[NetBehaviour] US court backs government broadband wiretap access.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Sat Jun 10 12:53:36 CEST 2006
US court backs government broadband wiretap access.
By Peter Kaplan
WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday upheld the
government's authority to force high-speed Internet service providers to
give law enforcement authorities access for surveillance purposes.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected
a petition aimed at overturning a decision by regulators requiring
facilities-based broadband providers and those that offer Internet
telephone service to comply with U.S. wiretap laws.
The court concluded that the FCC requirement was a "reasonable policy
choice" even though information services are exempted from the
government's wiretapping authority.
The FCC has set a May 14, 2007 deadline for compliance.
"I am pleased that the Court agreed with the Commission's finding, which
will ensure that law enforcement agencies' ability to conduct lawful
court-ordered electronic surveillance will keep pace with new
communication technologies," FCC chairman Kevin Martin said in a
statement after the ruling.
The ruling comes at a time when critics have voiced concerned that the
Bush administration's surveillance program violates civil liberties. The
administration argues it needs the program, which allows the National
Security Agency to monitor international telephone calls of U.S.
citizens, as part of its broader war on terrorism.
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