The former British colony of Virginia, which came into existence under the pretence that its government was somehow giving them a bad time over tea taxes, has decided to mirror a snooping policy dreamed up by Saudi Arabia.
The spooks are upset that their ability to be big brother was “going dark” because wiretapping laws no longer matched the technology out there.
According to the New York Times spooks are finding that people hardly used the phone these days and so there is little they can tap.
The bill, which the White House plans to deliver to Congress next year, would require communication service providers be technically capable of intercepting and decrypting messages, raising serious privacy concerns.
If the bill goes through then it is goodnight Vienna for the likes of Blackberry which offer an encrypted service for business clients. Likewise Skype will have some difficulty.
Vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, James Dempsey, told the Times that the plans had “huge implications” and pose a test to the “fundamental elements of the Internet revolution.”
He said that the spooks want to turn back the clock and make internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.
The spooks trot out the same old – that without new regulations their ability to prevent terrorist attacks could be hindered.
FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni told the Times that it was trying to “preserve the ability to execute our existing authority in order to protect the public safety and national security.”