ISP CALEA compliance

William Allen Simpson william.allen.simpson at
Thu May 10 20:03:49 UTC 2007

Sean Donelan wrote:
> The DOJ/FBI has been pretty consistent. They want it all and if there is 
> a technicality in the law that doesn't give it to them they have 
> consistently tried to expand the laws, regulations and court cases to 
> give it to them. ...
Very true!

> But its also important to remember CALEA compliance and responding to a 
> Title III intercept court order are not necessarily the same thing.

> CALEA is only a subset of stuff some carriers have to be prepared to do 
> for "Free." Other wiretaps requiring things above and beyond CALEA can 
> be done for a time and materials billing to law enforcement after you 
> get an lawful order (which can vary depending on what is demanded).  For 
> example, a Title III, FISA or ECPA lawful order can apply to traffic and 
> institutions not covered by CALEA.  ISPs have been responding to lawful 
> orders for over a decade, even before CALEA was a law.  And the reality
> is most of the stuff law enforcement actually wants from ISPs on a day to
> day basis isn't covered by CALEA (i.e. stored communications and 
> transaction records).
Yes.  But not even CALEA was "for free".  There's an argument that although
Congress "authorized" CALEA (and there is also argument about whether the
recent expansion to ISPs was authorized at all), it cannot be required of
the public until Congress *appropriates* the funds, and they are received
by us.

Just like the current argument about how to end the Iraq war.  Only
actual appropriations count.

Even non-lawyers should remember our basic civics lessons.

> If the answer is yes, talk to your lawyer before May 14.  If the answer is
> maybe, talk to your lawer, if the answer is I don't know, talk to your 
> lawyer.  And if the answer is no, you probably should still talk to your
> lawyer.
Excellent advice!

And not just any lawyer -- this is probably beyond your benefits and
retirement planner.

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