Summary of Comments Submitted
to the FCC in Response to the DOJ's CALEA Petition
Last Updated April 22, 2004.
|Red Indicates Support for DOJ Position||Blue Indicates Opposition to DOJ Petition|
|A. Category||B. Commenter||C.||D.||E.||F. Issues Raised by DOJ Petition||G.|
|Nat. DA's Assoc.||Com||3|
|Maryland St. Pol.||Com||?|
|Illinois St. Pol.||Com||1|
|Nat. Sheriff's Ass.||Com||2|
|Rural Iowa ITA||Com||4||2||2|
|ISP CALEA C.||Com||44||3||2||27||8||9||14||14||32||34||34||33||**|
|IT Groups||Internet Comm. C.||Com||11||3|
|Joint Comment of 13 Educ., Univ., Lib. & Research Groups||Com||26||8||15||15||**|
|Small Business||Monroe Pattillo||Com||1||**|
|A. Category||B. Commenter||C.||D.||E.||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||G.|
|F. Issues Raised by DOJ Petition|
Explanation of Table
Column A. The column identifies the industry sector, or other category, to which the party submitting an item belongs.
Column B. This column provides the name of the party submitting the comment or other item. If the party maintains a website, then the name is hyperlinked to that web site. If party's name is abbreviated, then placing the mouse pointer over the name will produce the full name.
Column C. This column identifies the item submitted to the FCC, and hyperlinks to the item. The following abbreviations are used. "Pet" is petition. "Com" is a comment. "RC" is a reply comment. "EP" is a notice of ex parte communication.
Column D. This column provides the number of pages in the item submitted to the FCC.
Column E. This column identifies whether the party supports or opposes the DOJ petition. If there is a number, it identifies the page in the item where the party states its support for, or opposition to, the DOJ petition.
Column F. This section of the table identifies 18 issues addressed by the DOJ's petition. They are listed below. If the comment or other item supports the DOJ position, then the cell is colored red. If the comment or other item opposes the DOJ position, then the cell is colored blue. Verizon offered a middle position on several key questions. These are coded as purple. If there is a number in a cell, it indicates the page at which the commenter's discussion of the issue begins. If there is a number, but no color, then the commenter discussed the issue, but neither supported or opposed the DOJ position.
1. Are the internet and other information technologies hindering law enforcement. The DOJ appears to argue yes. A few commenters argue the opposite, that new technologies now enable law enforcement to obtain more stored communications and data, and to electronically store, analyze and access the data that it obtains.
2. Are carriers and other entities complying with their wiretap and CALEA obligations? The DOJ argues no. Many commenters argue to the contrary that either they, or their industry sector, take seriously, and sometime go beyond, their current legal obligations.
3. Should the FCC issue a declaratory ruling (as opposed to conducting a rulemaking) on the matters that the DOJ seeks a declaratory ruling? The DOJ argues yes. Many commenters argue to the contrary that the FCC lacks legal authority, or lacks the factual record, to issue a declaratory ruling.
4. Does the FCC have authority to decide all of the issues raised by the DOJ petition (as opposed to some issues being a matter for the Congress)? DOJ argues yes. Many commenters argue to the contrary that the DOJ petitions the FCC for relief in some areas that only the Congress can provide.
5. Can information services be subjected to CALEA requirements? The DOJ argues yes.
6. Is broadband internet access subject to CALEA requirements? The DOJ argues yes.
7. Is broadband VOIP service subject to CALEA requirements? The DOJ argues yes.
8. Are VOIP application and equipment providers (without networks or transport) subject to CALEA requirements. The DOJ appears to argue yes.
9. Are push to talk services subject to CALEA requirements? The DOJ argues yes.
10. Should the FCC issue a rule that a service that directly competes against a service already deemed to be covered by CALEA is presumptively covered by CALEA? The DOJ argues yes.
