iStock_000012767009XSmallAs the FBI pushes for more access to private Internet communications, the proposed changes are generating concerns about the privacy of the average citizen. Obviously, most people don’t appreciate the fact that their messages – no matter how harmless they may be – could be viewed by the law enforcement agency. However, an even greater concern is that the proposed measures could ironically lead to an even larger threat to national security.

What the FBI essentially wants is for online service providers to implement surveillance capabilities, so that all digital communications could theoretically be monitored. This would not be an across-the-board mandate, as providers would not be required to comply. However, they would be fined for not complying, making the proposal controversial for more than just privacy and security reasons. The increased cost of software development for individual firms is another valid concern. Google, for example, already employs hundreds of engineers just to manage their security concerns – and yet they find problems and fix them on a regular basis. Adding another layer of potential threats multiplies the cost to any individual company.

As for security, the measures would likely carry as much potential for danger as they would for increased protection. For example, part of the changes would likely include adding surveillance software to individual PCs. While allowing the FBI to carry out their desired activities, flaws in this type of software could also create openings for hackers to exploit. Whatever the FBI gains from these “security” measures, the individual also stands to lose. Since criminals have, historically, always found ways to evade such security measures, the FBI’s proposed plan is likely to result in lowered security for the average individual while having very little impact upon those they really hope to monitor.

The bottom line here is that network security is a big issue and it will continue to become even bigger.  Contact us for a free consultation and evaluation of your current network.