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wiretaping ability and future plans


>Date: Thu, 02 Nov 1995 01:55:06 -0800
>From: Jay Campbell <[email protected]>
>Subject: FBI seeks huge wiretapping system

>FBI seeks huge wiretapping system
>New York Times

>``These are staggering numbers,'' said Mark Rasch, director of
>information security law and policy for Science Applications
>International Corp. in McLean, Va. ``Either they do a lot more
>wiretaps than they now admit, or they plan on doing a significant
>larger number of wiretaps in the future because of the fear of
>domestic terrorism.''

I can see at least two possible alternative explanations:

1.   The FBI envisions a time when voice-recognition systems will be
cheap enough to do "keyword searches" on digital voice in something
close to real time, with high accuracy.  This might be useful when
fishing for crime, dissent, etc.  It would certainly require some
rather broader powers, but they may expect this, especially if they
expect more acts of domestic and foreign terrorism.

2.   After implementing some kind of widespread escrowed crypto, the
FBI envisions recording lots of encrypted phone conversations,
perhaps targeted on suspiscious people, perhaps random.  Since the
whole conversation is encrypted, this might not violate any laws,
since they still have to get the warrant to recover the
conversation.  This would get them past the obvious practical
problem with most wiretap-based investigations--if you start your
wiretap three days after the target becomes a suspect, you've
probably missed all the juicy stuff.  Only a bit of carelessness or
stupidity on the part of your target will get the desired

>   Jay Campbell                [email protected] - Operations Manager
>   -=-=-=-=-=-=-               Sense Networking, Santa Cruz Node
>   [email protected]            got.net? PGP MIT KeyID 0xACAE1A89

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   --John Kelsey, [email protected]
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