Declan McCullagh:

The FBI general counsel’s office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly.

The argument seems to be that as people make the move to digital communication tools, away from telephones, that the FBI cannot monitor those tools. Since the FBI has access to monitor telephones, they only think it natural to ask for these backdoors to be built in.

I see where they are coming from, it’s just that it is completely wrong headed.

“Luckily” it looks like there is a loophole:

The requirements apply only if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded, according to a second person briefed on it.

There’s a business opportunity: create an secure email service that users must pay for that stays below that threshold. I mean it’s not like terrorists or your general “bad guy” would use such unmonitored services.

Basically this law allows the government to monitor stupid criminals, but not the really smart ones that pose the most damage.