US Federal law enforcement and intelligence authorities are increasingly struggling to conduct court-ordered wiretaps on suspects, because of a surge secure communications which require technical means to be intercepted.
According to the Washington Post, this is leading to a “large percentage” of wiretap orders not being fulfilled, FBI officials said. Law enforcement agents are citing the same challenge in criminal cases; agents, they say, often decline to even seek orders when they know firms lack the means to tap into a suspect’s communications in real time.
Although online communication services are not required to build in intercept capabilities, the law requires them to provide “technical assistance” to an official with a valid intercept order. However NSA officials fear that a mandate to build in backdoors could lead to interceptions.