11. Should the FCC issue a rule that requires that "any carrier that believes that any of its current or planned equipment, facilities, or services are not subject to CALEA to immediately file a petition for clarification with the Commission to determine its CALEA obligations". The DOJ argues yes. The DOJ's position on this question is not only one of the most opposed of the DOJ's positions -- the DOJ's statement on this issue drew the most emphatic, critical, and sometimes abusive, responses.
12. Should the FCC now set benchmarks and deadlines? The DOJ argues yes.
13. Does the FCC have the CALEA enforcement authority described in the DOJ's petition? The DOJ argues yes. Many commenters argue that, to the contrary, the DOJ asks the FCC to assume enforcement authority that the CALEA statute has assigned to the federal courts.
14. Does the government have any obligations under the CALEA to compensate for compliance costs? The DOJ argues no.
15. Does the FCC have authority to regulate CALEA compliance cost recovery from customers? The DOJ argues yes.
16. If the DOJ were to obtain the declaratory rulings and rules that it seeks, would this harm innovation? The DOJ argues no. This is another issue on which the DOJ is widely contradicted by numerous commenters.
17. If the DOJ were to obtain the declaratory rulings and rules that it seeks, would this harm the privacy of individuals? The DOJ argues no. The education, university, library, research, and of course, privacy, groups (EPIC, ACLU, EFF, Privacilla) argue the contrary.
18. If the DOJ were to obtain the declaratory rulings and rules that it seeks, would it obtain the interception abilities that it seeks. The DOJ argues yes. Some commenters argue that, to the contrary, open source software, offshore development, encryption, and other factors would render the DOJ's efforts ineffective.
Column F. This column indicates additional issues raised by commenters that are not specifically addressed in the DOJ petition. If the cell is red, the statement is supportive of the DOJ. If the cell is blue, the statement is non-supportive of the DOJ. If the cell is green, it is neutral. If there are two asterisks in a cell, then the statement can be obtained by placing the mouse pointer over the cell.
1. This table summarizes the 53 comments and others items submitted to the FCC that had been published by the FCC in its web site as of April 22, 2004.
2. Form Letters. Other items submitted to the FCC are not included in this summary. First, several hundred identical or nearly identical one page comments in opposition to the DOJ petition have been e-mailed to the FCC. TLJ has determined that these do not reflect original expression by the senders, and therefore omits them from this summary. However, this summary includes all of the comments from law enforcement entities and groups, even though there is a letter writing campaign at work. Eleven of these comments are based on a single source. Eight contain substantial plagiaristic copying from one source -- the comments from the Texas Department of Public Safety, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Illinois State Police, National Sheriff's Association, Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), Major County Sheriff's Association (MCSH), Oklahoma SBN, and National Narcotics Officers' Associations Coalition (NNOAC). They are, however, placed on letterhead, signed, and in some ways modified. These are highlighted in grey, so that the reader may readily identify them, and assign the weight to be given to these items. Also, three more comments are based on the same source -- Los Angeles County Regional Criminal Information Clearinghouse (LAClear), Cape May County Prosecutors Office (CMCPO), Maryland State Police) -- but also add significant original comment.
3. Duplicate Copies. The FCC website contains several duplicates, or near duplicates. For example, it published a comment which it labels as from the New York State Attorney General's Office, and another labeled as from Elliot Spitzer. Elliot Spitzer is the Attorney General of New York, and the two comments are identical. Hence, only one is included in this table. Similarly, there are two comments from the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). However, the second one is identical to the first, except for several corrections of typographical errors and other minor changes. Only the later is included in this summary.
4. Incomplete Copies. The FCC published in its web site only the first page of the comment of the Maryland State Police.
Editor's Note. TLJ has not previously published a table of this nature. TLJ would welcome any comments about this summary, including comments on its design, organization, and accuracy. TLJ would also welcome comments on whether, and if so, for what purposes, it is useful. Finally, TLJ would welcome any comments regarding to what extent, if at all, the above table is protected by U.S. copyright law.