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PHOENIX -- A proposal by the Obama Administration that would require all Internet-based communication providers to give access to the government has drawn opposition from some Valley experts.

"The bottom line -- you can quote me on this -- this is just plain stupid," said Ken Colburn with Data Doctors, who hosts a computer show on Saturdays on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR.

"They want us to create a backdoor for these technologies that supposedly only the government would use... It just opens up the whole hacker community to say, 'Okay, there's a back door on every one of these. Let's go find them.'"

Colburn said, "The laws and the unintended consequences of these laws are just a disaster waiting to happen."

Companies already have the capabilities to eavesdrop on what employees do online and through their phones, but the government wants access to all of it, including e-mails, in the name of national security.

Colburn said, "All these folks who have created any kind of secure communication -- encryption -- they want those companies to hand the government a special key so only they will have it and nobody else will see this."

The American Civil Liberties Union also opposes the proposed legislation, which the Administration plans to introduce next year.

"The government already has extraordinary powers, through the FISA Amendments Act that was introduced in 2008, to conduct warrantless surveillance and to access wireless and Internet communications," said Allessandra Solare-Metz with the ACLU's Aricona chapter.

"The government has not presented its case as to why there is a legitimate law enforcement purpose to be able to give the government essentially a backdoor way to access our Internet communication.

Jim Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology said the government already is "drowning" in information that it can collect and that Americans would give up too much with the legislation.

"I just think that the price and the cost, the downside, is too high in order to give the FBI what I think they're looking for, which is sort of a perfection," said Dempsey.

He said the FBI wants everything neatly tied up in a nice bow and delivered to its doorstep.

Dempsey said his group will scrutinize the plan all the way.

"We really don't have the details about how this really is supposed to work. There's a log of questions that need to be answered here and we really need to be careful and go slowly on this thing."

Dempsey said the United States has a system that believe in limited government, and that's the way he wants to keep it.

Category:Aliya Leigh Live - Podcast -- posted at: 9:13pm EST
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