FBI pushes for more online snooping powers, fines for violators

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The White House is likely to fulfill the FBI’s request for more authority to eavesdrop online, administration and law enforcement insiders said.

The FBI has been arguing for expanded powers to monitor Internet communications, saying advances in technology have made it easier and faster for suspects to “go dark,” Newser reported. The White House is now poised to agree to these requests, The New York Times reported.


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On the horizon: The FBI’s ability to fine companies that don’t comply with wiretap orders. Foreign companies could be hardest hit, Newser reported. They could face fines of $25,000 per day for not giving the FBI access to communications.

Technology companies — and privacy-rights activists — aren’t pleased.

“We’ll look a lot more like China than America after this,” said one lawyer in the Newser report.

And a spokesman for the Center for Democracy and Technology said the expanded FBI authorities “would also mean that innovators who want to avoid new and expensive mandates will take their innovations abroad and develop them there,” Newser reported.

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