The Implementation of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

Audit Report 06-13
March 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Appendix III
CALEA Legal Provisions

This appendix provides a summary breakdown of the CALEA statute by section.

47 USCA §1001 (or Sec. 102) This section describes eight definitions that apply to CALEA. Two of the definitions have been the subject of much dispute: information services (#6) and telecommunications carrier (#8).

47 USCA §1002 (or Sec. 103) – This section sets up the requirement that telecommunications carriers ensure that their equipment, facilities, or services are able to: 1) expeditiously isolate the content of targeted communications transmitted within the carrier's service area; (2) expeditiously identify information regarding the originating and destination numbers of targeted communications, but, in the case of pen registers or trap and trace devices, not the physical location of the targets, except as can be determined by the phone number; (3) provide intercepted communications and call- identifying information to law enforcement in a format such that they may be transmitted over lines or facilities leased by law enforcement to a location away from the carrier's premises; and (4) carry out intercepts unobtrusively, so targets of electronic surveillance are not made aware of the interception, and in a manner that does not compromise the privacy and security of other communications. These requirements are often referred to as CALEA's "assistance capability requirements." These requirements however do not apply to information services or to equipment, facilities, or services used for the sole purpose of interconnecting telecommunications carriers. This section also prevents law enforcement from requiring that telecommunications carriers adopt specific designs of equipment, facilities, services, or features; and prevents law enforcement from prohibiting the telecommunications industry to adopt any equipment, facilities, services, or features it wants to.

47 USCA § 1003 (or Sec. 104) – This section required the Attorney General to publish a notice in the Federal Register by October 25, 1995, describing the number of communication intercepts, pen registers, and trap and trace devices, that the government estimated it may conduct and use simultaneously by October 25, 1998, and a notice describing the maximum capacity needed to accommodate all of the communication intercepts, pen registers, and trap and trace devices the government could conduct and use simultaneously after October 25, 1994. This section also required telecommunications carriers, by October 25, 1998 at the latest, to ensure that its systems were capable of simultaneously accommodating the number of intercepts, pen registers, and trap and trace devices estimated by the government, and capable of expanding to the maximum capacity needed by the government.

47 USCA § 1004 (or Sec. 105) – This section requires that telecommunications carriers ensure that only their employees can activate intercepts, and not employees of the government agency seeking the electronic surveillance.

47 USCA § 1005 (or Sec. 106) – This section requires telecommunications carriers to consult with telecommunications manufacturers and support service providers to ensure that current and planned equipment, facilities, and services comply with the assistance capability requirements described in Sec. 103. In addition, the section requires manufacturers and support service providers to offer the features or modifications needed for the carriers to comply with the assistance capability requirements in a reasonable amount of time and at a reasonable charge.

47 USCA § 1006 (or Sec. 107) – This section establishes a "safe harbor" provision which allows telecommunications carriers to be found in compliance with the assistance capability requirements if they are in compliance with "publicly available technical requirements or standards adopted by an industry association or standard-setting organization," or with standards developed by the FCC. The FCC can develop its own standards through its rule-making process if the industry associations or standard-setting organizations fail to issue their own standards or if another party petitions the FCC that the industry-developed standards are deficient. This section also allows telecommunications carriers to petition the FCC for extensions of up to two years maximum for complying with the assistance capability requirements if the FCC, after consultation with the Attorney General, determines that compliance with the assistance capability requirements is not reasonably achievable through the use of available technology.

47 USCA § 1007 (or Sec. 108) – This section describes the findings a court must make to order a non-compliant carrier to meet the requirements of CALEA. Specifically, the court must find that: (1) law enforcement has no reasonably available alternative for implementing the order through other technologies or through another carrier or service provider, and (2) compliance with CALEA is reasonably achievable through the application of available technology to the equipment, facility, or service at issue or would have been reasonably achievable if timely action had been taken. This section also references the CALEA enforcement powers described in 18 USC § 2522.

47 USCA § 1008 (or Sec. 109) – This section describes when telecommunications carriers can receive reimbursement for modifications made to equipment, facilities, and services as a direct result of complying with CALEA. The Attorney General may agree to pay for all reasonable costs associated with bringing pre-1995 equipment, facilities, and services into compliance. For post-1995 items, the FCC will determine, upon petition, whether compliance with the assistance capability requirements is reasonably achievable. If the FCC finds that compliance is not reasonably achievable, the Attorney General may, upon petition of the carrier, agree to pay the carrier to make the modifications in order to make compliance reasonably achievable. If the Attorney General does not agree to pay these costs, the carrier will be deemed in compliance with the capability requirements. This section also requires the Attorney General to develop regulations for ensuring timely and cost-efficient payments to carriers.

47 USCA § 1009 (or Sec. 110) – This section authorized an appropriation of $500 million to carry out CALEA for FYs 1995, 1996, 1997, and 1998. Such sums are authorized to remain available until expended.

47 USCA § 1010 (or Sec. 112) – This section established the requirement that the Attorney General submit a report to Congress by November 30th of each year describing the amounts paid to telecommunications carriers under Sections 1003 and 1008 during the preceding fiscal year. This section also requires the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General to submit a report to Congress every two years that addresses certain issues.

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