This is orthodox, pre-Bush doctrine.

    The "bad things" Bush did was not wiretapping.  It was wiretapping without a court order.

    The federal, state and local law enforcement have always been able to wiretap suspected criminals PURSUANT TO A COURT ORDER as a protection against arbitrary, intrusive wiretaps that invade our privacy.  Back in the days of rotary phones and telegrams, the telecommunications companies were required to make wiretaps technologically possible.  

    The Obama administration wants to preserve that technical capacity as the technology changes.  They are saying they only want to wiretap suspected criminals and terrorists.

    Of course, that sounds like what Bush said.  If you're not a criminal, you don't have to worry, right?

    No, that's not right because the Obama administration is proposing in accordance with orthodox, pre-Bush, Constitutional principles that THE COURTS WILL BE LOOKING OVER THEIR SHOULDERS IN THE FORM OF THE POWER TO ISSUE OR NOT ISSUE WARRANTS, which is what the Bush administration tried to end.

    One more thing.  And if you hate anything that smacks of "conspiracy theory" stop reading.

    The threat of the Bush administration listening in to our conversations, and the threat in general in political theory to our political system and liberties of unlimited wiretapping wasn't that the government would hear you talking dirty to your girlfriend or boyfriend, spouse or partner.  It was that the law enforcement apparatus or their puppet masters would use wiretaps to actually hurt individuals or even pervert the political process through extortion and intimidation.

    On the basis of what I've read over the years, this is what the Bush administration did.  They weren't listening to your or my private conversations; they were using it as shadow control over the political process.  

    Angry that Bush seemed able to get "whatever he wanted," why Obama has to compromise?  Then look into the tiny tip of the warrantless wiretapping scandal that we were allowed to see -- the cases of Colin Powell, Jane Harmon and Elliot Spitzer.  These are material for an entire other diary, but google is your friend.  

    •  Like sneak and peek warrants (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias, Razorblade

      that we were assured would only be used against terrorists?

      According to a July report from the Administrative Office of the US Courts (thanks to Ryan Grim at the Huffington Post), of 763 sneak and peek search warrants issued last year, only three were issued in relation to alleged terrorist offenses, or less than one-half of 1% of all such black-bag clandestine searches. Nearly two-thirds (62%) were issued to investigate drug trafficking offenses.

      The report also includes figures on existing warrants that were extended last year. When new and extended warrant figures are combined, the total number of warrants was 1,291, with 843, or 65%, for drug investigations. Only five of all new or extended sneak and peek warrants were for terrorism investigations. Of 21 criminal offense categories for which warrants were issued or extended, terrorism ranked 19th, exceeding only conspiracy and bribery.

      As Grim noted, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), a leading critic of the PATRIOT Act, challenged Assistant Attorney General David Kris about why powers supposedly needed to fight terrorism were instead being used for common criminal cases.

      "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

      by sceptical observer on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 06:31:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So law enforcement shouldn't investigate drugs? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deep Texan

        Again, you're making the wrong comparison.  Law enforcement has always had to power to use wiretaps to enforce drug laws.  

        If you don't think the government should use wiretaps to enforce drug laws, then your target is drug laws, not wiretaps with warrants.

        •  The link is about black-bag, sneak and peek (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clay Claiborne


          You respond about wiretaps? This isn't about wiretaps in the first place, it's about the feds wanting back-doors into encryption keys.

          "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

          by sceptical observer on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 01:51:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  If you aren't a have nothing to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      worry about...

      how Orwellian of you...

      "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

      by justmy2 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 06:42:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha, ha! Did you even read what I wrote? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Razorblade, Deep Texan

        I was making fun of the Bush administration for making that argument -- but you didn't get it, did you?

        My point is that we CAN'T TRUST the government when they make that argument.

        The only way to have a society with constitutional protections and the technical capacity for wiretaps is FOURTH AMENDMENT OVERSIGHT BY COURTS ISSUING OR WITHHOLDING WARRANTS, which is EXACTLY WHAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS PROPOSING.

        Sorry to use all caps, but it seems people suffer from reading comprehension issues without them.

