Cable Must Work Bugs Into System

According to the FCC, the D.C. Court of Appeals has upheld the commission's decision that VoIP (voice over Internet) and Internet access providers are under the same obligations to bring their facilities into compliance with the CALEA (Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement) Act as are wireless and landline phone companies.

That means cable and other companies need to make their systems phone-tap ready--industry and government split the cost--just in case Law enforcement agencies need to use them pursuant to a court order or "other lawful authorization."

"I am pleased that the Court agreed with the Commission’s finding," said FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, "which will ensure that law enforcement agencies'ability to conduct lawful court-ordered electronic surveillance will keep pace with new communication technologies."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.