OT: Justice, FBI Seek Rules for Internet Taps

From: J.C. Wren <jcwren_at_jcwren.com>
Date: Sat Mar 13 21:23:59 2004

I'm unclear why it's called the "Justice" department. More like the
"Intrusion" department.


R. D. Davis wrote:

>Justice, FBI Seek Rules for Internet Taps
>Published: March 13, 2004
>Filed at 8:09 p.m. ET
>WASHINGTON (AP) -- Technology companies should be required to ensure
>that law enforcement agencies can install wiretaps on Internet
>traffic and new generations of digital communications, the
>Justice Department says.
>The push would effectively expand the scope of the Communications
>Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, a 1994 law that requires the
>telecommunications industry to build into its products tools that
>U.S. investigators can use to eavesdrop on conversations with a court
>Fearful that federal agents can't install wiretaps against criminals
>using the latest communications technologies, lawyers for the Justice
>Department, FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration said their
>proposals ``require immediate attention and resolution'' by the
>Federal Communications Commission.
>They called wiretaps ``an invaluable and necessary tool for federal,
>state, and local law enforcement in their fight against criminals,
>terrorists, and spies.''
>``The ability of federal, state, and local law enforcement to carry
>out critical electronic surveillance is being compromised today,''
>they wrote in legal papers filed with the FCC earlier this
>week. ``Communications among surveillance targets are being
>lost.... These problems are real, not hypothetical.''
>The FCC agreed last month to hold proceedings on the issue to
>``address the scope of covered services, assign responsibility for
>compliance, and identify the wiretap capabilities required.''
>Critics said the government's proposal would have far-reaching impact
>on new communications technologies and could be enormously expensive
>for companies that need to add wiretap-capabilities to their products,
>such as push-to-talk cellular telephones and telephone service over
>Internet lines.
>The Justice Department urged the FCC to declare that companies must
>pay for any such improvements themselves, although it said companies
>should be permitted to pass those expenses on to their customers.
>Stewart Baker, a Washington telecommunications lawyer and former
>general counsel at the National Security Agency, complained that the
>government's proposal applies broadly to high-speed Internet service
>and puts limits on the introduction of new technology until it can be
>made wiretap-friendly.
>Baker said the plan ``seeks to erect a brand new and quite extensive
>regulatory program'' that gives the FBI and telephone regulators a
>crucial role in the design of future communications technologies.
Received on Sat Mar 13 2004 - 21:23:59 GMT

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