Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications -- including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct ''peer to peer'' messaging like Skype -- to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.
The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally.
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