Feeds

FBI, DoJ want new Net monitoring toys

FIDNET not enough for these guys

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.