February 23, 2011
Web Wiretaps Raise Security, Privacy Concerns
In the old days, wiretapping was easy: Law enforcement officials just tapped a wire. Even with cell phones, police merely had to take a warrant to the phone company and tell it to tap the number. But now, in this age of Skype and instant messaging, things are a lot trickier, and law enforcement says it needs help. npr reports.
Federal law already requires tech companies to cooperate with court-ordered surveillance. The problem, says FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni, is that the companies offering services like Web-based e-mail or social networking sometimes can't cooperate.
"What we're finding — and it's not universally the case, across the board — but what we're seeing is they do not have intercept solutions available for all of the types of services that they're offering for people to use to communicate," she says.
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