Background of CALEA and its Implementation by the FCC and Through the Courts
- Preserving government's ability to intercept communications involving advanced technologies;
- Protecting the privacy of communications; and
- Implementing CALEA in a manner that does not impede the introduction of new technologies, features and services.
In August 1999, the FCC released a pair of important decisions. In the first of these, the Second Report and Order, the FCC provided some additional guidance on which telecommunications entities are covered by CALEA and which are not. Essentially, the FCC found that all entities previously classified as common carriers are subject to CALEA, while providers of "information services" are not (though it failed to define these services).
More importantly, the Third Report and Order resolved the technical disputes concerning J-STD-025. Previously, in March 1998, several privacy groups and the FBI filed separate challenges of the standard. The FBI argued it was deficient since it failed to incorporate nine "punch list" items. Meanwhile, the privacy groups objected to the standard's provisions on location identification and packet data, but otherwise joined industry in opposing the FBI's punch list.