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CALEA-Proposal to Extend to Broadband Access

The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was adopted in 1994 to ensure new telephone technology did not prevent the government from conducting lawfully authorized wiretaps. A decade later, the FCC expanded CALEA so that it applied to Internet and VOIP communications, but libraries were not required to comply. As the government explores CALEA updates each year, ARL defends the privacy and security of patron communications.


Timeline

  • Federal Communications Commission final rule on Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act and Broadband Access and Services, October 13, 2005
  • On September 12, 2005, the EDUCAUSE Coalition submitted a proposal to the Dept. of Justice to address concerns with CALEA
  • On Nov. 8, 2004, ARL joined in two filings before the Federal Communications Commission on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the matter of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) and Broadband Access and Services. The EDUCAUSE Coalition is comprised of higher education, library, and K-12 related interests. ARL also joined with a diverse group of Internet and telecommunications companies, trade associations, and public interest groups in a separate filing regarding CALEA [PDF] November 9, 2004
  • ARL joins petition to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to address outstanding issues concerning CALEA [PDF] April 27, 2004
  • US DOJ and US DEA Request Extension of CALEA, April 13, 2004
  • In a filing before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 10, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requested that the FCC consider what many see as a potentially far reaching change in how the FCC approaches information services available via the Internet. In an expedited rulemaking petition to the FCC, the DOJ and the DEA asked the agency to resolve issues associated with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act or CALEA. Congress passed CALEA in 1994 to address the concerns of the law enforcement community regarding the use of wiretaps in digital telephone networks and in response, the law specifically provided law enforcement with additional powers to enhance government surveillance capabilities. Congress did differentiate though between traditional telephone services and the Internet and did not make CALEA applicable to the Internet or information services including e-mail, instant messaging, and other Internet–based information services.
  • The most recent request by the DOJ and DEA would extend CALEA to include broadband Internet access and Voice over IP (VoIP) services. Finally, the agencies also requested a process by which new technologies must be approved by the FBI in order to be CALEA compliant. The FCC has requested comments on the DOJ/DEA petition by April 12, 2004.
  • FCC's Public Notice [PDF] seeking comments on the FBI's CALEA Petition for Rulemaking, March 12, 2004.
  • On April 13, 2004, ARL, with EDUCAUSE and other higher education associations, submitted comments [PDF] before the FCC on the DOJ and DEA request to extend CALEA to the information services/the Internet.
  • EDUCAUSE press release [PDF] in response to CALEA request.
  • Comments/letters/papers on CALEA from The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and other organizations, including the Senate Commerce Committee and the Telecommunications Industry Association.
 
 
 

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