Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 17:55:03 -0400
From: James Plummer Subject:
NCP: Privacy Villain of the Week: CALEA wiretap tax
Privacy Villain of the Week:
CALEA wiretap tax
Consumers looking forward to lower phone bills or the next generation in whizbang wireless technology may have to wait a bit longer. First they have to pay for the privilege of having holes
deliberately torn out of their phone security. related article
This Sunday, June 30 is the deadline dictated by the courts and the Federal
Communications Commission for telecommunications companies to fall into full compliance with the 1994 Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Access Act(CALEA).
Compliance in this instance means the installation of an infrastructure giving the FBI the access, at the flip of a switch, to "call content" (i.e., conversations)
and "call data" (i.e., who dialed what when) at the flip of the switch.
This mandated infrastructure obviates the need for the cumbersome process
of going to a judge, applying for a search warrant and installing a tap
before listening in. Now, those rather quaint procedures are still on the
books in some form or another -- it's just that the infrastructure is now
such that the formal niceties of a legal permission slip aren't strictly
necessary to listen in on phone calls on the qt. The ready-to-tap system
leaves consumer phone calls -- including the Social Security and bank
account numbers entered via touch-tone -- much more vulnerable to other
parties with the necessary technical know-how.
The potential for identity fraud and outright theft is thus increased.
Now, of course, all of this doesn't come cheap. One small
telephone/Internet provider in Kansas told PCWorld, "We were looking at
getting into video, providing movies, cable, and entertainment content,"
but the costs of the CALEA compliance have pushed that back one or two
Costs of compliance have been quoted as anywhere from $15,000 to $75,000
per switch. VeriSign, which is looking to provide CALEA services to telecom
providers estimates that in addition to the upgrade costs, maintenance of
CALEA systems will run about "at a minimum $150,000 annually."
And of course these higher costs will restrict supply and raise prices
above what they otherwise would have been. But it's all for a good cause --
the easy listening pleasure of any number of Privacy Villains of the Week.
source:what really happened.com
those who stand for nothing fall for anything
[This message was edited by Nykkii on July 04, 2002 at 09:17 AM.]
[This message was edited by Nykkii on July 04, 2002 at 09:52 AM.]