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New Rules On Internet Wiretapping Challenged”

By Arshad Mohammed

Washington Post Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 26, 2005; Page D01

New federal wiretapping rules that would make it easier for law enforcement to monitor e-mails and Internet-based phone calls were challenged by privacy, high-tech and telecommunications groups in federal court yesterday.The groups argued that the rules would force broadband Internet service providers, including universities and libraries, to pay for redesigning their networks to make them more accessible to court-ordered wiretaps.”

The groups also said the Federal Communications Commission rules, scheduled to take effect in May 2007, could erode civil liberties and stifle Internet innovation by imposing technological demands on developers.

“It’s simply a very bad idea for privacy and for free speech for the government to design any technology, much less the Internet, to be surveillance-friendly,” said Lee Tien, a senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit privacy rights group.