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Date: 1998-09-15

USA: GSM/Lauschangriff auf Eis gelegt

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q/depesche 98.9.15/2
related 98.9.13/3

USA: GSM/Lauschangriff auf Eis gelegt

Die Sehnsucht aller Lauschangriffs/Behörden in DE, AT & dem
Rest der Welt gilt einer direkten Verbindung zu den
GSM/Netzen, wobei die millionenschweren Kosten der jeweilige
Betreiber tragen soll.

Das FBI ist damit vorerst ab/geblitzt. Die
US/Fernmeldebehörde FCC hat den Gesetzentwurf mit dem
klangvollen Kürzel CALEA bis Juni 2000 auf Eis gelegt.

postscrypt: Der unten zitierte Artikel aus der NYtimes
stammt von John Markoff, dessen Person am Sonntag Grund für
die Hack/attack auf die genannte Zeitung war.

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The Federal Communications Commission on Friday, September
11 delayed until June 30, 2000 the effective date of CALEA,
the 1994 law requiring telephone carriers to modify their
equipment to ensure law enforcement agencies can continue to
carry out wiretaps and other surveillances on digital
switches. The law had been scheduled to take effect on
October 25 of this year. The Commission gave carriers an
additional 20 months to complete modifications needed to
preserve law enforcement capabilities. The FCC delayed
indefinitely implementation of certain expansions in wiretap
capability sought by the FBI, including the ability to track
wireless phone users, until the Commission could undertake a
separate inquiry into the privacy implications of the FBI's

The Commission's order and supporting documents are on-line
in full text at

The order means that carriers will not be required -- yet
anyhow -- to build location tracking capabilities and
capabilities to intercept packet-switch communications until
the Commission has a chance to rule on the privacy issues at
stake. CDT was concerned that the FBI was using the looming
deadline to force carriers to build capabilities that were
not required by the act and which were under challenge.
This ruling should freeze the development of the special
surveillance features that the FBI wanted until the privacy
issues are resolved.

The extension is an important step, a recognition that
compliance with CALEA is not possible at this time given the
confusion and delay generated by the FBI's demands, but now
we are in for a big fight over the privacy issues.
The FBI is still pushing to turn wireless phones into
location tracking devices. We are certain that Congress did
not intend to turn cell phones into tracking devices. But
regardless of how the Commission ultimately rules on this
one, Congress should increase the legal standard for
government access to location information, since currently
the standard for ordering a carrier to turn on a tracking
capability is too low, allowing the government to track
people who are not even suspected of criminal conduct.

Full background on CALEA

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published on: 1998-09-15
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