        • that isn't what they are proposing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          they are proposing that the government have unfettered access to all information provided and consumed by Americans under the guise of access for criminals.  After stating the they have no obligation to go through courts to wiretap those they deem terrorists.

          Sorry, your argument is 100% Orwellian.  Adding a 'if' to a statement with broader context does not change the goal or consequences.

          "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

          by justmy2 on Tue Sep 28, 2010 at 10:23:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Where does it say "no warrants"? (0+ / 0-)

            That's not what the diary or the cross referenced articles say.

            You are confusing the creation of the technical capacity and its use.  As with older technologies, they are saying the technological capacity has to be there; unlike Bush but like all prior administrations, they are acknowledging they can't use it without a Fourth Amendment wiretap warrant.

      •  HamdenRice is right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        this is how we should have been going after the terrorists all along.

    •  You are just so wrong! (0+ / 0-)

      None of the negative effects I outline in my diary require that a wiretap order be served on anyone. They would stem from the proposed law itself and the costs and conditions it attempts to impose on every Internet user just so they can read anything they want.

      The Obama administration wants to preserve that technical capacity as the technology changes.  They are saying they only want to wiretap suspected criminals and terrorists.

      The definition of "suspected criminals and terrorists" is a very broad one in the government's hands, and getting broader all the time. As I point out in my diary, that now includes anti-war activists.  But what's with this "preserve that technical capacity as the technology changes?" That sound very much like Free Press calling on the FCC to 'restore' powers it never had on the Internet. What you really want to "preserve" is the "spy friendly" aspects of an old technology in a new technology that, by it's nature, is not so "spy friendly." The old POTS system was extremely "spy friendly", especially with it's central office [CO] network organization and only a few companies to deal with. But times change and so does technology. The new Internet network has many providers, is not under any national controls and was designed from the ground up to operate without any centers. It is not so 'spy friendly.' So what you really mean by 'preserve' to to drag back the Internet, to force the Internet to operate like the old POTS system even if it destroys the Internet.

      When the telephone replaced the telegraph and the pony express, the gov't did attempt to 'preserve' the privacy the lack of technology gave us. No, they couldn't wait to listen to our conversations in a way that they never could before. Now that technology window is pasting them by but they want to 'preserve' the good old days.

      The same thing applies to the entertainment industry and the restrictive Internet copyright monitoring they want. They were happy as clams, when technology developed a way to record music. Suddenly they had profit centers never dreamed of, and as the technology progressed and the duplicating costs got cheaper and cheaper, from records, to tapes to CDs, they were able to maintain their monopoly, raise their prices and reap windfall profits. Now that technology has gone beyond them, now that technology is making them obsolete, they want to 'preserve' their position and profits by legal means - .i.e. - the power of the state.

      This is how capitalism is holding back progress and humanity all across the board, by trying to 'preserve' itself.    

  •  I want net neutrality (5+ / 0-)

    I can't even begin to wrap my mind around the "mechanics" of the Internet, though I've been on since 1993.  All I know is that I can talk to people around the world, research any subject I can think of, and get information when needed.  It's been working for me and I don't want my government, or any government, controlling my access.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this somewhat comprehensible for folks like me!

    •  Perhaps this is the main problem, the incomprehen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      siveness of what is going on. But if all these efforts to restrict, damage and control citizens privacy continues then the terrorists have won and we have lost. Sensible controls of the venues that would allow counteracting terrorists is one thing but treating everyone like criminals opens us to future takeovers by those willing to use the current crap as a tool it was not intended for ... controlling the populace rather than protecting them.

      I am adult and am willing to face risk for freedom from the threat of dictators who know best for me. In this era of fear the measures being taken to provide a False sense of security are restricting my choices because I refuse to be considered guilty until proven innocent. It is sickening that we can be arrested and held because some petty bureaucrat can do so... as well as having private property that is NOT ILLEGAL confiscated  without charges. I do not fly anymore... I won't use the social networking sites... I will not use a passport except to permanently leave this country if it slips into a theocratic fascist regime... I have nothing to hide but I want to be inviolate to petty AHs and to someone running my life like I am a puppet.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site