The proposal would force the companies to allow the government to tap into online communications in real time and would levy large fines for not allowing access to information.
They say the goal is to not allow those under surveillance to “go dark online.”
For now all the feds can do is ask nicely.
“We don’t have the ability to go to court and say we need a court order to effectuate the intercept'" the FBI's general counsel Andrew Weissmann told the Washington Post.
The idea has some crying foul over the privacy rights involved.
Greg Nojeim is a senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, he told the Post "this proposal is a non-starter that would drive innovators overseas and cost American jobs.”
Under the legislation fines would begin under $100,000 but would go up the longer a company refused. Smaller companies would not be fined.
The legislation is being worked on by a task force but has not yet been approved by the White House and very little comment is being made.