In the name of fighting crime and terrorism, the Obama administration is reportedly planning to propose a new measure to Congress that would require all companies with "products allowing Internet communication" to build a backdoor to their encryption so the information can be accessed by the government. This would all be with a court order, of course, but if passed it would mean that the government could monitor private conversations on Twitter, Facebook, Skype or any other social network you access at work. Because the most important part of any terrorist plot is to go on Twitter with, "Gettin ready 2 bomb temple! FU, Jews! #hatersgonnahate."

The measure would bring all peer-to-peer Internet communications under the same rules as the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act, and would also prevent companies already subject to wiretapping orders from making any changes that would disrupt the government from intercepting calls. Critics say the measure would not only weaken citizen privacy, but also slow the rate at which companies could innovate, since they would have to make sure they are not violating a new law if they upgrade their telecom system.

In related news, the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act is making its way through the Senate. The act (read it here) is focused on copyright infringement, the Electronic Frontier Foundation says, "enormous amount of noninfringing content, including political and other speech, could disappear off the Web if it passes...Indeed, had this bill been passed five or 10 years ago, YouTube might not exist today." And then where would this country be? Not spending all our time at work watching "Surprised Kitty" on mute, that's for sure.