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FCC Internet wiretapping order takes effect

[JURIST] A Federal Communications Commission [official website] order [PDF text], which sets the date for all broadband and internet-phone providers to modify their systems to comply with a federal law that requires telecommunications providers to cooperate with law enforcement agencies seeking to conduct wiretaps, took effect Monday. The order, adopted in September 2005, widens the scope of the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) [text, FCC materials], which mandates that "[all] entities engaged in the transmission or switching of wire or electronic communications as a common carrier for hire must cooperate with law enforcement to conduct electronic surveillance", to include emerging technologies including broadband and certain voice data providers. Many carriers are concerned that the vague language of the order will lead to inconsistent enforcement, and many non-profit and public interest groups have asked for exemptions [FCC comment archive]. Affected carriers have 18 months from Monday to ensure that the mandated measures are in place. CNET News has more.

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