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October 4, 2005

Wiretaps and Backdoors Courtesy of the FCC

The Federal Communications Commission has released two documents with subtle or ominous overtones concerning government involvement with the Internet.  The first is a policy document adopted August 5th, 2005 but released on September 23rd.  The document enunciates several principles that guide the Commission regarding IP delivered services which on their face encourage openness and competition.  One principle stands out:

"To encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote the open and interconnected
nature of the public Internet, consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to the needs of law enforcement."

That last modifying clause may have profound implications for software creation and its use.

The full FCC document is available from the FCC's web site.

The second document applies the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) applies to broadband communications that connect to the public telephone network.  This means companies such as Vonage, and others selling Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP).  That ruling was also issued on September 23rd, and is available from the FCC's site by clicking here.

Thanks to CNET News for reporting on these, with stories here and here.

October 4, 2005 | Permalink

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