The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is actively considering whether to adopt technology mandates that have the potential to significantly harm innovation and privacy on the Internet. Two ongoing proceedings—one involving a small part of the ongoing Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) saga and one concerning E91—illustrate the danger.
The Internet was not the primary target of either proceeding, but Internet and IP-based services would likely be squarely impacted by adverse FCC rules. In the CALEA proceeding, the FBI targeted a specific standard for wiretaps in the wireless telephone context, but the FBI made clear that it thought that whatever rules applied to wireless should apply also to wiretaps of broadband Internet access.
Alert! This is a topical news article dated more than two years ago.