Brian Mengel bmengel at
Thu May 12 15:28:42 UTC 2016

My comments were strictly limited to my understanding of CALEA as it
applied to ISPs, not telcos.  A request for a lawful intercept can entail
mirroring a real time stream of all data sent to/from a customer's Internet
connection (cable modem/DSL/dedicated Ethernet) to a LEA.  AFAIK this
requires mediation before being sent to the LEA and it is the mediation
server itself that initiates the intercept when so configured by the ISP.
Perhaps some LEAs have undertaken the mediation function so as to
facilitate these intercepts where the neither the ISP nor a third party can
do so.  If that were the case then very little would be needed on the part
of the ISP in order to comply with a request for lawful intercept.  I can
say with certainty that these types of requests are being made of broadband
ISPs though I agree that they are very rare.

On Wed, May 11, 2016 at 2:58 PM, Ricky Beam <jfbeam at> wrote:

> On Tue, 10 May 2016 17:00:54 -0400, Brian Mengel <bmengel at>
> wrote:
> AFAIK being able to do a lawful intercept on a specific, named,
>> individual's service has been a requirement for providers since 2007.
> It's been required for longer than that. The telco I worked for over a
> decade ago didn't build the infrastructure until the FCC said they were
> going to stop funding upgrades. That really got 'em movin'. (suddenly "data
> services" people -- i.e. ME -- weren't redheaded stepchildren.)
> have never heard of a provider, big or small, being called out for being
>> unable to provide this service when requested.
> Where existing infrastructure is not already in place (read: T1/BRI/etc.),
> the telco can take up to 60 days to get that setup. I know more than one
> telco that used that grace period to actually setup CALEA in the first
> place.
> did not perform intercepts routinely.
> The historic published figures (i've not looked in years) suggest CALEA
> requests are statistically rare. The NC based telco I worked for had never
> received an order in the then ~40yr life of the company.
> The mediation server needed to "mediate" between your customer aggregation
>> box and the LEA is not inexpensive.
> And also is not the telco's problem. Mediation is done by the LEA or 3rd
> party under contract to any number of agencies. For example, a telco tap
> order would mirror the control and voice traffic of a POTS line (T1/PRI
> channel, etc.) into a BRI or specific T1 channel. (dialup was later added,
> but wasn't required in my era, so we didn't support it.) We used to test
> that by tapping a tech's phone. Not having any mediation software, all I
> could do is "yeap, it's sending data" and listen to the voice channels on a
> t-berd.
> --Ricky

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