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Posted: October 1, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Making the Internet “safe for wiretappers”

President Obama wants to make the Internet "safe for wiretappers." To do so would require re-designing the Internet and be worse for all of us.

By design, the Internet doesn't work like a telephone. If you write a letter and tear it into three pieces and send one piece down Floyd Street, another down Washington Street and one down Highway 278, that is how the Internet sends messages. When your message arrives, all the pieces are put together. Just like the Internet.

If the FBI is on Floyd Street, it is going to miss the parts of the message that went down Washington Street and Highway 278. That makes the FBI unhappy. The FBI solution is to make the Internet work like a telephone. That is, all parts of your message have to go down Floyd Street.

What if Floyd Street is blocked for a movie production? Now the message sends that part down Washington Street and it arrives. With the FBI proposal, your message would fail. Not just e-mail, but Facebook, Twitter, NetFlix, etc.

This is just activity for the sake of activity. None of it will prevent a single act of terrorism. It will generate endless reports, hearings, paperwork and all the other ways you can tell the federal government is functioning.

Want to prevent terrorism? Increase funding to local and county police departments. Not for made up "anti-terrorist" activities but traditional law enforcement. More officers, more training, more cars and more equipment.

Local law enforcement officers who know their communities will be responsible for stopping terrorist activities, not voyeurs in Langley, Va.

Patrick Durusau is a resident of Covington.


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