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6.1.1 Brief Description of and Stated Rationale for the CALEA
General Description

The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was passed in October 1994. The act imposes on telecommunications carriers four requirements in connection with those services or facilities that allow customers to originate, terminate, or direct communications:

• To expeditiously isolate and enable the government to intercept, pursuant to court order or other lawful authorization, all wire and electronic communications in the carrier's control to or from the equipment, facilities, or services of a subscriber, in real time or at any later time acceptable to the government. Carriers are not responsible for decrypting encrypted communications that are the subject of court-ordered wiretaps, unless the carrier provided the encryption and can decrypt it. Moreover, carriers are not prohibited from deploying an encryption service for which it does not retain the ability to decrypt communications for law enforcement access.

• To expeditiously isolate and enable the government to access, pursuant to court order or other lawful authorization, reasonably available call-identifying information about the origin and destination of communications. Access must be provided in such a manner that the information may be associated with the communication to which it pertains and is provided to the government before, during, or immediately after the communication's transmission to or from the subscriber.

• To make intercepted communications and call-identifying information available to government, pursuant to court order or other lawful authorization, so that they may be transmitted over lines or facilities leased or procured by law enforcement to a location away from the carrier's premises.

• To meet these requirements with a minimum of interference with the subscriber's service and in such a way that protects the privacy of communications and call-identifying information that are not targeted by electronic surveillance orders, and that maintains the confidentiality of the government's interceptions.

The CALEA also authorizes federal money for retrofitting common carrier systems to comply with these requirements. As this report is being written, no money has yet been appropriated for this task.

The CALEA requirements apply only to those services or facilities that enable a subscriber to make, receive, or direct calls. They do not apply to information services, such as the services of electronic mail providers; on-line services such as Compuserve or America Online; or

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