The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released detailed information, obtained through FOIA requests, on the FBI's evolving program to spy on internet communications, called "Going Dark".

According to the EFF and FBI documents, "Going Dark" would "address the lawful 'Intercept capability gap'" by:

  1. modernization /amendment of existing laws,
  2. enhancing authorities to protect industry proprietary and [law enforcement] sensitive lawful intercept information, equipment and techniques,
  3. enhancing [law enforcement] agencies' coordination leveraging technical expertise of FBI with other [law enforcement] entities,
  4. enhancing lawful intercept cooperation between the communications industry and [law enforcement agencies] with a "One Voice" approach, and
  5. seeking new federal funding to bolster lawful intercept capabilities.
Last week, in testimony to the House Judiciary committee, FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni claimed because of "the revolutionary expansion of communications technology in recent years, the government finds that it is rapidly losing ground in its ability to execute court orders with respect to Internet-based communications.”

Ms. Caproni cites two convoluted examples, involving drug smuggling and child prostitution, of how the FBI was supposedly "handicapped" by this gap in surveillance.  Yet, they secured convictions and broke up the criminal activity without delay.

If history is any guide, it's much more likely that the FBI will probably focus its new power on it's favorite target, ordinary Americans.  In the wake of the role social media played in helping protesters organize uprisings across the Middle East, it's worth keeping in mind that our government sees this unchecked sharing of information as a enormous threat.

Tell Congress to oppose any effort to make the Internet wiretap ready.