September 27, 2010
Blackberry Now Relegated to Government Workers, Terrorists
Remember back in the dark ages when Bush-Hitler wanted to look at the emails of potential terrorists and civil liberties groups were up in arms? Well, Obama wants to do something similar. Only, Obama's plans seem to be even more sweeping -- not looking at individual emails or Blackberry messages but ordering the redesigning of all systems so intel and law enforcement could look at them if they wanted to.
Sure, a few ACLU types will be up in arms. But my guess is that this will be passed with overwhelming majorities and will outrage almost no one that matters. Not the elite, many of whom were all up in the vapors over Bush's efforts at intercepting terrorist communications.
New York Times:
Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.I'm probably not the best commenter on the technical aspects of Blackberry since a) it's a dead platform and b) I'm not sure of the differences in encryption between it and other similar platforms; but as one of the few "experts" on terrorist use of the internet this legislation is way overdue. Way, way overdue.
Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
Not that we don't already have the means and methods to breaking into pretty much anything we want, only that there is a significant difference between evidence and intelligence. Since only some of our targets in the war on terror will meet their end in a Predator strike, then we're going to need to collect evidence from internet and other electronic sources that can be presented in trial. And for that NSA decryptions aren't always suited.