[Politech] One Internet provider's view of FBI's CALEA wiretap push [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Apr 20 2004 - 21:41:34 PDT

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    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: [Politech] Weekly column: FBI's latest wiretapping push [priv]
    Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 17:30:29 -0400 (EDT)
    From: Dean Anderson <dean@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    The one thing I try to remind people, is that "technology has no loyalty".
    It can be used against you as easily as you can use it against someone
    Further, the concept of an _FBI_controlled_ backdoor is completely novel
    in the telecom industry.  With telephone tapping, the FBI is supposed to
    have paperwork. Then the telephone company will route the audio of that
    phone to a "wiretap port", a line to the FBI office in response to an FBI
    request, for which records are kept.  The FBI is never, ever given access
    to the CO cableplant, or the CO facilities. FBI tapping equipment is not
    allowed in a Telephone Office.  There is someone in the Telephone company
    that _can_ blow the whistle either publicly or to the FBI itself in the
    event of abuse. (eg, Agent soandso asked for a Tap on his ex-wife)
    In contrast, the kind of facilities that the FBI is installing into the
    internet carriers allows the FBI unsupervised access to all and any
    communications.  There is no way to detect abuse.  Futher, the FBI's own
    equipment is itself potentially vulnerable to cracking, and therefore,
    misuse by criminals. It can be misused by FBI employees, who, as we've
    found out with the Boston FBI Office, are themselves sometimes working for
    Organized Crime.
    The extreme ease of use of internet wiretapping and lack of accountability
    is not a good situation to create.
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