Google, Facebook, Gaming and VoIP companies could face fines over US government wiretap refusals

All is not safe in the internet world  as a  new bill being drafted by a secret US government task force would impose fines on internet companies such as Facebook, Google, gaming, and VoIP companies if they don’t comply with court orders to allow law enforcement to wiretap user communications, The Washington Post reports. According to the the Post, the legislation is being written up to address recent complaints by the FBI. The bureau claims that many web companies don’t or can’t comply with court orders forcing them to “intercept online communications” in real time. The FBI calls this the “going dark” problem.

Its uncertain who’s specifically behind this task force, and the proposed legislation hasn’t been made public yet. But the report states that the bill would amend two laws that already allow for government wiretaps the 1968 Wiretap Act and the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) — forcing more companies to comply with wiretap orders, and fining those that don’t, or cannot. Even though many companies do comply with the orders right now, some companies do so only partially due to technical limitations (they don’t have enough staff), and current laws exempt certain types of companies, such as online gaming companies and VoIPs. The new proposed fines would start in the “tens of thousands,” but if they aren’t paid within 90 days, they could double every day after that, according to the Post.

VIA The verge

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