New York Times reported on Monday that the US Government is working on a legislation that will allow it to eavesdrop and monitor all activity on the Internet including email exchanges including messages exchanged on social network sites.
The bill is being worked on to be submitted to the Congress next year and would require all online services that allow communication between two users to be capable of complying with a wiretap order. The bill would also require companies to be able to unscramble encrypted messages.
Many services would fall under this new bill which include encrypted email via BlackBerry, social networking sites including Facebook and Myspace and messaging softwares such as Skype. The feds are seeking this new regulation claiming that extremists and criminals are increasingly communicating online rather than using phones which are already under a scanner.
The proposal is already in the works and officials at the Justice Department and the FBI are working on the bill. It was also reported that the bill will also affect service providers who are based abroad such as Research in Motion, the maker of BlackBerry which has been under fire from many other countries for its tight encryption.
FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said, “We’re talking about lawfully authorized intercepts. We’re not talking expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”
The fact that the government wants to snoop into emails could create some friction between Internet giants and the government itself. Google had earlier denied a request from the government to access their search data. However a bill if passed will compel these companies to comply with the new law.