Despite outrage over George Bush’s limited ability to wiretap into American phone calls, Obama wants to take it a step further and be able to monitor every single form of communication any American citizen uses.
The same kind of authority the government has to wiretap into phone calls could be coming to Facebook, instant messaging, and every American’s browser history, thanks to a push from the Obama administration.
The White House plans to introduce a bill into Congress next year that would give Obama the ability to tap into literally every communication any citizen makes online.
The move causes a whole new level of privacy concerns. After the outrageous uproar of the Bush administration’s tapping into American phone records, privacy advocates should be all over this.
In a report on the New York Times, Center for Democracy and Technology VP James Dempsey was quoted as saying, “They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services function the way that the telephone system used to function.”
White House officials contend the move is necessary to combat terrorism. And based on the language of existing wiretap laws, most of these communications could already be monitored.
However some forms of communication, like Blackberry manufacturer Research in Motion’s instant messaging service, are different. And that’s what the government is now targeting. It also wants to change the wording of law to make it clear that Obama has full unfettered access to any sort of communication any American has with anyone.