Congressional aides said on Monday that a proposal that would make it easier for police to intercept online communications faces long odds on Capitol Hill.
The House and Senate Judiciary Committee staffers said that recent revelations about the National Security Agency's program to monitor Internet users will make it difficult to push any surveillance legislation.
"Unfortunately, I think given the state of play in the public sphere right now on electronic surveillance it's an almost impossible sell," Nick Podsiadly, a Republican counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, said. "I see a rough road ahead."
Perry Apelbaum, Democratic staff director for the House Judiciary Committee, agreed that it is an "explosive" issue.
"Some would posit that 'Gee, it looks like they already have their access to a lot of the back end of the social media network sites,'" Apelbaum said during the panel discussion at a cable industry conference in Washington.
For several years, the FBI has complained that it is becoming difficult to intercept the communications of suspected criminals as more people use online services instead of phones.
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