Sunday, March 14, 2004

Break out the encryption, boys!

Big Brother is planning on enlarging the number of things it can wiretap. c|net's News.com is reporting that the FBI now wants all broadband provider to make their networks wiretap friendly. They've asked the FCC, who is usually pretty friendly to their requests, to force providers into making the changes in 15 months.

Oh, and just for fun:

"Legal experts said the 85-page filing includes language that could be interpreted as forcing companies to build back doors into everything from instant messaging and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) programs to Microsoft's Xbox Live game service. The introduction of new services that did not support a back door for police would be outlawed..."

So start stocking up on your favorite non-backdoored software. Can you imagine how much fun things are going to be when the hackers break the backdoors? The losses in online banking alone could have a major effect on our none-too-stable economy.

I've been ruminating for some time now on a subject I think of as "The End of the Useful Internet". Spam, popup windows, various slowdowns and a lot of other things have started me thinking in this direction. I've also started, in some circles, talking up a revival of FidoNet, the old BBS networking system. You can run it over phone lines, as it was in the 80s, or perhaps via packet radio. A Technician class license is easy to get, and that will get you into packet.

Food for thought, folks.

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