FBI wants revision in telecom law to aid terror probes

Pete Yost
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — FBI Director Robert Mueller is calling for changes in federal law to help his agents with surveillance of communications in anti-terrorism and other criminal investigations.

At a conference of intelligence experts, Mueller said that in some instances communications companies are unable to provide electronic communications the FBI seeks in response to court orders.

His comments come as the Obama administration considers proposals that would require service providers to make the plain text of encrypted conversations – over the phone, computer or e-mail – readily available to law enforcement.

The FBI’s general counsel has said proposed changes would not expand law enforcement authority, but privacy advocates disagree.

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