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U.S. officials push for broader internet wiretapping regulations

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The NSA may have its ominously named Perfect Citizen program to guard against potential cyber attacks, but it looks like the U.S. government still isn't quite satisfied with its surveillance capabilities in the age of the internet. As the New York Times reports, federal officials are now pushing for some expanding wiretapping regulations that would require any communications service -- including everything from encrypted BlackBerry messages to Skype to social networking sites -- to be "technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order." That, officials say, is necessary because their current wiretapping abilities are effectively "going dark" as communications move increasingly online. While complete details are obviously a bit light, the officials do apparently have a few ideas about how such a radical change might be possible, including a regulation that foreign-based companies that do business in the US be required to install a domestic office capable of performing intercepts, and a flat out requirement that "developers of software that enables peer-to-peer communication must redesign their service to allow interception." Of course, the specifics could still change, but the Obama administration is apparently intent on getting a bill of some sort submitted to Congress next year.

[Image courtesy PBS]

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