Academic Coalition Opposes Move to Extend Wiretap Law
A coalition of higher education and library associations last month filed a comment with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declaring opposition to a U.S. Department of Justice attempt to bring all broadband access to the Internet within the scope of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). The current CALEA legislation gives law enforcement agencies access to communications traffic under specific legal conditions and constraints.
The comment argues that Congress had clear intent in the original CALEA legislation that Internet access messaging and other information services were to be exempt from provisions of the Act.
“The higher education community understands law enforcement’s dilemma,” said Wendy Wigen, a policy analyst with the EDUCAUSE organization, which is a higher education association on information technology.
“However, the negative impact on the Internet must be considered when applying regulations such as CALEA that were designed for traditional telecommunications. We feel a proper solution to this issue will require the full participation of Congress and the technology community, not just the FCC,” she added.
Members of the coalition include the American Association of Community Colleges; the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; the American Association of University Professors; the American Library Association; the American Council on Education; the Association of American Universities; the Association of College and Research Libraries; the Association for Communications Technology Professionals; the Association of Research Libraries; EDUCAUSE; Internet2; the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; and the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
The complete comment filed with the FCC by the coalition is available in PDF form at <www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/NET0404.pdf>.
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