Feeds

FBI, DoJ want new Net monitoring toys

FIDNET not enough for these guys

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

There seems to be no end to the shopping list of Orwellian tools the FBI and Reno Department of Justice are straining to acquire. The FBI is seeking US $75 million from Congress for a massive data-gathering systems upgrade, which will include a new system called 'Digital Storm' that simplifies and accelerates the collection of electronic traffic carried by telephone lines and mobile phones. Another proposed system would create "the foundation for an up-to-date, flexible digital collection infrastructure" for wiretaps under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Bureau says. Sounds a lot like the National Security Agency's ECHELON spy system, we're thinking. Yet a third initiative would develop an 'enterprise database' to enable agents to analyse large amounts of data and share it via a secure network. FBI officials and US Attorney General Janet Reno endlessly claim that the Bureau's IT systems need to be upgraded to keep pace with criminal activities, especially on the Net. The FBI estimates that the technological improvements it desires would streamline data mining and analysis so well that the number of approved wiretaps could grow by 300 percent in the next decade. "The explosion and availability of open source information, and the number of information bases and data sources that can and should be searched, becomes formidable," the Bureau's budget request document says. But Capitol Hill has remained somewhat cool to the FBI's repeated requests, chiefly because privacy concerns weigh so heavily with voters. Law-and-order plays well among the populace, but there is a crucial difference between hiring more beat-cops and setting up a secret domestic spy network, a distinction to which voters, hence Members, are particularly sensitive. This is precisely why Janet Reno never opens her mouth in Congressional testimony without mentioning terrorists, kidnappers, and exploited children. She hopes her child-protective hype will persuade the average person that remote intrusions into their privacy are fit offerings to the tender, innocent sprouts on whose altar most of us routinely sacrifice the bulk of our personal pleasures and freedoms. But Representative Robert Barr (Republican, Georgia) says the FBI has developed tunnel vision from its obsession with terrorism, and shows little regard for the social impact of its ambitions. "They're saying, we need to do whatever it takes," Barr noted. In this, and election year, the outcome for the FBI and DoJ is uncertain. No Member can afford to be seen as soft on crime, or on privacy. Exercising the better part of valour may provide a third way, with electronic surveillance budget amendments being punted into the 107th Congress' lap. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.