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Digital State discuses the FBI and the World Wide Web.

September 2010 sees the Federal Bureau beginning to put a case together in order to gain more authority in regards to the goings on within the World Wide Web.

They are putting in a request with the federal court to be able to wiretap encrypted communications travelling via the Internet. The decree would affect foreign companies wanting to partner or trade with U.S companies in addition to U.S based companies. By definition that would include companies in Cheshire and Greater Manchester looking to sell online to the US.

In essence what the FBI wishes to have is the power to get any information that it requires as part of an investigation from any communications provider without having to wait for it to be approved by a court.

This would include providers who have encrypted services such as e-mail or peer-to-peer correspondence. For the FBI this is simply expanding and modernising the monitoring of phone lines by bringing it into the technological world that we live in today.

The opposing view

Countering this claim is the idea that the only people that this form of wiretapping will prevent are the idlest of criminals. Having the ability to decrypt emails is not of any value if the message within that email has been encrypted by its sender.

People who are determined to secure their communications already would typically use encryption methods such as PGP keys in order to stop people who are not intended to view the file viewing it.

No service provider can completely decrypt a message that is sent in this way. A chief concern in terms of any weakness that could be found in an encryption method is that it would open a pathway for cybercriminals and hacker.

In this respect it would only be a matter of time before they would take advantage of these means of entry.