Feds say court-ordered wiretaps are harder because more now use chat, IM


Aww, poor babies. Who was it again that was requesting all those wiretap orders in the first place?


Let me go see if I can find somebody who still has a copper POTS line so I can call the waambulance…


See? See? I told you the internet was bad! It’s just made out of child molesters and drug dealers!


Just like anything else, they just resort to the black market to get what they want.


Bloody, SODding wankers, the lot of them!

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If I were wearing my tinfoil hat just now, (And I’m not saying I’m not), the whole purpose of this is to make people believe IM is safe, and not at all totally monitored by spooks.

Make of that what you will.

Of course, then there’s this:

One former U.S. official said that each year “hundreds” of individualized wiretap orders for foreign intelligence are not being fully executed because of a growing gap between the government’s legal authority and its practical ability to capture communications — a problem that bureau officials have called “going dark.”

A clear attempt to re frame the question of privacy as one of lawful compliance.


The Feds are going to have a hard time trying to wiretap because there are so many IM, chat apps that are available. Which will mean in my opinion we will have a bit more privacy but you should still use a VPN to prevent the NSA from spying on you.

You should never use TOR because it can be easily broken into.

When NSA-style surveillance is the issue, we always have people saying that secret courts are bad and that they should get regular warrants just like everyone else. And now when we have law enforcement obtaining regular warrants the same way they’ve been getting phone-tapping warrants for decades, suddenly these are illegitimate as well.

Wire-tapping has always involved an invasion of privacy, which is pretty much why warrants are required under the fourth amendment (at least when done for law-enforcement purposes) when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. They aren’t reframing anything, because the privacy implications have long been recognized.

We’re not saying they’re illegitimate, we’re reveling in the fact that the increased difficulty of fulfilling them is a self-inflicted wound.

Would you please at least read the title of the thread before reflexively taking a contrarian position?

Point taken.

However, we may yet be talking about different things.
Hopefully we can both agree that the premise is that the people in the article are working with legally obtained warrants.

Now, when law officers claim that lawfully obtained warrants aren’t enough, and express this in the court of public opinion, rather than a court of law, I can ‘t help but think of asking "Why’?" what’s the point of this? Why is it news?

You mean to tell me that police officers know that current laws are insufficient and all they do is whine about it to a reporter?
That reporter isn’t there because this is news, the reporter is there, in fact, the article is there because it sells.
So what are we meant to be buying?

I think, (and I mentioned that this is tin foil hat thinking), that I’m meant to be buying the idea that this particular law enforcement body has never obtained any information illegally, that IM’s are safe and nobody’s interceepting them and that any new laws are going to be put in place to help these people fight crime.

You don’t have to agree with me, I’m just saying that after having my worst paranoid fears confirmed, (And then some!) Its hard to take the tinfoil hat off.

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I know family members who do I including myself!

Err… maybe I’m replying to the comments (which are indeed suggesting that the warrants are illegitimate)?

It’s probably not a self-inflicted wound. Many of these systems were designed before the Snowden revelations, and would be inherently difficult to surveil since they are not built with surveillance in mind. It’s more a product of how the technology is designed than as a deliberate response to government surveillance practices. It may still be poetic justice, but that’s different than a self-inflicted wound.

Why do US Officials never mention the gap between our practical abilities and moral authority?

Complying with law is burdensome enough!

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