The FBI May Be Working To Install Surveillance Taps On Major US Telecom Carriers


According to a report in CNET today, the FBI wants to follow the NSA into broad surveillance of Internet data by forcing large telecommunications carriers to put in place what is described in the story as “eavesdropping technology.” Once installed, the technology would grant the FBI sweeping new powers to collect metadata on the Internet activities of American citizens.

At work here are so-called ‘pen register,’ and ‘trap and trace’ orders, under the legal authority of which metadata can be collected in real-time. And in large amounts. Getting one of the orders, according to CNET, is exceptionally easy. Trap and trace authority allows for the collection of metadata – but not content – of incoming communication, according to the U.S. Code of Laws. Pen register allows for the collection of phone numbers called from a particular line. If CNET is correct, and the authority given by the pen and…

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