[internetworkers] Feds Want A Wiretap Backdoor In All Net Hardware and Software
cstalberg at internet-lab.com
Tue Jan 31 05:45:38 EST 2006
January 30, 2006
Feds Want A Wiretap Backdoor In All Net Hardware and Software
Thinks the federal government is too intrusive? You ain't seen nothing
yet. An FCC mandate will require that all hardware and software have a
wiretap backdoor that allows the government to tap into all your
The mandate expands the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement
Act (CALEA), and requires that every piece of hardware and software
sold include the backdoor.
The rule isn't yet final, but once it is, all vendors will have 18
months to comply. And in fact, says Brad Templeton, chairman of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), some router makers already
include such a backdoor. So your hardware may be vulnerable.
There are several problems with this rule. First is the obvious
massive intrusion into all of our privacy. Second, says Templeton, is
the way that the rule will stifle innovation. According to the
Washington Post, he claims that the rule will "require that people get
permission to innovate" would create "regulatory barriers to entry."
He adds "The FBI gets veto on new companies."
The final problem is that if all hardware and software has a backdoor,
it's an open invitation to hackers. So we may be faced with a
double-whammy: The feds and hackers working their way into our
The EFF, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the COMPTEL
association of communications service providers, and the American
Civil Liberties Union filed a brief last week with the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to try and stop the FCC.
Here's hoping they win.
Posted by Preston Gralla at 11:14 AM | Permalink
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