How many of you remember reading George Orwell’s 1984 where the government kept strict tabs on every individual? Or maybe you seen the movies V for Vendetta featuring Natalie Portman or Eagle Eye staring Shia LaBeouf?
If both of these references are lost on you just know both films contain great performances and really leave you thinking and reevaluating what you thought you knew in the end.
Either way I brought those up because in all three the government was keeping either a country or the world under surveillance either with or without the knowledge of its citizens.
Well prepare for America to be taking the same turn. By 2014, the FBI will have the ability to monitor everyone’s one-on-one online chats in real-time.
FBI general counsel Andrew Weissman says that by years end the FBI hopes to be able to snoop on conversations that occur over the Web by gaining access to up-to-the-second feeds of seemingly secretive chats.
Currently telecommunications within the United States can be bugged with a court’s approval thanks to 1994’s Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA. Weissman, however, warns that as technology advances, agencies like the FBI become increasingly out of luck in terms of tracking down criminals who’ve moved operations off the streets and onto the Web.
He adds that the ability to obtain a court order that can track Internet chats in real-time “is a huge priority for the FBI”.
Their aim is to iron out a deal that will let Internet companies like Google tap into their data to watch what’s happening on the Web in instances where waiting five minutes just won’t do. Weissman even hinted at being able to intercept messages sent over entirely different sites, such as a game of Scrabble conducted over Facebook.
Google admitted back in January that government requests for user data skyrocketed by 25 percent in the last year, with the US leading the field by far in calls for data disclosure.
“This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise,” Google acknowledges in a blog post published Tuesday, November 13.