Washington, D.C. - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission opposing an FBI proposal that would extend a decade-old telephone surveillance law to the Internet. The Communication Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA) forced telecommunications carriers like your phone company to build convenient wiretap features into their networks. Congress never intended CALEA's requirements to reach the Internet, but now the FBI is demanding that broadband ISPs build "wiretappability" into their equipment too.
"The FBI has made it clear that they don't want to understand how the Internet is fundamentally different from the public phone service," said EFF Staff Technologist Chris Palmer. "The rapid innovation and open access that makes the Internet great will be severely hampered if creators have to get past the FCC and FBI every time they want to make an innovative product."
EFF Staff Attorney Lee Tien continued, "The FBI's plan to turn the FCC into the 'Federal Bureau of Innovation Control' will be terribly expensive for everyone involved - except the FBI. The FCC, Internet service providers, equipment builders and broadband consumers are being set up to subsidize the FBI's surveillance state."
EFF's comments were filed in response to an FBI rulemaking proposal to the FCC.
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