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Feds Want To Fine Companies That Resist Eavesdropping Orders

A government task force is preparing legislation that would pressure companies such as Face­book and Google to enable law enforcement officials to intercept online communications as they occur, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the effort.

Driven by FBI concerns that it is unable to tap the Internet communications of terrorists and other criminals, the task force’s proposal would penalize companies that failed to heed wiretap orders — court authorizations for the government to intercept suspects’ communications. ...

Under the draft proposal, a court could levy a series of escalating fines, starting at tens of thousands of dollars, on firms that fail to comply with wiretap orders, according to persons who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. A company that does not comply with an order within a certain period would face an automatic judicial inquiry, which could lead to fines. After 90 days, fines that remain unpaid would double daily.

Source: Washington Post. Read full article. (link)

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  • Jerryskids||

    In the first place, this isn't a matter of companies 'resisting' wiretap orders, it's a matter of companies not having the capability of complying with an order to turn over certain evidence or allow access to certain evidence without turning over all evidence or allowing access to all evidence. They simply don't have the technology in place to filter out the specific data demanded under a court order.

    And more disconcerting - isn't it the Feds contention that they don't need court orders anyway? I sure would like to see the specific wording of this proposal - does it call for fines for companies who fail to deliver data pursuant to an actual real-life honest-to-god court order or are we just going to be slapping fines on companies that fail to do as they are told by any jackboot with a badge and a gun?

    I suspect that what this amounts to is the FBI wants to be able to monitor all internet traffic and some companies refuse to allow the FBI full access to their servers. I don't know why the FBI can't just get what they want from the NSA the way the KGB and Mossad and Anonymous and the neighbor guy who lives in his mom's basement does.

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