Big Brother is Watching: FBI forms a new internet-surveillance unit
Your tax dollars are going to fund new and inventive ways to spy on your internet communications
Most of us are very protective of our email, online banking, and even social networking accounts. We know what a nightmare it can be to get hacked, or just as bad, to have a stranger learn all sorts of personal information about us. But according to a new CNET report, it’s not strangers we should be the most worried about eavesdropping on our comings and goings on the net — it’s our own government.
According to the report, the FBI has opened a new $54 million Domestic Communications Assistance Center (DCAC) in Quantico, Virginia. The goal of the DCAC is simple: To develop technology to allow the government to break encryption, eavesdrop on private communications, and even intercept Skype calls. The DCAC also serves to assist federal, local, and state authorities in their digital wiretapping efforts. The center does not perform wiretapping itself; it simply helps other agencies execute their own wiretapping plans.
Predictably, civil liberties groups are up in arms over the agency — especially its secrecy. Says Jennifer Lynch of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, “they’re doing the best they can to avoid being transparent. The big question for me is why there isn’t more transparency about what’s going on? We should know more about the program and what the FBI is doing.”