Last Wednesday the FBI made a public request for new laws that would give federal police increased powers to monitor “illegal activity” on the internet.
The request from FBI Director Robert Mueller came during a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing. It seems to go beyond the current plan to monitor traffic on federal-government networks.
Mueller suggested that the FBI should have widespread oversight to monitor and conduct surveillance of private-sector networks too.
Mueller said the surveillance should include all Internet traffic, including .mil, .gov and .com website domains.
It is unclear whether “illegal activity” would be limited to dealing with internet crimes like denial-of-service attacks, spam, phishing and botnets, or would also include the monitoring of other illegal activities, like online gambling, the distribution of pornographic images or selling prescription drugs without a license.