Today, Monday, May 14th 2007, is the deadline given to internet service providers to install surveillance and monitoring equipment on their systems — to survey and monitor whom? Why, you, of course!
The law extensions a 1994 statute which required telecommunications companies to “establish an infrastructure” to allow for easy access by law enforcements agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, SS, State and Local police, etc.).
The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) has also resulted in coverage of American cellphone networks, that is to say that the infrastructure is in place to listen in on any, or every call made within the US. (Notice, this is in the “Cell Phone” arena only.)
In 2002 the Justice Department extended the scope of the law by lobbying the FCC to apply the same restrictions to internet traffic/information. The FCC obliged, ordering every provider of DSL, broadband cable, and satellite internet service to comply.
Now when the FBI subpoenas you local internet provider for information about your suspicious activity, they will be required, and now able to send off a packet that includes your emails, IM records, browsing history, and online banking activity.
If the two-fold increase in phone taps since 1994 is any indication, we can expect to see a rather significant rise in the amount of internet surveillance activity as well.
If you’re not already doing so, it’s time to start encrypting all your emails…
Anyone know of an anonymous, encrypting proxy server to cover all my traffic?
(Hat tip to Boy Genius Report for the great write-up on this topic!)