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FBI Hopes To Gain Access To Gmail, Dropbox By Year's End

During a talk for the American Bar Association last week, FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann spoke about how one of the bureau's high priority goals for the end of the year is the ability to have access to "real time" monitoring services.

Slate.com reports that while the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which was passed in 1994, allows the government to force Internet providers and phone companies to install surveillance equipment within their networks, that they cannot access email, cloud services, or chat programs in real time.

Since Gmail is sent between a user's computer and Google's servers using SSL encryption, it relies on the company to provide the FBI with access.

Currently, the FBI can access archives of your email and transcripts by using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or they can ask providers of email and online chat rooms for "technical assistance necessary to accomplish the interception," but the FBI says that that system is not adequate.

Weissman says that gaining access to real time monitoring is a "top priority this year."

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