CNET has learned that the FBI is quietly pushing a plan requiring social-networking Web sites, providers of VoIP, instant messaging services, and Web e-mail to alter their code and ensure their products are wiretap-friendly. These so-called ‘backdoors’ would become mandatory should amendments to the existing CALEA wiretap laws be allowed to pass.
Yeah, because that’s just what we need for more security: a secretive government agency with unfettered access into our private lives. No outside oversight. No warrants. No accountability. Just clandestine operatives with powerful tools used to spy on every person on earth.
Wow, I feel safer already.
In the past I’ve talked about how new technologies are causing privacy to go obsolete, and the FBI’s latest power grabs make for a prime example of this happening. However, were these same tools to fall into the hands of the people, we could invoke tremendous levels of transparency around the world.
Just imagine if, instead of being used to spy on the civilian population for locating potential threats to corporatism and the establishment, these wiretaps were used to monitor the activities of our elected leaders and other high ranking authorities.
Shady dealings would come out into the light. Corruption would run out of places to hide. All of a sudden, governance would reflect the will of the people. Leaders would behave properly because they’d feel the ever-present eyes of the world scrutinizing their every move. Democracy would finally arrive!
Now that is something I could get behind.