Big daddy watching

Published: Wednesday 30 November 2005

-- Internet Control The US

Civil rights groups in the us have challenged the country's new Federal Communications Rules (fcr). The rules scheduled to take effect in May 2006 will make it easier for law enforcement to monitor e-mails and Internet-based phone calls. The civil rights groups argue that the rules would force broadband Internet service providers, including universities and libraries, to pay for redesigning their networks to make them amenable to court-ordered wiretaps. "For the government to design any technology, much less the Internet, to be surveillance-friendly is against privacy and free speech," said Lee Tien, a senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit privacy rights group.

The fcr rules require broadband Internet providers to design their networks so they can quickly intercept communications and deliver them to the government when presented with a court order.

"It is clearly not in the public interest to allow terrorists and criminals to avoid lawful surveillance by law enforcement agencies," the us Federal Commission of Communication wrote in its order. Opponents, however argued that the law could cripple the evolution of the Internet by forcing engineers to design products that can be easily monitored by the government.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.