FBI Sees Phone Companies Blocking Surveillance
by Declan McCullagh
The FBI has tried to bolster its case for expanded Internet surveillance powers by gathering finger-pointing examples of how communications companies have stymied government agencies, CNET has learned.
An internal Homeland Security report shows that a working group convened by an FBI office in Chantilly, Va. requested details about "investigations have been negatively impacted" by companies' delays, partial compliance, or inability to comply with police surveillance requests.
One of the claims in that report: A police arm of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which conducts investigations into immigration, drug, computer, and copyright crimes, reported that no-contract wireless provider Cricket Communications had "hindered" an investigation because "system technical issues" interfered with a wiretap and location tracking. Cricket, a subsidiary of Leap Wireless, has approximately 6 million subscribers.