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Date: 2000-05-16

Surveillance: EPIC gegen CALEA

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Das Elecronic Privacy Information Center wird gegen einen
gesetzliche Ermächtigung Berufung einlegen, die das FBI in
die Lage versetzen würde, das Design der gesamten
nationalen Kommunikations/infrastruktur der USA
entscheidend mit zu bestimmen, Mobiltelefonierer zu tracken
und das Internet zu überwachen. Codename des Ganzen ist
CALEA - in EU bekannt geworden als ENFOPOL.
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This week, EPIC and other Internet privacy advocacy groups
will ask a federal appeals court to block new rules that would
enable the FBI to dictate the design of the nation's
communication infrastructure. The challenged rules would,
among other capabilities, enable the Bureau to track the
physical locations of cellular phone users and potentially
monitor Internet traffic.

In an oral argument to be heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit on May 17, EPIC, the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF) will argue that the rules --
contained in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
decision issued last August -- could result in a significant
increase in government interception of digital
communications. Also arguing against the proposed
technical standards will be another group of challengers,
comprised of telecommunications industry trade associations
and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

The court challenge involves the Communications Assistance
for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), a controversial law
enacted by Congress in 1994, which requires the
telecommunications industry to design its systems in
compliance with FBI technical requirements to facilitate
electronic surveillance. In negotiations over the last few
years, the FBI and industry representatives were unable to
agree upon those standards, resulting in last year's FCC
ruling. EPIC, ACLU and EFF participated as parties in the
FCC proceeding and argued that the privacy rights of
Americans must be protected.

The groups' court briefs asserted that the FCC ruling exceeds
the requirements of CALEA and frustrates the privacy
interests protected by federal statutes and the Fourth
Amendment. Among other things, the Commission order
would require telecommunications providers to determine the
physical locations of cellular phone users and deliver "packet-
mode communications" -- such as those that carry Internet
traffic -- to law enforcement agencies.

Proposed architectural changes to communications networks
are also being considered this week in Paris, where a Group
of Eight (G-8) conference is considering "cybercrime" issues.
The process, which began several years ago at the behest of
the United States, may be moving toward concrete proposals
that could impact online anonymity. During the G-8
ministerial conference in Moscow last October, the countries
committed their experts to organize a dialogue between
industry and governments about "identifying and locating
cybercriminals." During the scheduled Okinawa summit in
July, the results of the discussion will be considered by the
Heads of State of the G-8.

Background materials on CALEA, including the briefs filed by
EPIC, ACLU and EFF, are available at EPIC's website:

Information on the G-8 conference is available at:
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edited by Harkank
published on: 2000-05-16
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