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Home News-Telegram News Editorials TECH WATCH: FBI wants more power

TECH WATCH: FBI wants more power

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It's no secret that Big Brother is watching computers with a keen eye. Unfortunately, it is about to be much easier for them to see what you are seeing.

The Obama administration reportedly wants Congress to make it easier for the FBI to force private companies to turn over records of individuals' Internet activities - and to do so without so much as a court order if government agents believe the information pertains to terrorism or an intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add the words "electronic communication transactional records" to items the law already permits the FBI to demand from Internet providers without a court order. That would include addresses to which e-mail is sent and possibly access to users' browser histories,  according to the Washington Post.

Realistically, how worried should this make John Doe? Not very. We can't see the FBI looking into normal folks Internet habits. They are looking at reported bad guys. Plus, there is most likely dozens of private companies following your every online move — that is what happens when you download different social programs, etc.

But though we may have few worries today, what about tomorrow? As the Fed's powers get expanded more and more, where will it stop? Or will it stop? Will the government want to start reading actual e-mails? And will they expand the listening parameters?

The Internet is a rapidly developing mechanism used by most Americans for a myriad of different things. It changes so fast it is hard to keep up with all the new  technology. It is also hard to keep up with who is watching today - and who may be watching tomorrow.

It is all a tad bit scary.

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