FBI Wants More Power

by David L
For this weeks post, I read an article by Sara Yin titled “Report: FBI Wants to Wiretap Facebook, Twitter, Google”. The article states that the FBI wants some legality to help them expand their surveillance capabilities to cover a good portion of the Internet. The FBI wants “…social networks, e-mail providers, and other peer-to-peer services to become “wiretap-friendly”…” (Yin, 2012). Some of these services include: Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Google, Apple iChat, AOL Instant Messenger, GMail Chat, and XBox Live’s in-game chat. The FBI wants to include these surveillence into their already established “Communications Assistant to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). CALEA was established in 1994, where cell phone operators and broadband network providers “…must have built in backdoors giving law enforcement agencies direct access to user data during warranted investigations. ” (Yin, 2012).

This relates to our class because, the FBI is pretty much asking for a key to access information from company databases to potentially monitor their users/clients. This also relates to our everyday life because the government wants to be able to wiretap and gather information from our instant messaging applications, and a lot of information that the general public believes to be private information. We need to really start raising awareness in our communities, especially in the younger generations, that their is little to no privacy on the Internet. A lot of elementary schoolers are already catching onto Facebook, and Twitter, and they might think that selecting the option to make their information “private” or “to friends only”, if someone wants their information bad enough, they can get it.

But I believe that this issue with privacy vs. security will eventually die down after the FBI get’s legal backdoor access to user information from companies. Just like how people didn’t like their phones being tapped, we will eventually get over it and go on with our lives. I really doubt that in the long run that we will have a majority of people still having ill-feelings towards this issue.



Yin, S. (2012, May 5). Report: FBI Wants to Wiretap Facebook, Twitter, Google . Retrieved May 6, 2012, from http://securitywatch.pcmag.com/none/297521-report-fbi-wants-to-wiretap-facebook-twitter-google

5 thoughts on “FBI Wants More Power

  • May 13, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I’m not quite sure the issue will die down the the FBI getting legal backdoor access to user information from companies. First of all, this is already quite a major violation of the user’s privacy, albeit one many people agree to unknowingly. Second, the FBI will not be satisfied with just this level of information. It is their job to acquire as much useful information as possible, so as soon as they gain access to this, they will simply move on to push further for more information as their natural course of action.

  • May 14, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I find it extremely terrifying that the FBI wants even more power in monitoring and observing every little thing we do online. There is an obvious reason why wiretapping and warrants in the real world require such an extensive process before they are approved, to protect the privacy of each citizen and to ensure none of the information being gathered will be abused. The internet works largely with being anonymous and separate from our real lives which has led to a very active subculture which is creative, vocal (government protesters), and essential in our current society. Granting the FBI more power in surveillance will effectively destroy the internet and its culture as we know it.

  • May 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I don’t think the FBI will be able to get away with this for long, Americans love complaining and we usually get what we want. Nowadays especially with the Internet and social media, the things the government does are more transparent and raising awareness is a lot easier to fight these kinds of things.

  • May 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

    This is an interesting article. The idea of gaining backdoor entrance seems sophisticated, but maybe it’s too much invasion of privacy. I agree that it is always going to be privacy vs security. End of the day, it all falls into our hands. FBI will have a very hard time since these companies are private. And there are laws protecting these companies and therefore allows them to exercise discretion to some extent.

  • May 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I could definitely see why the FBI would want to do something like this but in all honesty I think it’s just a little over the top. Even if the FBI did happen to get legislation passed for them to do this it wouldn’t take too long before it would be repealed. I don’t think anything like this will happen in the near future, but then again SOPA, CISPA, and ACTA have all been pretty close to passing.

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