proXPN: CISPA May Not Pass, but CALEA Could Be a Real Threat

CNET: FBI wants new powers through CALEA to allow for wiretapping of everything from Skype and FaceTime to Facebook and Twitter.

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CISPA has received the intense media scrutiny it should, but existing legislation can often be amended quickly and quietly. Should an amendment to CALEA pass, our privacy will be hard to reclaim.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) May 14, 2012

According to a new report by Declan McCallaugh at CNET (http://www.cnet.com), the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations is now lobbying top technology providers and social networks to allow for more direct access to user information and communications through sanctioned backdoors.

U.S. government officials, specifically in the field of counterterrorism, cite the need to keep pace with current technological trends in order to effectively monitor communications that are moving off of otherwise traditional mediums. While phone calls and even emails are subject to government wiretapping under CALEA (the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act), popular platforms such as Facebook and Skype have no legal precedence. Authorities view access to these properties as imperative to U.S. national security, as terrorist elements could theoretically utilize their internal messaging features to coordinate and conduct operations both inside the United States and abroad undetected.

Kevin Cook, President & CEO of proXPN: "Not that this is the first that we're hearing of it, but the fact that the U.S. has a National Electronic Surveillance Strategy should trouble any U.S. citizen reading this article. Though no one is arguing against the mandate of government to keep its people safe, some would argue that this safety should be assured ‘at any cost.’ We need to be careful how much latitude we give our elected officials in making our information accessible for the benefit of the special interests or policy camps they represent. At the end of the day, this isn’t about foiling terrorism plots – that’s simply the song and dance. This is about using the specter of terrorism to fast-track legislative amendments that give unquantifiable powers to various law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies relating to our online communications.”

Much has been made of CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) in the press as of late, resulting in public outcry that has all but derailed the bill’s passage. Though the Obama administration has stated its intent to veto CISPA should it pass the Senate, CALEA is already law. Passed in 1994, the original intent of the law is to require that telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure that they have built-in surveillance capabilities. This gives U.S. law enforcement easy access to all information being transmitted and logged over these mediums. The Justice Department is now considering an amendment to CALEA that would require these same modifications – or backdoors – to be built into everything from Facebook and Twitter to Skype and Xbox Live.

“proXPN’s ultimate goal is to elevate public discourse around online privacy, be it in the United States or elsewhere. CISPA has received the intense media scrutiny it should, but existing legislation can often be amended quickly and quietly. Should an amendment to CALEA pass, our privacy will be hard to reclaim. Laws never get thrown out; language is only added, implicitly meaning more room for interpretation. Anyone familiar with Washington will immediately recognize the perils of allowing its inhabitants to interpret anything. It’s our job as technology providers, enthusiasts, and end-users to get the word out” says Cook.

For more information on proXPN and online security, please visit: http://www.proxpn.com.

About proXPN
Since 2009, proXPN has secured the internet connections of more than 1 million people worldwide on both desktop and mobile devices. Using industry-leading 512-bit encryption, proXPN prevents governments, hackers, and even internet service providers from monitoring, intercepting, or logging its user’s online activity. proXPN is offered completely free with functionality restrictions or for a low monthly fee inclusive of a more robust feature set.


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