Home > News > Circuit Court of Appeals Approves Wiretapping of ‘Net • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Circuit Court of Appeals Approves Wiretapping of ‘Net

Circuit Court of Appeals Approves Wiretapping of ‘Net
Get XBIZ News
Jun 13, 2006 7:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that the Federal Communications Commission has the power to make broadband provider networks more “wiretap friendly” for law enforcement purposes.

In its majority 2-1 ruling, the Circuit Court for the District of Columbia ruled that broadband Internet service providers are subject to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), which provides law enforcement with easy access to broadband network records and data. CALEA was passed in 1997.

With regular telephone lines being easy to intercept, previous laws were satisfactory in allowing law enforcement wiretapping access. With the burgeoning use of high-speed Internet, encryption technologies and VoIP, the government claims it needed updated regulations to intercept data from these new technologies.

Under the law, broadband ISPs are classified as “telecommunications carriers,” which are subject to CALEA, so they “must ensure that law enforcement officers are able to intercept communications transmitted over the providers’ networks,” the ruling states.

The crux of the argument is centered on how broadband providers are defined under the law. The court’s ruling states that broadband providers are “telecommunications carriers,” while the plaintiff, the American Council on Education, sought to classify them as an “information service” that are exempt from the law. CALEA’s provisions do not apply to an “information service.”

“CALEA does not give the FCC unlimited authority to regulate every telecommunications service that might conceivably be used to assist law enforcement,” dissenting Judge Harry Edwards wrote. “Quite the contrary. It expressly states that the statute’s assistance capability requirements ‘do not apply to information services.’”

If the ruling stands, ISPs will have to add new surveillance hardware to their networks and law enforcement will have unfettered access to email and web activity for any user they target.

Edwards went on to write that, “There is absolutely no permissible basis for this court to sustain the FCC’s convoluted attempt to infer broad new powers under CALEA. The agency has simply abandoned the well-understood meaning of ‘information services’ without offering any coherent alternative interpretation in its place.”

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a petition for the court to determine how CALEA applies to new technology, specifically broadband ISPs, because these companies had not implemented “CALEA-compliant intercept capabilities,” Judge David Sentelle wrote for the majority. The FCC concluded that broadband ISPs are hybrid services.

“The FCC concluded that a telecommunications carrier should not escape reach altogether simply because the carrier’s service offering has an ‘informational’ component,” David Sentelle wrote. “Thus, the FCC concluded that CALEA’s definitional sections are not mutually exclusive.”

Edwards disagreed with his colleague’s definition.

“The net result [of the ruling] is that the FCC has altogether gutted the ‘information services’ exemption from CALEA,” he wrote. “Only Congress can modify the statute in this way.”

The case is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court, according to experts.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

EDUCATIONAL FEATURES

Cam Model Megan Kroft Dreams Big at Studio 20

Hey guys! Oh, I hate when I say that, all we cam girls say that, it’s beginning to sound so cliché. Hey! Hello! People from the industry, cam girls, cam boys, hello! I’m Megan Kroft.... More »

Rich Girls Offers Pro Cam Modeling Tips

The live camming industry offers endless opportunities to earn signficant sums of money and afford a luxurious lifestyle, but only with tireless efforts and non-stop perseverance. To be an elite cam model... More »

CBT Takes Testicular Play to the Next Level

CBT is an acronym often associated with cognitive behavioral therapy or computer-based training, but in the BDSM world CBT stands for none other than “cock and ball torture.” Those four little... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Latin America Adult Business Expo

Jul 10 - Jul 12
Cartagena, Colombia

ANME Founders Show

Jul 16 - Jul 18
Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport

QWEBEC Expo

Aug 03 - Aug 06
Montreal, Quebec

XBIZ Berlin 2017

Sep 11 - Sep 14
Berlin, Germany
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!