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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/14/12

FBI Wants Greater Surveillance Powers

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Doing so would amend the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). It currently applies to telecommunication companies, not Web ones. In 2004, the FCC extended CALEA to include broadband networks.

The FCC "is considering reinterpreting CALEA" to include "products that allow video or voice chat over the Internet - from Skype to Google Hangouts to Xbox Live" - to facilitate FBI backdoor surveillance.

The Agency fears without expanded power it risks its surveillance capability "going dark." Its proposal is part of DOJ's "National Electronic Surveillance Strategy."

In May 2011, the ACLU opposed extending Mueller's tenure another two years. It hadn't been done since Nixon retained JE Hoover. His abuse of power got Congress to raise issues of retaining FBI directors too long.

Hoover's power made presidents and congressional members fear crossing him. The ACLU raised serious post-9/11 constitutional breaches. Mueller bears his share of responsibility. Congress set a 10-year term limit for good reason.

On May 12, Obama asked Congress to extend Mueller another two years. His term expired last September 4. On July 27, the Senate approved it. He'll serve until September 4, 2013. He may be extended again. The longer he remains, the harder it is to replace him. Obama or Romney perhaps won't try.

A Final Comment

Former Congresswoman, Green Party Presidential candidate, and prominent human rights activist Cynthia McKinney knows about FBI targeting firsthand.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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