The Computer and Communications Industry Association, with members that include top software and telecommunication companies, is criticizing the FBI’s attempts to block the $5.5 billion sale of ISP Verio to a Japanese firm. The FBI says the sale will hinder its abilities to conduct Internet surveillance but the CCIA believes the FBI is threatening civil liberties and damaging international trade relations. The FBI has already successfully won the cooperation of the Internet Engineering Task Force in building wiretap capabilities into protocols.
In a vaguely related story, a spokesman for Freedom.net, a service that uses encryption and other technologies to allow clients to range the Web anonymously, says that its users are unable to access the FBI.gov site. A spokesman for the FBI, which has opposed the use of strong encryption in the past, has speculated that the problem could be an incompatibility with the FBI’s firewall and has expressed an interest in helping overcome the problem.