[AfrICANN-discuss] FBI seeks new power to secretly get personal data from Net providers

Mamadou LO alfamamadou at hotmail.com
Fri Jul 30 17:28:35 SAST 2010

FBI seeks new power to secretly get personal data from Net providers



If the Obama administration persuades Congress, Internet providers would be more easily forced to hand over records to the FBI without a court order for terrorism and intelligence investigations, The Washington Post reports.

The new data being sought by the Justice Department could include web browsing history, search history, e-mail times and dates, your location and even Facebook friend requests. The "content" of e-mails or other electronic communications would not covered by the proposed change, the Post says, citing government lawyers.

The change, which officials portray as "a technical clarification designed to remedy a legal ambiguity," pertains to the use of National Security Letters. The letters mandate that information be surrendered and require that the recipient not divulge the request to anyone.

"It'll be faster and easier to get the data," said Stewart Baker, a former senior Bush administration Homeland Security official. "And for some Internet providers, it'll mean giving a lot more information to the FBI in response to an NSL."

The digital-freedom advocate Electronic Frontier Foundation calls the letters "one of the most powerful and frightening tools of government surveillance to be expanded by the Patriot Act," and says the gag order and lack of oversight "make this power ripe for abuse."

"Considering the FBI's dismal record on surveillance abuses, this is a stunning and brazen request," the EFF writes. "They're asking the Senate to reward bad behavior by allowing even more bad behavior. We're hoping that the Senate will have the courage and integrity to turn them down."



Source : http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/07/fbi-seeks-new-power-to-secretly-get-personal-data-from-net-providers/1
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