FBI Launches Internet Surveillance Center

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CNET News' Declan McCullagh reports that the FBI recently formed a surveillance center focused on developing technology to eavesdrop on Internet and wireless communications.

"While the FBI has been tight-lipped about the creation of its Domestic Communications Assistance Center, or DCAC -- it declined to respond to requests made two days ago about who's running it, for instance -- CNET has pieced together information about its operations through interviews and a review of internal government documents," McCullagh writes. "DCAC's mandate is broad, covering everything from trying to intercept and decode Skype conversations to building custom wiretap hardware or analyzing the gigabytes of data that a wireless provider or social network might turn over in response to a court order. It's also designed to serve as a kind of surveillance help desk for state, local, and other federal police."

"The [center] is a collaborative effort between the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Drug Enforcement Agency," writes Mashable's Fernando Alfonso III. "All three agencies will build customized hardware to enable wiretapping on wireless and Internet conversations per court order requests."

"The FBI ended its search for job applicants on May 2 and during that search the organization asked for people with experience in electronic surveillance, specifically involving cable modems, push-to-talk mobile phones and VoIP," notes The Inquisitr's James Johnson. "The agency was hoping at that time to hire people who could properly evaluate 'electronic surveillance solutions' for new and emerging technologies."